Sugimoto has spoken about photography as a means of fossilizing time:
Fossils work almost the same way as photography…as a record of history. The accumulation of time and history becomes a negative of the image. And this negative comes off, and the fossil is the positive side. This is the same as the action of photography. So that’s why I am very curious about the artistic stage of imprinting the memories of the time record. A fossil is made over four-hundred-fifty million years—it takes that much time. But photography, it’s instant. So, to me, photography functions as a fossilization of time.