The Mirage works represent a dramatic departure from the minimal imagery that Larry Bell had been known for until the mid 1980s. At 46-years old, he learned that he had a profound congenital hearing deficiency which had never been diagnosed. His new hearing aids revealed an altered experience of the world around him, tapping a wave of memories, depression and distraction. Hearing changed the nature of his work; the work became a way to channel the anger and rage that accompanied memories. He began to make collages using the materials and equipment he had on hand, building upon the intuitive process he cultivated with the Vapor Drawings. The process was so spontaneous that the resulting works were often a surprise to the artist himself, and he named them according to his first thoughts upon seeing them. Processes and techniques Bell used in the Mirage works recurs in the later Fractions and Church Studies series.