Chris Jordan,world-renowned photographer and environmental activist, showcases his stunning eye-opening presentation on the American Mass Consumption. Chris vividly documents the combined effects of our cultures of consumption. Measuring Mass Culture: like every day, 426,000 cell phones are discarded or 2 million plastic beverage bottles is the number used in the US every five minutes… He heard statistics like that and wondered “what, exactly, does that mean? What does that number look like?” His answer resulted in a unique photographic document that puts into perspective precisely how much is thrown away by otherwise responsible citizens.
Jordan’s slideshow and commentary, based on his highly lauded exhibits, takes audiences through his beautiful and elucidating photographs, documenting such issues as the environment, global warming and other social issues. Audiences will walk from Jordan’s presentation reflecting on the complex roles we all play, and the responsibilities we all hold, in the stewardship of our planet. Plenty more numbers and photographs on www.chrisjordan.com
Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.
This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.
~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008
Skull With Cigarette, 2007 [based on a painting by Van Gogh] – 98X72″
Depicts 200,000 packs of cigarettes, equal to the number of Americans who die from cigarette smoking every six months.
Cans Seurat, 2007 – 60×92″
Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
Barbie Dolls, 2008 – 60×80″
Depicts 32,000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006.