Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting a Visual - Chris Jordan's "Running the Numbers" Series

Green Gramps emailed me this morning with a website alert! Seattle-based artist and photographer Chris Jordan offers a glimpse of his most recent work, "Running the Numbers":

"This series 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 410,000 paper cups used every fifteen minutes. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming." ~Chris Jordan

Using common goods to depict staggering numbers Jordan, even in the details he has chosen of his immense works, represents everything from the number of children without health insurance to the number of plastic bags used in the United States every five seconds.

If you are living in Oberlin, check out Jordan's exhibit up close and personal at the Allen Memorial Art Museum and file a report from the field, would ya?


And then there's this little article in the L.A. Times from March 14th: "Popular 'green' products test positive for toxicant".


Carrie said...

I love stuff like this for the kids who come through my office. Visuals are useful to them.

Geggie said...

Very interesting!

And that article in the LA Times just makes me sick!