Consumption is an ethical issue

I don't read email forwards. Most of the time I don't even open them. Every so often a rare occasion will warrant that I send a forward with a personal note as to why I'm imposing said message on everyone in my address book. Well, consider this blog post just such an email forward...but rather than spamming my friends and family, I'm spamming the entire internet. As to my personal note, I'll let artist Chris Jordan speak for himself.

Running the Numbers |
An American Self-Portrait
Artist's Statement: Chris Jordan

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.

A teaser: a detail of his print depicting 38,000 shipping containers, the number of containers processed through American ports every twelve hours. Click on the photo to visit Chris Jordan's site.

Red Lentil Fingers

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