Garbage and industrial wastes are overflowing in capitalist societies and endlessly polluting the global environment. It is not the fault of one; we are all wrong. Seattle-based photographic artist, Chris Jordan, conveys a message about mass consumption and human selfishness through his artwork series “Running the Numbers.” Most of his works are huge-sized pieces from mind-blowing data about consumption. Based on one of his interviews, Chris came to the topic of consumerism by chance; he photographed a pile of garbage and found beauty in the complexity of the great colors. Here are some examples of his works.
Plastic Bottles,2007 60×120″
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.
Light Bulbs, 2008 72×96″
Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.).
Cans Seurat, 2007 60×92″
Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
It takes a few weeks to create each piece of work. He photographs a few hundred objects over and over instead of tens of thousands. Then he constructs his images digitally. He also researches statistics from articles, government databases, websites, and other sources.
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.
Dog and Cat Collars, 2009 60×67″
Depicts ten thousand dog and cat collars, equal to the average number of unwanted dogs and cats euthanized in the United States every day.
Skull With Cigarette, 2007 98×72″
Depicts 200,000 packs of cigarettes, equal to the number of Americans who die from cigarette smoking every six months. Based on a painting by Van Gogh.
Gyre, 2009 8×11 feet, in three vertical panels
Depicts 2.4 million pieces of plastic, equal to the estimated number of pounds of plastic pollution that enter the world’s oceans every hour. All of the plastic in this image was collected from the Pacific Ocean.
Shark Teeth, 2009 64×94″; based on a watercolor painting by Sarah Waller
Depicts 270,000 fossilized shark teeth, equal to the estimated number of sharks of all species killed around the world every day for their fins.
He currently has an exhibition at David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. Unfortunately, New York is not on his upcoming exhibition list yet. I hope to see his work In the near future.
Sources: http://www.chrisjordan.com, Youtube, TED, Environmental Graffiti.