I saw this guy on the Colbert Rapport, and found it eerie enough to go check out his website. His name is Chris Jordan. He’s a photographer, an artist. I also think he’s a messenger of sorts, a truth teller.
It’s easy to forget about waste and mass-consumption, not least because the rate at which we are polluting the earth is incredibly uncomfortable to dwell upon. You see the neighborhood recycling efforts, you remember to turn off the lights and reuse your towell a few times, and it’s easy to fall into the assumption that the world is doing ‘A-ok’, as you’ve not heard otherwise aside from Al Gore’s little movie, and look at all the websites discrediting him? (discrediting-with a furor, with a passion, with a fervency that should betray how much modern business and industry is counting on the myth that the way people conduct their lives at present isn’t destroying the Earth)
The exhibit is called ‘Running the numbers; an American Self-Portrait’. The concept is somewhat artistic, but mostly mathematical. Simply, Chris Jordan has taken a few specific statistical quantities of things that are consumed, wasted or numbers that depict some aspect of American culture, and presented a concrete visual of the numbers in a way the brain might begin to grasp, as opposed to a mere abstract number. Here are a few examples, but check out his site if you get the chance. I promise it will make you uncomfortable. http://www.chrisjordan.com
^ depicts 170,000 disposable energizer batteries, equal to fifteen minutes of Energizer battery production.
detail at actual print size (resized smaller to fit blog)
This. ^This is what average sized people would look like next to 15 minutes of battery production if batteries were printed to actual size. The poster of 170,000 batteries would be 26×43 feet.
That’s fifteen minutes.
A depiction of one year of Energizer disposable battery production, (six billion batteries) would require a print 26 feet high by 146 miles wide.
^ Depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds. (click to enlarge) print size 60×72″
a small piece of the puzzle