24h Week Month

Polluted Images

12.07.2011 | Art, Illustration
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“Running the Numbers I: An American Self-Portrait” and “Running the Numbers II: Portraits of Global Mass Culture” are thought provoking art series about pollution and its consequences to our Planet’s environment. Artist Chris Jordan ”[...] visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.” [1]

 

Notes about project (written by Chris Jordan, published on his website):

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.

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Top: Venus, 2011. 60 x 103″ in one panel, and 8 x 13 feet in three panels.
“Depicts 240,000 plastic bags, equal to the estimated number of plastic bags consumed around the world every ten seconds.”

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Gyre, 2009.  8 x 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.”

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Gyre II, 2011.  44 x 56″ and 60 x 76″.
“Depicts 50,000 cigarette lighters, equal to the estimated number of pieces of floating plastic in every square mile in the world’s oceans.”

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Caps Seurat, 2011.  60 x 90″ in one panel, and 88 x 132″ in 3 panels.
“Depicts 400,000 plastic bottle caps, equal to the average number of plastic bottles consumed in the United States every minute.”

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