Friday, October 24, 2008

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait

Plastic Bottles, 2007 60x120" Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.
Plastic Bags, 2007 60x72" Depicts 60,000 plastic bags, the number used in the US every five seconds.

Cans Seurat, 2007 60x92" Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.

Paper Bags, 2007 60x80" Depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used in the US every hour.

My friend sent me a link to the artist Chris Jordan's gallery entitled "Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait". This collection "looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something...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, [the artist] hope[s] to raise some questions about the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming."
I was blown away while looking at the images - but even more awestruck (in a sickening way) by the statistics of American consumption. Here's the link should you want to view Jordan's entire collection.


Anonymous said...

It's the artists job to reveal our culture with all its warts. I just didn't realize how many we had!!! gazillions

ashley (sweet and natural) said...

Hi Lauren - Thanks for your comment on my blog! I've heard of this artist - his stuff is really cool. I love that Seurat painting - it was a perfect choice to express his style b/c of the pointillism used.