Thursday, April 26, 2007

Overconsumption Illustrated

Its hard to even imagine a stack of 15 million sheets of office paper but artist Chris Jordan has created graphic images that can help.

A sampling of the current work, described as an American self-portrait, is available online, and dramatically illustrates the voracious consumption of American society.

In the artists' own words,

This new 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 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.
Its definitely worth a look, and will make you think twice about printing that next email.

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