Running the Numbers: Art from Consumption

April 17th, 2007 by Jerome Dahdah

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Did you know that every thirty seconds, 106,000 aluminum cans are used in the US? Or that 60,000 plastic bags are used every 5 seconds? Or that 426,000 cell phones are retired every single day? The numbers sound pretty high, but they feel very abstract, and seldom we can connect with what they actually represent. With a new series called “Running The Numbers – An American Self-Portrait”, artist Chris Jordan seeks to provide a true impression of exactly how high those numbers are, by presenting the subject matter quite literally. The images are assembled from thousands of smaller photographs, the amount corresponding to the actual numbers in US consumption statistics. The outcome is a series of images that really bring it to the point.

The images leave a feeling of uneasiness with me. What are your thoughts? Can we as a global society reduce our consumption, or do we even need to? Also, if you know further artists who follow similar goals, please feel free to share them with us.

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