Monday, May 14, 2007

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait

Check out this series of photos from Chris Jordan:
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.

My only caveat about this series is that the prints must be seen in person to be experienced the way they are intended. As with any large artwork, their scale carries a vital part of their substance which is lost in these little web images. Hopefully the JPEGs displayed here might be enough to arouse your curiosity to attend an exhibition, or to arrange one if you are in a position to do so. The series is still in its early stages, and new images will be posted as they are completed, so please stay tuned.

~cj, January 2007

Cell Phones, 2007

Depicts 426,000 cell phones, equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day.

1 comment:

michael lewis said...

That is the Motorola V60 mobile phone.

It was available on CDMA and GSM. (Maybe even TDMA as well?)

Of all the mobiles I have had over the years, that was the BEST phone ever. Hands off! Call clarity, battery life, rugged good looks. This model had it all!

For talking.

Then manufacturers started putting in bogus crap like email and web surfing and cameras and video and music players. Voice quality has suffered ever since.

I still have a Moto V60g, and I will never get rid of it. I use it for when I go biking / hiking / skiing.