Friday, April 04, 2008

"Running the Numbers" - Revisiting Chris Jordan

This evening I checked Chris Jordan Photographic Arts. I previously posted about Chris Jordan’s work on May 11, "Chris Jordan captures consumerism,"and July 23, "Visions of excess."

Currently Jordan is featuring a series titled, “Running the Numbers, An American Self-Portrait":

“This 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 410,000 paper cups used every fifteen minutes. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming."

I picked the accompanying photo, a portion of the image of nine million wooden ABC blocks equal to the number of Ameican children with no health insurance coverage in 2007, because I took care of my twin 14 month grandchildren today. It would break my heart if either of became sick and couldn’t get adequate medical care because he or she lacked health insurance.

(photo: Building Blocks, 2007. 16 feet tall x 32 feet wide in eighteen square panels, each sized 62x62": Chris Jordan Photographic Arts)

No comments: