Sunday 24 February 2008

The Scale of the Problem

I've just stumbled across pictures of an exhibition called "Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait" by Chris Jordan in which "Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use in the U.S.); 106,000 aluminium cans (thirty seconds of U.S. can consumption) and so on." I love it, although I take his point that "the prints must be seen in person to be experienced the way they are intended."

Below is my favourite single image, although each print takes several images to get the scale unless you're there in person. It's a small detail from one of six huge panels in which each folded prison uniform represents one of the 2.3 million prisoners incarcerated in 2005.

"The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits." Chris Jordan


1 comment:

Jane said...

Thanks for this post. I enjoyed the exhibition.

And, congratulations on getting on The Times top 50 green blog list. Very well deserved.