Posts Tagged ‘running the numbers’

Running The Numbers

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Chris Jordan, a photographer from Seattle has created an excellent exhibit called Running the numbers, Portraits of global mass culture using some of our catering disposable products among others.

Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something:

Paper Cups: Four Hundred and ten thousand Paper cups  (the number of disposable cups Americans use every 15 minutes) The below picture illustrates the scale of the work next to a couple

Paper Cups
Zoomed in x1:
paper cups
Zoomed in x2:
Paper Cups

Toothpicks: Depicts one hundred million toothpicks, (equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail)

Plastic Cups: Depicts one million plastic cups (the number used on airline flights in the US every six hours)

plastic cups
Zoomed in x 1:
plastic cups
Zoomed in x 2:
plastic cups
Chris hopes is that these images might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone. 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 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

The project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, in hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

More Can be found here: