To help people picture their impact, photographer Chris Jordan has been diligently adding to his consciousness-raising series Running the Numbers, which puts statistics about consumerism into perspective by capturing them visually.
When we covered the first installment of this series, we were taken aback with his ability to make jaws drop and minds expand in a single shot. If you haven’t seen his work before, I recommend taking a look. His talent for illustrating how our individual choices build mountains of consequences (literally) is worth exploring.
In his Running the Numbers series Chris Jordan pairs imagery with statistics in hopes that images representing quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone. Jordan says,
“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.”
2008 additions to the series include Barbie Dolls and Plastic Cups. In Plastic Cups, Jordan depicts one million cups to represent the number used on airline flights in the U.S. every six hours.
Plastic Cups, 2008
Detail at actual print size
In Barbie Dolls, Jordan depicts 32,000 Barbies, which is the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the U.S. in 2006.
Barbie Dolls, 2008
In actual print size
Jordan’s next step will be to take the project to a global scale, using his camera to explore issues such as the world's oceans, African issues and species extinctions. Through his work, Jordan says he hopes ‘to raise questions about the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible and overwhelming.’
These are amazing pictures. The concept behind the movement is really cool, too.