— THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

RUNNING THE NUMBERS.

1200710837

First off – shout out to @pworthington for this find.  This is the work of Photographer/Artist Chris Jordan.

The ‘American Self Portrait’ looks at american culture through it’s statisitics. The statisitics clearly show the scale not only of America’s power (both consumption of and use of in foreign adventures) but also it’s frailties. What elevates this from just a mundane (read angry) attack on the American way of life, is the thinking that has gone into each piece. The artworks make you stop and think about the stats in a very human way. Some of them are almost incomprehensible in their scale, but are somehow still fascinating, beautiful and in some cases terrifying seemingly all at the same time. The attention to detail is stunning, from the geometric patterns of oil drums to the construction (and destruction) of iconic symbols of American life. But let’s leave it to Mr Jordan to explain the role of his work.

“I 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. ” (Chris Jordan Seattle 2008)

Mission acomplished. Here are a couple of my favourites.

Oil Barrels, 2008
60×60″

Depicts 28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil consumed in the United States every two minutes (equal to the flow of a medium-sized river).

Chris Jordan Oil 1
Chris Jordan Oil 2

Chris Jordan Oil 3

Cans Seurat, 2007
60×92″

Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.
Chris Jordan Cans 1

Chris Jordan Cans 2

Chris Jordan Cans 3


Ben Franklin, 2007

8.5 feet wide by 10.5 feet tall in three horizontal panels

Depicts 125,000 one-hundred dollar bills ($12.5 million), the amount our government spends every hour on the war in Iraq.

Chris Jordan Dollar 1

Chris Jordan Dollar 2

Chris Jordan Dollar 3

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