Macabre Beauty

While doing some research on sustainability, I came across Chris Jordan’s amazing photographic art. His work is both appealing and alarming. Unsparingly depicting American’s mass consumption, his imagery portrays the sheer mass of our excessive lifestyle, such as 426,000 cell phones (the number of cell phones retired in the US every day) or fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use).Jordan’s work shows that even though the global trend toward “green” has been intensively discussed and celebrated all over America, the reality is still alarming. By visualizing abstract statistics, he helps us realize the bizarre dimensions of our consumption habits. His large-scale artwork is made out of thousands of small photographs. The piece “Energizer” is a good example of his technique.”Energizer” depicts 170,000 disposable Energizer batteries, equal to fifteen minutes of Energizer battery production:Partial zoom:Detail at actual print size:One of my favorite works is “Jet Trails”. It depicts the overwhelming number of 11,000 jet trails, equal to the number of commercial flights in the US every eight hours.Partial zoom:Detail at actual size:I like the way the artist talks about his work: He hopes that his photographs serve as “portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake.” I’d like to refer to his beautifully macabre work as an eye-opener and I personally hope that his work empowers the public to take action and spread the word. Check out Chris Jordan’s website to see more of his work!