Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Who to Woohoo Wednesday: Chris Jordan

We spent part of Mother's Day having a good debate about responsibility in the media, specifically conservative talk radio's attitude toward climate change. Based on the facts we have today, it feels criminal to me that those in a position of power and influence are actively discouraging change with the same ol' "only leftist hippies worry about carbon emissions" crapola. The time for scepticism is over. In my opinion, treating climate change like a "hoax" (in the words of one of their allies) is far more deserving of censure than calling a few basketball players names. Really, the stakes could not be any higher. Spreading misinformation like they do is, at best, criminal negligence. I don't feel I'm exaggerating when I say those guys are threatening my life... hell, they're threatening LIFE. Yep, I got a little worked up about it. Sorry, Mom.

It's just that we are strong believers in the superhero creed: Use your powers for good. They don't. However, Sara over at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly introduced me to Chris Jordan, specifically his series "Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait":

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. 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 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

So, hooray! So good to see someone using his powers for good! Woohoo, Chris Jordan! Take a look at his site--it was a little slow to load on my computer, but worth it.

And belated Happy First Mother's Day to Noelle Aguayo. Woohoo Moms!

1 comment:

George said...

Yep, that Chris Jordan doesn't anaesthetize statistics, he aestheticizes them.