Statistics can be daunting but dry: 100 million trees cut down every year to make the paper for junk mail; 380,000 kilowatt hours of electricity wasted every minute; 2 million plastic bottles used every five minutes; 2.3 million Americans incarcerated in U.S. prisons in a single year. Renowned photographer Chris Jordan brings these staggering numbers to life in manipulated digital photographs that are at once alluring and shocking. A landscape of toothpicks, each representing a felled tree, stretches into the horizon; a looping maze of plastic cups reveals how many are used every six hours on airplane flights; and a replica of a Seurat masterpiece fashioned from aluminum cans becomes a lesson in waste. These astonishing photographs of great beauty reveal the devastating consequences of our culture of consumption.
As Paul Hawken notes, Jordan’s images are “a supplication to all who look upon them, to harm no more, to be mindful in all that we do, speak, and take.
A recent article in Dutch design website Materia features more examples of Jordan’s visionary work. Story is available here.