Running the numbers - An American self-portrait

Cell Phones

Chris Jordan wants to show the "contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics." Each of his artwork portrays a specific amount of something. For example the above image shows 426000 cell phones, equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day.

"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 410,000 paper cups used every fifteen minutes.This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming."

The image below shows 24000 logos from the GMC Yukon Denali. It is supposed to be equal to six weeks of sales of that model SUV in 2004. Just simply brilliant.

Denali Denial

You can check out more of Jordan's work over at his website, or if you are lucky, attend one of his exhibitions.


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Simon Leufstedt
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