Friday, May 28, 2010

Chris Jordan- Portraits of American Mass Consumption

More on Chris Jordan's Exhibit at the AMoA

Below is the exhibition card which highlights his piece Lightbulbs, 2008.  It depicts 380,000 lightbulbs which equals the number of kilowatt hours of electricity is wasted every minute in the US by inefficient residential energy use.  Can you imagine what the depiction would look like if it included all inefficient energy loss?

I like his idea of creating Portraits of American Mass Consumption.  In most of his works he lets the sheer volume speak for its self, but in his piece Cans Seurat, 2007 I think the clever usage of a pointillism classic is the perfect avenue for his masterpieces.

 Hard to believe that each point on this Seurat homage can be so many varieties of our favorite soda cans.

With how amazing the Seurat piece is, it is hard to believe that there would be anything else synonymous with Chris Jordan.  That is until you see his most referenced photograph of Plastic Bottles, 2007.


It reads:
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the United States every five minutes

The scary part is Plastic Bottles was created in 2007.  Who knows what the image would look like if it statistically pictured today's usage.  Maybe no scarier than looking at a close up of his work:

Even though these materials can theoretically be recycled, that is not what I left the exhibit thinking about.  I do my part in recycling but I feel like personally that is not enough.  Once the plastic hits my recycling bin I do not think twice about the waste anymore.  That is the thought process I would like to change within myself is the dialogue when I make choices to purchase things with added packaging and the decision on purchasing things when I happen to be away from home.  When you are out and about and you have an item that is recyclable but no receptacle... how often will you just throw these items away?  These are the questions I ask myself while emerging myself in his work and the questions will resonate in me to hopefully change myself for the future.

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