This guy, Chris Jordan, confronts us with statistics about modern life in a graphical way. Maybe not the first time it’s been done, but probably few other methods have been executed quite as well.
In his own words:
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 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.
This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a collective that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.
~chris jordan, Seattle, 2008
Here’s a sample of some of his work:
Light Bulbs, 2008
Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.).
Ok. Let’s zoom in to get an idea of numbers:
So – just to remind ourselves, that’s EVERY MINUTE in the States alone.
What about this pic:
Plastic Bottles, 2007
Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.
And right in for the detail:
Wow. Five minutes worth of plastic bottles.
It gives me some sort of sense of just how big the world is but at the same time a sense of shame at my contribution to this junk.
This guy has done quite a few more like this, but kids PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK. There are some upsetting images that you don’t need to see.