In Jordan's view, key to reducing waste is small behavioral changes that individuals and society can make, each forming a tiny part of a much larger solution, that is as complex and detailed as one of his works (Photo: Nick Lavars/Gizmag.com)
200,000 packs of cigarettes, one for each American that dies from smoking every six months, are arranged to replicate Van Gogh's "Skull With Cigarette" (Photo: Chris Jordan)
260,000 car keys, one for each gallon of gasoline burnt in US motor vehicles every minute, form a pile-up of totaled cars (Photo: Chris Jordan)
125,000 one hundred dollar bills (US$12.5 million) form a portrait of Benjamin Franklin to represent the amount spent hourly on the Iraq war (Photo: Chris Jordan)
In Australia there are an estimated 23 million discarded mobile phones lying around in drawers and boxes, displaced by the bigger screen or better camera of the latest version (Photo: Nick Lavars/Gizmag.com)
Though far from home, Jordan was less than heartened by some of the familiarities he observes in Australia's adaptation of particular habits (Photo: Nick Lavars/Gizmag.com)
While in the early days, Jordan's work was largely centered on mass consumption, he soon saw the potential of his photography to draw attention to other, equally pressing issues (Photo: Nick Lavars/Gizmag.com)
By using roughly 7,000 old phones to create the artwork, roughly a third of the devices that are discarded in Australia each day, Jordan hopes to draw attention to the wider effects of excessive consumerism (Photo: Nick Lavars/Gizmag.com)
"If we can't comprehend the issue then we don't feel anything, therefore we don't act. I'm trying to create these images that point toward comprehension of the issues so we begin to feel something, so its not just an intellectual exercise. If we feel angry, or sad, or frightened, that is when we act decisively."
Around the world there are hundreds of millions of discarded mobile phones lying around in drawers and boxes, displaced by the bigger screen or better camera of the latest version. But truth be told, even if we were talking about hundreds of billions it would be unlikely to elicit a much different response, because ridiculously big numbers are ridiculously big numbers, right? Seattle-based photographer and activist Chris Jordan is on a mission to make these measures of consumerism manifest through visual art and, as he explained to Gizmag, bridge the disconnect between our mass consumption and its largely invisible consequences.
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