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Running The Numbers
February 28, 2007 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Running The Numbers. This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. 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. [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
That is pretty great. As always, when confronted by the sheer scale of our civilization and its use of materials, you kinda wonder exactly how many plastic shopping bags the world can produce, period.
posted by maxwelton at 8:42 AM on February 28, 2007


This is why the internet exists. Effin' brilliant.

Though I'd hardly call this austere. There's an obvious bias and appeal to emotion here.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:43 AM on February 28, 2007


This lens is meaningless. I want a clearer one.
posted by anthill at 8:44 AM on February 28, 2007


Very cool. I'm amazed at the number of paper bags, I can't remember the last time I was even asked "paper or plastic", supermarkets seem to have all switched to plastic only.
posted by octothorpe at 9:10 AM on February 28, 2007


I'd love to see these on display somewhere.
posted by pithy comment at 9:41 AM on February 28, 2007


I despise plastic bags. I prefer paper because (a) paper degrades and doesn't poison our water systems or landfills like plastic, and (b) I can go shopping and bring home three paper bags of stuff rather than 37 plastic bags, each with an average of two items inside. The ubiquitous T-shirt style plastic bag should be outlawed.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:43 AM on February 28, 2007


The Seurat won me over!
posted by phaedon at 9:47 AM on February 28, 2007


When will conceptualist art die?
posted by noble_rot at 9:52 AM on February 28, 2007


"Depicts 29,569 handguns, equal to the number of gun-related deaths in the US in 2004" (I just looked at the CDC's stats for 2004)

He combined homicide AND suicide numbers for the dramatic effect.

The aluminum can one and the shipping container one looked cool, though.
posted by drstein at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2007


The artistic effect comes from putting no context to these numbers. They are really big, but are they as big as an elephant?
posted by anthill at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2007


That was great. I'd love to see a writeup of the technique used for creating those.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2007


I agree with caution live frogs - I'll usually say, "I won't need a bag" and toss my purchases into a shoulder bag.

maxwelton - can produce? Sounds like a challenge. =)
posted by porpoise at 12:08 PM on February 28, 2007


Nice, thanks! I'd like to see the 6' x 8' prints.
posted by carter at 12:31 PM on February 28, 2007


Nice, thanks! I'd like to see the 6' x 8' prints.

www.chrisjordan.com says he'll have exhibitions in New York in June and Pasadena in July-September. There are also a couple more photo sets off that main page link.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:49 PM on February 28, 2007


Side sez "Denali", art sez "Denial". Subtle. Or typo.
posted by GuyZero at 1:06 PM on February 28, 2007


Wow that was a great find - it was visual overload many times over (but in a good way).
posted by your mildly obsessive average geek at 12:44 AM on March 1, 2007


Hey, drstein, is it the suicides or the killings you think don't count as gun-related deaths?

I mean, they're very much related. One is facilitated by guns and sadness/illness and one is facilitated by guns and anger/greed/illness/frustration.
posted by imperium at 1:10 AM on March 1, 2007


Really cool. I'd love to know the process... has he copied & pasted so cleverly that you can't see the repeats?
posted by algreer at 4:15 AM on March 1, 2007


"Hey, drstein, is it the suicides or the killings you think don't count as gun-related deaths?"

Well, usually when one puts up some dramatic figures involving guns, they're talking about homicides. It illicits the "omg, we have a gun crisis!" mentality in many folks. When people see a gun in an art piece like this, I don't think that many of them think "tool used in a suicide." Thanks to our media, they've been conditioned to think that each death was a homicide.
My point was that he achieved a more dramatic effect by combining the numbers.

I'd like to see him make another one with hearts. 300,000 of them, one for everybody that died from heart disease that year. I've met many people that were totally unaware that heart disease was the top killer of women. They thought it was breast cancer.
posted by drstein at 7:49 PM on March 2, 2007


Interview with Chris Jordan.
posted by homunculus at 11:17 AM on March 4, 2007


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