Chris Jordan (artist)

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Ben Franklin, a montage of 125,000 US $100 bills, the amount spent on the Iraq war every hour, 8.5ft (2.6m) wide by 10.5ft (3.2m) tall in three horizontal panels
Detail from Ben Franklin
Detail from Ben Franklin

Chris Jordan (born 1963) is an artist based in Seattle, Washington.[1]


Many of Jordan's works are created from photographs of garbage and mass consumption, a serendipitous technique which started when he visited an industrial yard to look at patterns of color and order. His industrious passion for conservation and awareness has brought much attention to his photography in recent years. Jordan uses everyday commonalities such as a plastic cup and defines the blind unawareness involved in American consumerism. His work, while often unsettling, is a bold message about unconscious behaviors in our everyday lives, leaving it to the viewer to draw conclusions about the inevitable consequences which will arise from our habits.[2]

Jordan's work can be grouped in the following series:

  • Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption (2003–2006)[3] A series of large format photographs 2005 depicting the magnitude of America's waste and consumption.
  • In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster (2005)[4] A series of photographs taken in 2005 depicting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Running The Numbers I: An American Self Portrait (2006–2009)[5] A series of photographic mosaics depicting visualizations of statistics related to America's consumerism, social problems, and addictions.
  • Running the Numbers II: Portraits of global mass culture (2009–2010)[6] A series of photographic mosaics depicting visualizations of statistics showing the magnitude of global consumerism.
  • Midway: Message from the Gyre (2009–2013)[7][8] A series of photographs depicting rotting carcasses of baby Laysan albatrosses filled with plastic. These birds nest on Midway Atoll and are being fed plastic by their parents, who find floating plastic in the middle of the ocean and mistake it for food. This is a part of an ongoing arts and media project called Midway Journey, which has its own website.

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