Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Art Of Numbers

The Art Of Numbers
We as a generation have become so desensitized by numbers and statistics thrown at us that large numbers fail to find impact and we remain largely bored by the gigantic amount of data available to us in the modern world. Careless consumerism and its unseen, unaccounted for aftermath are finally getting some attention in the major information forums, however it remains difficult to engage the masses in a meaningful discussion for lack of a visceral response among the general population. I have recently stumbled upon the work of an artist who tackles this with great ingenuity.

“Finding meaning in global mass phenomena can be difficult because the phenomena themselves are invisible, spread across the earth in millions of separate places. There is no Mount Everest of waste that we can make a pilgrimage to and behold the sobering aggregate of our discarded stuff, seeing and feeling it viscerally with our senses. Instead, we are stuck with trying to comprehend the gravity of these phenomena through the anaesthetizing and emotionally barren language of statistics.”
-Chris Jordan

In an urgent battle to help us find our sensible shoes Chris Jordan displays a great understanding of the senses and how they work. He uses the power of numbers to illuminate numbers, using artistically arranged compilations of human squanderings making one a little less likely to turn away from its illustration. In a world where many people surprisingly still continue to equate green-thinking with elitist capriciousness or at worst, propaganda, Jordan finds a way to engage the emotional and awaken the rational.

It is a mistake to imagine Jordan’s work limited to ecological ideals for it is firmly rooted in the social and global context of which ecological issues are only one of the more pressing. Alluding to crime, political motives and an inherent lack of consumer curiosity regarding the full result of every purchase he tessellates our collective decisions into beautiful images of decay and consequence.

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