Chris Jordan was honored with the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs’s annual Human Security Award on April 24th. Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed artist and cultural activist based in Seattle, USA, and his works have been exhibited and published worldwide. Jordan is also the award’s tenth recipient, since the Human Security Award was established in 2004. Since then, the award and its supporters have strived to spread awareness of the most pressing human rights and global community issues, as well as the leading people who are working to solve them.
Jordan, originally on the track to become a lawyer, traded in his suit and tie for a camera and a more aesthetically attuned mind. His work has been widely regarded as the leading image of environmentalism. Specifically, his pieces are photographs that simultaneously depict and scorn the modern world’s level of consumption and the guise of consumerism that fuels our habits. He is best known (so far) for his series “Running the Numbers” which features approximately accurate, statistical amounts of waste made by the United States and other industrialized countries, arranged together to create large, holistic images. Below are a sample taste of his artistic flavor.
Caps Seurat, 2007: A remake of George Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” consisting of the average 400,000 bottle caps Americans use each minute
Jordan’s work has only continued to earn positive praise and criticism by blurring the line between emotionally stirring and discomforting art. His latest venture is Midway: Message from the Gyre, is a currently ongoing blog and eventual full-length documentary. The film pertains to the albatross of the Midway islands in the North Pacific Ocean, next-door neighbors to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. It is in this great patch that a disturbingly higher and still rapidly accumulating density of pollutants have begun to unintentionally feed the many organisms that already reside. Horrifically beautiful photos of deceased and decaying albatross with plastic bursting out of their stomachs will be an image viewers will not be able to shake easily, which is all part of Jordan’s overall goal of behavioral change and reflection. Convinced otherwise? See the trailer below.
Chris Jordan’s October 2008 Ted Talk
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