Chris Jordan explores contemporary mass culture, connecting the viewer viscerally to humanity’s collective behaviors. Running the Numbers looks at contemporary western culture through statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: 2 million plastic bottles ( 5 minutes of U.S. bottle consumption), 106,000 aluminum cans (30 seconds of can consumption), etc. Finding meaning in these mass phenomena is difficult because the phenomena themselves are often invisible, spread across the earth in millions of separate places. Jordan condenses these phenomena, causing uncomfortable feelings that, for Jordan “can become part of what connects us, as fuel for courageous action as citizens of a new kind of global community.” In conjunction with a U-M campus-wide exhibition.
With support from the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, Graham Sustainability Institute, College of Engineering, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Institute for the Humanities, Palmer Commons, ArtsEngine, Program in the Environment and Chelsea River Gallery.