Art for Environmental Change

Chris Jordan, an internationally acclaimed artist and cultural activist based in Seattle, USA, was honored with the 2013 Human Security Award on April 24th.

About Chris Jordan

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.

Gyre, 2009: Comprised of 2.4 million pieces of plastic actually collected from the Pacific Ocean and equally the amount of pounds of pollutants that are introduced hourly to the Earth’s oceans.

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. Learn more about the film here.