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Running the numbers

The statistics of mass consumption are pretty much inconceivable. How do do you understand the fact that we use 8 billion plastic bags in the UK every year? Or that 100,000 old tyres are replaced every day? Or that we annually throw out 25 million used printer cartridges? These kind of numbers are actually pretty meaningless. All we see is the size of the number, and the scale of the problem it represents is lost on us.

Seattle based photographer Chris Jordan is trying to change that with his latest project, ‘running the numbers’. In a series of huge photographs, currently on display in New York, he puts an image to some of the statistics around American consumption.


This is a tiny cut of something that should be several feet wide, so the effect is not the same viewing them online, but they’re still incredible images. Check them out here until someone invites Chris to exhibit near you.

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