5.07.2011

running the atrociously grandiose numbers

this composite photo shows 320,000 light bulbs
 in an effort to illustrate the scale of in-home
power waste (from chris jordan's rtn).
"i enjoy exploring around our country's shipping ports and industrial junk yards... there I find evidence of a kind of slow-motion apocalypse in progress." - chris jordan


probably among the most unsettling sights in present-day eugene is the featured exhibit at the jordan schnitzer museum of art. an eclectic set of jumbo photographs depicting industrial waste and industry-driven culture hang on the four walls of the on-campus gallery's upper room - twenty photographs with captions that betray a tragic truth about contemporary american culture - that it is a catalyst in the accelerated destruction of the natural world.


among the phenomena depicted by the exhibit are junk mail, plastic bottles and breast augmentations, all in quantities massive enough to squash the casual visitor's expectations. it was precisely because i was a casual visitor, my observations were obliterated.


and this is the sentiment which i retained:
  • that many and maybe all of us are participants in the artificial projection of a commercially motivated conception of aesthetics onto the natural world through its destruction and strategic reformation.
  • that to call the american flavor of neocapitalism massively and unsustainably wasteful is comparable to unilaterally asserting that the roman empire was 'un-caring.' it just grazes the surface of the matter.
  • that our way of life, that my way of life needs to significantly change.
also: there is a moon made of 29,000 credit cards. honest.

3 comments:

  1. This is rather shocking, although I don't believe it should be. The US and its inhabitants are indeed very prodigal, yet for some reason, when hearing the numbers, I am always surprised.

    Kudos, Joel.

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  2. @jered: yeah, seriously. hippie art's got a way of getting all didactic 'n stuff.

    @michael: i guess so. i was fairly impressed. you can see most of mr. jordan's art online if you click on the link at the bottom.

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