Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Consumerism as Art

Last spring I ran across the art of Chris Jordan and was very impressed, but then lost the link or something and forgot his name. Somehow, though, I knew I'd stumble upon him again and today is the day.

Go to this link to see far better photos than I could try to represent here. He creates images depicting:
  • one hundred million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees cut in the U.S. yearly to make the paper for junk mail.
  • one million plastic cups, the number used on airline flights in the US every six hours.
  • 32,000 Barbies, equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006.
It's hard to see the volume of consumerism depicted in this way and not be floored by it and not want to do something about it (at least for me). Especially at Christmas time I think it is important for us to re-think our impact. Maybe our President wouldn't tell us the best thing we could do to help the economy is to go shopping if we actually manufactured a quantity of products of enough value that we could export (see prior entry about America creating a capitalist world in which it cannot compete)

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