Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something; two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our soceity, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs. Employing themes such as the near versus the far, and the one versus the many, I hope to raise some questions about the roles and responsibilities we each play as individuals in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.

—Chris Jordan, 2008

Cans Seurat

Depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds.

Cigarettes

Cigarettes

This image depicts 65,000 cigarettes, equal to the number of American teenagers under age eighteen who become addicted to cigarettes every month.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic Bottles

This image depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.