2009 Running the Numbers

Chris Jordan

Exhibition Dates: January 14- April 4, 2009
Reception: Jan 22, 6pm; Lecture: Jan. 22, 7pm, CUB Auditorium

In 2006, Chris Jordan began a series of digital photographs that present contemporary American culture via the nearly incomprehensible statistics regarding American excess. Each image portrays a specific quantity of consumption or cultural value: two million plastic beverage bottles (the number used in the US every five minutes); 426,000 cell phones (the number retired every day); 2.3 million orange prison uniforms (the number of Americans incarcerated annually). Jordan portrays these statistics by incorporating them visually in large, intricately detailed photographic prints assembled from thousands of smaller images. “The overall image is impressive. These are large works, larger in scale than what most people think of as a photograph,” said Chris Bruce, Director of the Museum of Art/WSU.

The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Art/WSU, is the first comprehensive presentation of this internationally-known artist’s work, and will travel nationally. It will focus on Jordan’s recent body of works, Running the Numbers (2006-present), and will also include examples of the previous series of straight, documentary photographs, Intolerable Beauty (2003-05).

“Chris Jordan’s photographic project offers a rare and unique opportunity to have a conversation about important subject matter that cuts through art-world boundaries into the environmental and social sciences. Certainly this is why he has been in such demand as a speaker, and why so many people all over the world know his images from the Internet. The Museum of Art is proud to act as the catalyst for new audiences to encounter this ground breaking work first hand,” said Chris Bruce.