The Handwerker Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition, Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait, at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28.
In his large-format photographs, Seattle-based artist Chris Jordan explores contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image documents a specific quantity of goods consumed by Americans in a given time frame: Cell Phones, 2007, depicts 426,000 of them, equal to the number of cell phones retired every day; Paper Bags (detail above), 2007, depicts 1.14 million brown paper supermarket bags, the number used every hour; and Plastic Bottles, 2007, depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used every five minutes. These photographs give the cold, hard facts of American consumption a tangible reality.
It is this sobering reality that Jordan uses to emphasize "the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming" in hopes of raising "the consciousness of the viewer so that they start thinking more about the collective that we're all a part of."
The Handwerker exhibition will feature nine photographs from the artist's Running the Numbers series and a response wall for audience reactions.
Chris Jordan is a photographer who portrays the detritus of our mass culture -- piles of cell phones, plastic bottles, paper, and the like. His work is exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, and has been featured in print media, blogs, documentary films, and radio and television programs worldwide. Most recently he has been appeared on Bill Moyer's Journal (PBS) and the Colbert Report (Comedy Central). Jordan lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
A roundtable discussion featuring Ithaca College faculty and students will be held in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at 6:30 p.m. on April 3.
Running the Numbers is co-sponsored by the Roy H. Park School of Communications, the Department of Biology, the environmental studies program, and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
The exhibition will run through April 6. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Thursday until 9:00 p.m.); and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m. For further information, contact Cheryl Kramer, Handwerker Gallery director and assistant professor of art history, at 607-274-3548.