Just seeing the raw numbers of consumption often make the statistics feel abstract and anesthetizing, which is why American artist Chris Jordan works to create larger-than-life scales of the consumption. Running the numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. The images help portray a specific quantity of things such as 106,000 aluminum cans (30 seconds of consumption in US) or fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of consumption in US). His work is visually astounding and the stats that accompany the images are even more unbelievable. Take a look!
Prison Uniforms: Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated every year. The US has the largest prison population of any country in the world.
Plastics Bags: 60,000 plastic bags is the number used every 5 seconds in the US.
Cigarettes: Depicts 65,000 cigarettes, equal to the number of American teenagers under the age of eighteen who become addicted every month.
Shipping Containers: Depicts 38,000 shipping containers, which is the number processed through American ports every 12 hours.
Light Bulbs: 320,000 light bulbs, equals the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the US every minute from inefficient usage.
Paper Bags: Depicts 1.14 million brown paper bags used every hour in the US.
Cell Phones: Depicts 426,000 cell phones that are retired each day in the US.
Jet Trails: Shows the 11,000 commercial flights that take off every eight hours in the US.
Plastic Cups: shows the one million plastic cups used on airline flights every six hours in the US.
These are just a few of the images to give you an idea of the work he is doing. The statistics are incredible. The most interesting stat I found was the 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the US every month. Unfortunately he has not captured an image yet to illustrate the statistic.