Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Visual depictions of quantity in art

The picture is of a pair of breasts, composed of 32,000 Barbie dolls. 32,000 is the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. in 2006.

This picture, along with a partial zoom and closeup and other similar works by Chris Jordan, may be found at his website. The photos depict such things as 2 million discarded plastic bottles (the number used in the United States every five minutes), a skull made from images of 200,000 packs of cigarettes (the number of Americans who die from cigarette smoking every six months), a version of Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" made from 106,000 images of aluminum cans (the number used in the U.S. every 30 seconds), and so forth.

Hat tip to Barry Williams, who posted this on the SKEPTIC list.

UPDATE (June 11, 2009): Jordan gave a TED Talk about his work last year:

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