Digital artist Chris Jordan knows how to turn e-trash into photographic treasure. His large-scale images of massive amounts of statistically-inspired refuse make it all too clear just how big a problem consumer waste is. His work, which features objects from Barbies and plastic bags to e-waste and shipping containers, brings to light a tough dichotomy, presenting our gluttonous existence as consumers in a beautiful medium. He’ll be keynoting our Greener Gadgets Conference on Friday, and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

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In his most recent exhibition, Running the Numbers, Jordan looks at contemporary American culture through “the austere lens of statistics.” Each image notes a staggering statistic, and portrays a large quantity of something (i.e. 426,000 cell phones, equal to the number of cell phones retired in the USA every day). The image makes the statistic real, almost impressionistic in style, as it appears simple or monotone from afar but detailed up close (see the zoomed images of batteries and cell phones below). “The underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming,” he says.

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