As individual and anonymous consumers, it’s seemingly impossible to even estimate the physical ramifications of our daily consumption and waste. While our personal imprints may not seem in themselves worthy of alarm, the combined effect of human’s habits and rituals is hard to look away from.
Cell phones #2, Atlanta 2005
Photographer Chris Jordan works with the debris we as a society leave behind, photographing massive dumps of cell phones, crushed cars and circuit boards. Squished together in dizzying quantities, the discarded goods resemble hypnotic puzzles, abstracted color fields and hallucinatory fractals. Jordan compares the complex layers of wreckage to the overwhelming detail of the Grand Canyon.
The series, dubbed “Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption,” shows the unmistakable imprint of our American culture in all its horror and strange, dark appeal. “I am appalled by these scenes, and yet also drawn into…