Running the Numbers
An American Self-Portrait
This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics tend to feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 31,000 American suicides per year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or a trillion dollars spent on the Iraq war. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed photographic prints assembled from tens-of-thousands of smaller images. The series is still in its early stages, and new images will be posted as they are completed, so please stay tuned.