Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock

Chris Jordan Gets Ready to Visit the Pacific Garbage Patch

News Activism
by Julie Schwietert Sep 1, 2009
Most people go to islands to relax, enjoy mixed drinks, and soak up the sun. Chris Jordan isn’t like most people.

A couple months ago, we featured the photographs of artist Chris Jordan in the popular–and highly controversial–photo essay, “Intolerable Beauty.”

When I last spoke with Jordan, he was thinking about a new project. Exhausted by the stress of the “Intolerable Beauty” project, which confronted him daily with our tendency toward excessive consumption and waste, he knew he’d be moving on to a new subject soon.

But that new project wouldn’t be escapist in any way because “Intolerable Beauty” also taught Jordan just how profoundly art could exert an influence over public opinion and personal lifestyle choices.

So it wasn’t too surprising when we received a message from Anna Brones, Matador member and senior editor at Wend Magazine, alerting us to Jordan’s next project: a visit to Midway Island, where he’ll be photographing the Pacific Garbage Patch, described here in this video from ABC News:

Dubbed the Midway Journey, Jordan’s new project will involve not just his own artistic interpretation of the problem of human waste; he’s bringing a few other artists along with him.

From their perch on Midway Island, Jordan and his colleagues will bear “witness [to] the catastrophic effect of our disposable culture on some of the world’s most beautiful and symbolic creatures,” especially albatross.

“But even more,” Jordan writes over at the Midway Journey blog, the artists are “embarking on an introspective journey to confront a vitally relevant question: In this time of unprecedented global crisis, how can we move through grief, denial, despair and immobility into new territories of acceptance, possibility, and wise action?”

Jordan explains more about the project in this video:

A Message from Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.

Follow along on the Midway Journey blog or by adding @midwayjourney to the people you follow on Twitter.

Community Connection:

Matador contributing editor Carlo Alcos includes the Pacific Garbage Patch–also known as the Great Pacific Trash Gyre–in his list of the World’s Most Offensive Landfills.

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