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Artist Chris Jordan uses his practice to visualize human beings’ relationship with the natural world. With digital photography and collage, he helps translate abstract data and problems into visual formats, allowing viewers to comprehend their own consumption habits better. His Running the Numbers series explores problems too big to conceptualize, including ocean plastics and overfishing. After a series of trips to Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, he created his feature film ALBATROSS, which examines the effect of society’s consumption and waste habits on the titular birds.

Chris Jordan: Midway exhibited at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. The exhibition was included in SEA CHANGE, a series of exhibitions and programs from October 20 through December 9, 2017 presented in collaboration with the South Carolina Aquarium to raise awareness of our enormous plastic waste problem and the detrimental effects on our planet.

Chris Jordan
Moon with Ice Halo over the Atacama Desert, Chile, 2017
16 x 20 inches
Digital print

About Moon with Ice Halo over the Atacama Desert, Chile, Jordan states:

“I arrived in La Serena, Chile to attend an international congress on the oceans, having traveled something like 20 hours to get there. It was 5:00 PM and I was exhausted, and was tempted to take a nap, but I knew that if I did, I would sleep until midnight and then be wide awake, and my cycle would be off for the whole week. So instead I headed out for a walk on the beach. As I walked out of the hotel door, a guy randomly asked me, ‘Are you looking for the bus to the observatory?’ I thought for a second, and said ‘Yes,’ and he gestured toward a bus and said, ‘You’d better hurry, it is leaving right now!’

“Luckily I had my camera on me, and I ran for the bus. They drove us an hour inland, gaining a few thousand feet of altitude, to a dry, cold, and incredibly dark desert area where there were several observatories. Unfortunately we didn’t see many stars because it was a full moon and the sky was covered by a veil of hazy ice clouds. I didn’t have a tripod, so instead I took off my jacket, put my camera on the ground facing straight up, and took that photo using the 10-second timer. It took me a few tries to get the moon right in the middle. The moon had what they call a 22-degree halo, like a rainbow, reflecting from ice-particles in stratocirrus clouds.”