Earlier this year Matt had a post about photographer Chris Jordan’s work examining the waste produced by consumerism (check it out here). Well Chris Jordan is back with a new work titled, “Midway: Message from the Gyre.” The photo blog world has been buzzing about this work for the past week (as well they should, it’s brilliant), but I think it’s time we consider the economic side. The series consists of pictures of albatross babies on Midway Atoll that have died from a high plastic intake. These small bits of plastic are thrown into the ocean and apparently make their way to the middle of the pacific ocean where the birds,
are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young.
Look around the room and consider just how much plastic we consume. Some of it we’ll recycle. But if it doesn’t have the right number in that little triangle, or we forget, or it’s just inconvenient, it’ll end up in the garbage with the rest of our waste. And then we forget about it. But with the exception of some recently designed plastics, none of the plastics that end up in the garbage are going to biodegrade. Many will end up the ocean where they may do this:
Regarding truth in these photos, artist Chris Jordan writes,
not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.
I know they’re not exactly happy images, but check out the rest of the series at Chris’s website.