Submitted by John Kincheloe for the Convocation Committee
Chris Jordan will present Meredith's Fall Convocation on Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. in Jones Auditorium. So who is Chris Jordan?
Chris Jordan is an artist. He creates large-scale photographs that engage, jolt and astonish you.
His work turns the statistics of lives into remarkable works of art that challenge the viewer. From 20 feet away you see one of his photographs – an enlarged, three-panel portrait of Ben Franklin, taken right from the $100 bill. But get closer and you see that the familiar image is constructed from smaller images of $100 bills -- 125,000 of them, in fact. And the artist tells us that is the amount of money we were spending on the Iraq War every hour. Instantly the statistic comes alive. Chris Jordan has worked his magic.
Much of Chris Jordan’s work has to do with environmental issues, sustainability, the scale of mass consumption, and health. These are difficult topics, and our eyes often glaze over when we read the hard statistics. But Chris Jordan’s art lures us back to confront the statistical realities of our time through powerful images. An appealing abstract design leads us to see the scale of waste in our use of disposable cups. A classic, environmentally-beautiful image of Mount McKinley takes us to the fact that we purchase 3.6 million environmentally-brutal SUVs every year. Jordan transforms raw data into accessible visual language, and makes us think.
Jordan’s works are hanging in museums and influential galleries around the world, but he is also recognized as a charismatic presenter on stage. He was selected as a prestigious TED speaker both for his original art and ideas, and for his engaging presence before audiences.
On September 19 at 7 p.m. Chris Jordan will amaze and inform us as he gives a visual talk, “Running the Numbers: bringing statistics to life through photography.” Earlier in the day, he will sit in on two classes, take a group of Meredith students to the NC Museum of Art, and from 2 – 3:20 p.m., he will have an informal conversation with students, faculty and staff in Jones Auditorium. See www.meredith.edu/convocations for details.
Jordan’s visit is made possible by the efforts of the Convocation Committee, with major additional support from the Meredith Environmental Sustainability Initiative, and with additional contribution from the Art Department.
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