Since 2006, Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan has focused on taking digital photographs that, as he says, look at “contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics.” Each of the 21 images he has assembled depicts a specific quantity of something that represents our society's consumption habits. For example, Plastic Bottles, 2007, below, depicts 2 million plastic beverage bottles — “the number used in the U.S. every five minutes,” says Jordan. “My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone. My underlying desire is to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.”

TO LEARN MORE about Chris Jordan's work and upcoming exhibits, go to Currently, he is creating three new Running the Numbers subseries that will focus on the world's oceans, Africa, and the worldwide killing and trading of animals. To tell us what you think of his work, send an email to