Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan discusses “invisible” large-scale challenges at Tate Forum

Photographer Chris Jordan at SMUAward-winning photographic artist Chris Jordan compares himself to a guy at a party who points out the bloody rhinoceros in the room.

Jordan’s large-scale photographs attempt to evoke the magnitude of large-scale environmental and cultural problems, from mountains of garbage generated by U.S. consumerism to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Jordan, the National Geographic international eco-ambassador for Earth Day 2008, spoke at SMU on Jan. 27 as part of the 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. While he answered student questions about his work, he told them he couldn’t offer solutions to the unsettling cultural issues he photographs. Instead, Jordan said it’s his hope his photos prompt people to talk about the subject matter.

“Artists are just allowed to raise the issue,” Jordan said. “That’s the only opinion I have – we should be talking about it.” Read more under the link.

(Right, Chris Jordan speaks at the Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum on the day of his Tate Distinguished Lecture. Photo by Jake Dean.)


Photographer-activist Chris Jordan speaks at SMU Jan. 27

Photographer Chris JordanPhotographer and environmental activist Chris Jordan will discuss his experiences documenting the hidden costs of consumerism and the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina in SMU’s 2008-09 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Jan. 27. The lecture takes place at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Jordan rose to fame through his large-scale photographs that explore the impact of disposable mass culture. His most recent series, Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait, depicts statistics such as the number of cell phones retired each day (420,000) and the number of trees cut yearly to make paper for junk mail (100 million).

The photographer donated 100 percent of his profits from the sold-out book In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss From an Unnatural Disaster to Gulf Coast relief charities. He also served as spokesperson for National Geographic’s Earth Day 2008.

Jordan will participate in the Turner Construction/Wachovia Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Doors open at 4 p.m., and the entire SMU community is invited.

Learn more about this season’s Tate lecturers and the Student Forum series for the community at