Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chris Jordan's "The Message from Gyre"

In case you haven't seen it yet: Chris Jordan's The Message from Gyre.  He has been photographing the plight of albatross chicks that have died from consuming toxic waste at Midway Atoll, near the middle of the North Pacific.  A really horrific typology, especially in photos in which a greater amount of time has elapsed since their death, when remains have deteriorated to solely human trash and avian skeletons.  What makes them even more powerful and disturbing is the knowledge that the area is so far from any substantial cosmopolitan area.

Chris writes:
These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies 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. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, 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.

For Chris' blog of his journey:
A bit of background on Chris from his talk at TED:
The Exposure Project – "Photographic Typologies: Chris Jordan"
GOOD magazine:  "What Happens to Birds When They Eat Plastic"

All images (c) Chris Jordan.

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