The Midway Project by Chris Jordan

The Midway Project is a fine art photography project located over a collection of three islands between USA and Asia where what is called the pacific garbage patch is found. The area is polluted with plastic waste, most of which gets washed up on the pristine shores of these islands, or in fact gets ingested by local albatross mistaking bottle tops, plastic toys, toothbrushes etc. for food for themselves and their offspring, tragically resulting in deaths of such innocent wildlife. This videos involves Chris Jordan giving an explanation on his project and how and why he photographs these birds in this way. What he says toward the end of the footage resonated with me in relation to my dissertation preparation research: Jordan avoids attempting to prompt negative emotions such as dismay and helplessness through his photographs as not to add negativity to the already traumatic imagery, as to allow people to be able to accept the emotions the photographs bring and therefore be less likely to be passive concerning the issue he is arising. I find this an important section of research for my dissertation because as an artist, Chris Jordan is considering the effects on the conscious mind that his photographs may have, which is a relationship to consider within my own work because the issues within a society need to be accepted by the conscious mind in order to be eliminated by it.
This idea of accepting an emotion or concept of which you internally don’t agree with or are denying is something that I keep encountering recently with certain issues and personal emotion. I know this would be more about personal growth but I can relate it to dealing with issues within a society that are constituted by the human consciousness, therefore suggesting a way to strengthen the mind-world relationship because this idea is presenting a new way to manage said issues consciously.

These images also contribute to my study of colour in this interrelationship: the natural colours of the birds feathers in contrast with the unnatural colours among the plastic waste, both highlighting and idealising each others attraction to the human eye.

Chris Jordan also does a TED talk which I’ll have to watch!

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