Chris Jordan’s Unimaginable Magnitude

November 28th, 2010

Gyre, 2009

Out in the Pacific Ocean there swirls a massive amount of plastic trash floating on the waves and under the surface. It has been called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the Trash Vortex or more simply the Gyre.  It is estimated by Marcus Eriksen of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation to spread out over a space twice the size of the continental United States. Though it is not so dense as to be a largely visible pile of trash, it is a soup of plastic ranging from miniature pellets to floating navigation hazards. Birds collect the trash and feed it to their young, which are found dead along the inlands and atolls with guts full of plastic. The amount of plastic in this gyre defies imagination in a very literal sense. Human beings do a very poor job of quantifying magnitudes, especially in a world where billions of participants in international trade contribute to the global waste stream at a rate our homo sapien minds have not yet evolved to grasp. That’s where artist Chris Jordan comes in.



November 26th, 2010 has an incredible post up featuring the work of TokyoGenso, an extremely talented artist who has let their imagination run wild with images of a future Japan overrun by vegetation and natural entropy in an apparent absence of former civilization.

While the images may be described as post-apocalyptic, they are also glimpses into a quiet future where the earth reclaims the cities with lush foliage and life springs from the cracked concrete. Some of the images are as dismal as you might find in your typical post-apocalyptic (papoc?) game, but the rendering and lighting of all the images is truly beautiful.

Check it out.

If you read Japanese, you may prefer to go to the artist’s own site.

The artist also has a deviantART profile, though with limited content here.

Shimizu’s Dream

November 26th, 2010

In facing down the vagaries of the future, some people are not afraid. Or rather, they choose to meet it head on. Japan’s Shimizu Corporation has a page devoted to the most wonderful futuristic concepts that exist as solutions to the problems of future habitat and energy.