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Pretty Pictures of Ugly Things

Article-Pretty Pictures of Ugly Things

20090630-jordan7.jpgWaste industry folks will recognize something in these impressive photos by Chris Jordan that may not be immediately apparent to the layman (as evidenced by the subsequent comments): While, the images of so much waste are disturbing, the fact that these materials have clearly been separated means they are destined to be recycled, not landfilled. Still, it's an effective commentary on consumption and disposal. Plus the photos themselves are beautifully shot.

I think the more interesting question here is why we so rarely are allowed to see these kinds of pictures. As Jordan admits, many of his photographs were taken clandestinely, since the processing facilities would not give him permission to shoot the material. Why? Certainly there are safety and legal issues to be considered, but those can be easily accommodated (they do it for Mike Rowe, after all). What is the inherent reticence in allowing Americans see the end product of our current consumption habits?