Chris Jordan on the Midway Project

In this video by Riley Morton, photographer Chris Jordan discusses his Midway Project; a fine art photography series documenting the tragic phenomenon of the death of the local albatross population due to excessive intake of plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch.

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.

Chris Jordan - Seattle, February 2011
Visit www.midwayjourney.com to find out more.

Produced by Riley Morton, Midway footage courtesy of Jan Vozenilek and Joe Schweers, Music by McKenzie Stubbert