CHRIS JORDAN,, a message from the gyre

Who is Your Hero?

Chris Jordan’s film, about the plight of the Laysan albatross, so far brings light to an area of severe abuse to creatures that have no advocates. As recently as the tsunami in Japan, with its dire impact on Humanity, nothing about the impact it had on these beautiful creatures received a sound bite of recognition after it wiped out 210,000 of the Albatross on Midway. Chris Jordan’s film can be an introduction to this topic, to a public who needs to know, that their packaging that brings life giving products to them, brings death to sea birds and marine life worldwide.

How has your nominee’s efforts made a difference for the better?

Consider how accepted whale oil was as an industry until oil was discovered in the ground in Pennsylvania a little over one hundred fifty years ago. Great news for whales,not so good for the planet as the by product of this oil became plastic an industry that has grown to staggering size with yet to be determined impacts. If we can learn anything from the whales it is to find an alternate product to plastic and other oil based products. Chris. photographer and artist, makes this clear with few words and powerful visual images.

How will being recognized as a YachtWorld Hero further your nominee’s cause?

The more attention drawn to this subject the better, particularly for the recreational boater who has opportunities to spread awareness of this film and curtail the plastics pollution in their boating communities. The effects of humanities lack of effective use of its resources (Plastic and oil based products) becomes obvious as this future movie will show.

Artist’s Statement

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.

I envision our project not as being a bunch of us tramping around the island with cameras; instead I hope it will be an emotional and spiritual journey by a deeply connected group of artists, to honor the issues that Midway represents. Maybe it is not too ambitious to hope—if we can fully rise to the occasion—that we might be able to co-create a multi-media work of art that tenderly witnesses this middle point that humanity finds itself at right now. And in the eye of the storm —the apex of the Gyre—perhaps our collaborative efforts can create a container for healing that might have some small effect on the collective choice that is to come.

Please share any website or online articles about your nominee’s activities.

Chris Jordan was nominated by Gil Donnelly of Princeville, Hi, in the category of Defending our Oceans.

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