Albatross or Humanity’s damaged relationship with the living world

I saw eye to eye with an albatross, crawled into his nest and watched him dance his mating dance. As a matter of fact I was in the middle of a whole colony, getting so close that I could make out the structure of their feathers and touch them and, for some, die painfully with them. The cinematography, sound and approach of this film are exquisite and unique and make this the best holistic film about these sea birds and on plastic pollution of the oceans I have seen. It is the work of Chris Jordan, an American artist whose work, in his own words, »explores the collective shadow of contemporary mass culture from a variety of photographic and conceptual perspectives«.
 
The inner journey Chris Jordan and his team took is also very immanent in the film. »Studying the newly-emerging issue of ocean plastic pollution, we learned of a stunning environmental tragedy taking place on a tiny atoll in the center of the vast North Pacific Ocean. We immediately began planning an expedition there, and on our first trip to Midway Island in September of 2009, we and our team photographed and filmed thousands of young albatrosses that lay dead on the ground, their stomachs filled with plastic. The experience was devastating, not only for what it meant for the suffering of the birds, but also for what it reflected back to us about the destructive power of our culture of mass consumption, and humanity’s damaged relationship with the living world.«
 
As a way for the team to heal from this devastating experience a second trip was made, making it an open-ended journey with eight trips so far. »Albatross«, for Jordan, is a piece of art: »My wish was not only to tell the factual story of the albatrosses from an observational standpoint, but to convey the intensely vivid sensual, emotional, and spiritual experience of being with them on the island.« He has succeeded.
 
Released on Earth Day 2018 Chris Jordan offers us »Albatross« in full length (97 minutes) as a free public artwork at www.albatrossthefilm.com. Let’s honor his creation by taking time, using a brilliant monitor, connecting a fine speaker system, and getting fully immersed in the experience. And by starting to think about plastic pollution.

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