I understand that Blake would have us see heaven in a grain of sand,
but some days nature must bow before the accretions.
— Derek Sheffield, Through the Second Skin
Some scientists estimate that Earth contains 7.5 sextillion grains of sand, and astronomers estimate there are roughly 10,000 stars for each grain of sand on Earth.
Scientists’ best guess is that the natural world contains about 8.7 million species, plus or minus about a million, but only 14% (~1.2 million) have been identified. Up to 8,700 of those species, known and unknown, are going extinct each year.
At the end of January 2022, the population of humans on the Earth was estimated to be nearly 8 billion (7,924,109,627). This is more than double what it was when I was born.
On average, a person takes about 16 breaths per minute, so about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, and 8 and a half million a year. Someone who lives to the age of 80 will take over 670 million (672,768,000) breaths in their lifetime.
The droplets from a single cough or a sneeze emitted by an infected person may contain as many as 200 million virus particles. There are in excess of 370 million (377,293,627) confirmed cases of COVID in the world, and so far, nearly 5.7 million (5,689,440) people have died from the disease.
Globally, over 3.6 billion (3,622,433,972) tons of CO2 were emitted into the air, and nearly 63 billion (62,953,865,723) tons of the globe’s ice melted, last month.
The top ten richest people in the world collectively saw their wealth more than double, from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion, during the pandemic. This is roughly the same amount of wealth as is owned by 3.5 billion of the least wealthy humans.
The amount of data in the world was estimated to be 44 zettabytes at the beginning of 2020. One zettabyte is equal to one sextillion bytes (21 zeros after the 1) or 1,000 exabytes.
A single Tesla D1 computer chip contains over 50 billion transistors.
The human eye has a resolution of about 130 million pixels or sensors, with 6 million being cones that see color, and 124 million being rods that see black and white.
It has been determined that there are roughly 18 decillion varieties of colors for the eye to perceive. That’s an 18 followed by 33 zeros.
By my estimation, there are over 7 million (~7,164,366) spots of color visible on the surfaces of the paintings in this exhibition, and there are many times more buried underneath those top layers. They are the products of a few simple variables repeated and slightly altered from section to section, panel to panel. As in life, amid the cacophony, these pieces struggle to find—between rational and organic; signal and noise; order and chaos—balance.
Scott Bailey, 2022