Select Page
Orcas Currents is a series of public lectures, seminars, and workshops intended to reach wide audiences of interested islanders. It appeals to the diverse sectors of the community wanting to hear what local, regional, national, and international authorities have to say about science, technology, and their impacts on human culture. These events are free and open to all.



Chris Jordan: “Albatross — The Film”

A Film and Lecture by Chris Jordan

Watch the entire film:

On Thursday evening, May 31, 2018, photographer and director Chris Jordan returned to Orcas Island for a showing of his new film Albatross, which he previewed here two years ago in a memorable Orcas Currents event, “Encountering Midway.” His feature-length documentary film is a powerful visual journey into the gut-wrenching environmental tragedy occurring on remote Midway Island, which lies a thousand miles northwest of Hawaii. There, tens of thousands of albatross chicks lie dead, their bloated bodies filled with plastic from the surrounding Pacific Ocean waters.

Visiting the island several times during eight years, Jordan and his film crew witnessed cycles of birth, life, and death of these magnificent birds, which serve as a multi-layered metaphor for our times — an era that geologists have begun to call the “Plasticene.” Albatross takes viewers through the immensity of this horrible tragedy, letting us face our own complicity for it head-on. In the process, we find an unexpected route to a deeply felt experience of beauty and love for life on Earth. The film delivers a profound message of reverence and renewal that has been reaching and stimulating an audience of millions around the world. Released in April, Albatross has been shown at the Telluride Film Festival, among many other venues.

Chris Jordan is a photographer and filmmaker based in Seattle. His work explores the collective shadow of contemporary mass culture from photographic and conceptual perspectives. In it, he walks the edge between beauty and horror, abstraction and representation, the near and the far, the visible and the invisible, challenging us to look both inward and outward at the complex landscapes of our collective choices. His photographs have been exhibited and published worldwide. Jordan has received the International Prix Pictet Commission Prize, the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, and the 2007 Green Leaf Award of the National World Museum and United Nations Environment Programme. He is an engaging public speaker who communicates the beauty and destruction he has witnessed in a manner that still manages to leave us feeling inspired.

Cosponsored by:

  • Janet Alderton
  • Joe Cohen and Martha Farish
  • Toby and Sarah Cooper




Following an extremely successful third year of Orcas Currents lectures in 2017, we are looking forward to an equally strong and enlightening series of events this year. Those lecturers included the nationally renowned Hedrick Smith, as well as one of our own local authorities, Jonathan White.

This year, the Orcas Currents Steering Committee has been working diligently to bring you the best lecturers on science, technology, and culture we can find and afford to bring to Orcas Island. Our special focus has been on broadening our offerings into the cultural arena implied by our mission statement.


Russel Barsh on “The Marine Food Web”

Summer brings millions of migratory seabirds, fish, and marine mammals to the San Juan Islands, where hundreds of miles of tightly folded shorelines and nutrient-rich waters foster a dense soup of algae and microscopic crustaceans.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This