The Strength of Very Small Things (Brighter Connected)

The Strength of Very Small Things
by Allison Maria Rodriguez
public art multi-channel video installation, 2020

Artist Statement

The Strength of Very Small Things is a multi-media installation exploring the concept of universal interconnection from both a spiritual and scientific perspective – suggesting that science and spirituality can be similar approaches to knowing and understanding the world. The work focuses on the visual perception of light  – specifically the Northern Lights – alongside the observation of microscopic organisms, daphnia (or water fleas), that are barely visible to the naked eye. These organisms are routinely studied as an indicator species – revealing the effects and impacts of climate change. Featuring two scientists searching through cold waters and rough arctic wind for daphnia, the installation highlights the intertwined futures of both humans and water fleas. While recognizing humanity’s negative impacts on the natural world, and the crucial crossroads that we currently stand at – the work also offers hope, light and the possibility of reconnecting to the earth through the collective strength of very small things.

Project Description

This public art multi-media installation is being created as a part of Brighter Connected. Brighter Connected is a project commissioned by the Jewish Arts Collaborative which selected 8 artists from diverse backgrounds to create community based art installations in vacant storefronts across the city of Boston on the themes of light, connection and resilience in honor of Hanukkah. The Strength of Very Small Things was installed at Boston Cyberarts Gallery in Jamaica Plain, MA from Dec 9, 2020 – Jan 2, 2021. All 8 projects are designed and executed with social distancing in mind, and can be completely seen and experienced from outside.

All raw footage/photography used in the work was gathered during an Earthwatch Fellowship at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre, where the artist personally experienced both profound scientific and spiritual discoveries. She is immensely grateful to both Earthwatch and the CNSC for this incredible opportunity.