D R / F T
For millennia, plankton have floated through the world’s oceans, carried by the current. They inhabited the sea before the continents held life, when the winds blew over bare rock. They endured as the world developed language, myth, agriculture, machinery, and mass culture. They continue to drift today – outside our awareness, despite the vital bond we share. Plankton produce over half of earth’s oxygen; every other breath we take is credited to plankton. They are essential to the food chain, and other elemental cycles. All life depends on plankton to survive.
As plankton affect us, we affect them. Human greenhouse gas emissions are changing ocean temperatures globally, and altering plankton’s life cycles. These changes ripple throughout the world’s ecosystems. By fabricating plankton at human-scale, this installation reflects our bodily link to earth’s past, present, and future.
- Environmental injustice is bound to racial injustice. Climate change and pollution disproportionately affect people of color, as well as people living in poverty.
- Does your city have a plan to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions? If not, write to your city council members (or your state senators and representatives) and express your interest.
- Maine has a plan! Check out groups like the Maine Climate Council and Portland’s Sustainability Office (see their Climate Action Plan with South Portland).
Daisy Braun is an interdisciplinary artist from Peaks Island, Maine. Her work explores life’s cycles and their inextricable interconnections. Currently, she is creating a diverse body of large-scale wearable sculptures inspired by plankton. While researching earth’s ecosystems, Braun was first drawn to plankton for their seemingly eternal presence throughout earth’s history, appearing over 500 million years before humans. In fact, all creatures on earth today depend on plankton to survive. In hopes of forging a more understanding relationship with our planet, Braun brings plankton into the literal and figurative spotlight by staging live performances with her wearable pieces. She aims to make work that permeates daily life. For this reason, she most enjoys exhibiting in public spaces, and embraces collaboration. Often, the people wearing her sculptures are locals who are simply excited about plankton and art. Braun recently exhibited in Budapest, Hungary, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Image credits: Joel Tsui and Carolyn Wachnicki