Seeds for a Brighter Tomorrow
I can’t think of a more fitting symbol for hope in the new year than milkweed seeds. Each seed is poised to be carried aloft by the wind, harboring potential for new growth wherever it lands. Milkweed plants uniquely nourish caterpillars of Monarch butterflies, creatures of beauty and brilliant examples of the interconnectedness within native ecosystems.
As we close 2020—a year that will be seared into our collective memories—and roll into 2021, I want to thank all the contributors to The Pandemic Lens. You’ve helped transform my humble efforts to document a few square blocks of my city into a vibrant collection of artwork, photographs, music, and essays from around the globe. I would also like to pay special tribute at this time to my friend and talented artist, Tanya Hayes Lee, for not only suggesting the name, “Pandemic Lens,” but for offering her ongoing incisive editorial and curatorial guidance. Neither of us imagined that a simple blog could blossom into such a rich publication with a broad readership.
When I launched The Pandemic Lens in July 2020, I figured it would have a shelf life of a few months—surely we’d have things under control by then. But by the fall, it was clear that the Lens would likely be relevant for some time. Now, at the close of 2020, I believe that the Lens still has a role to play. With the vaccine rolling out and new leadership coming in, there is an end in sight for the acute phase of the pandemic. Life will slowly return to some semblance of normality; but it will be a new normal—and perhaps The Pandemic Lens will be about documenting how so many aspects of our lives have changed forever.
Artists and writers have always been the ones to envision the future. I’m eager to see what they reveal as the new year unfolds.
(View a video animation of the milkweed seeds here)
Copyright © 2020 Steve Bennett
Steve Bennett is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based visual artist. He began taking photographs more than 40 years ago, in the age of film, and transitioned to digital photography in the late 90s. Today, in addition to taking and making traditional street, macro, and landscape photographs, he creates photo-based abstract composites designed to take viewers on fanciful flights of the imagination through virtual realms. His work has been displayed in numerous juried exhibitions, and at Google’s Kendall Square, Cambridge offices as well as various technology, biotech, and financial service companies in the Boston area.