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Deborah Kennedy, \
Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus" and "Ring of Life", installation view, mixed media, 23' X 38', 1999

Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus, Ring of Life", 1999   Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus, Ring of Life", 23’ X 38’, mixed media, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA, 1999
Deborah Kennedy, \   Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus, Ring of Life", 23' X 38', mixed media, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA, 1999
Deborah Kennedy, \   Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus, Ring of Life", 23' X 38', mixed media, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA, 1999
Deborah Kennedy, \   Deborah Kennedy, "Project Nexus, Ring of Life", 23' X 38', mixed media, de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA, 1999
Deborah Kennedy

Project Nexus

Wood, metal, leaves, epoxy clay, paint, glass, chip bark, lighting, soundtrack

de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA

Project Nexus was an interactive installation giving the gallery visitor a chance to experience holistic thinking first-hand. It was inspired by a scientific illustration by Professor W.D. Billings that used holistic thinking to create a model of the complex relationships that foster a living, botanical environment. A five-foot wide sculpture based on this illustration was the centerpiece of the show. The Ring of Life, part musical instrument, part teaching tool, helped participants experience the interconnectedness, interdependence and complexity at work in living environments that sustain us all.

The Ring of Life used piano technology to create the strings showing the connection between the forces and substances that form a living botanical environment. The strings radiating from the human position are musical.

This sculpture can help us more fully imagine some important truths about the living environment. It shows how closely humans are linked as partners into the web of life, and the high degree of complexity, interdependence, and cooperation at work in the natural systems on which we depend.

Numerous lectures, tours and interdisciplinary projects were developed in relationship to the exhibition-including a quarter-long storytelling project, the creation of a series of musical compositions by student composers for The Ring of Life and a series of lectures by scientific professionals.

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