Eli Nixon

Currently on View throughout the PPL Stairwell

This forever incomplete public sculpture project, led by artist Eli Nixon, transformed recyclables into a menagerie of organisms in an effort to grok (and make more visible) the vastness of the horseshoe crab's time on Earth as well as the relative recentness of human existence. From April 2022 - January 2023, Eli worked with participants (ages 9 weeks to 83 years) to sculpt and paper mache dozens of lifeforms, through an asynchronous yet collaborative process, in which each organism was created by multiple people. Both the process and the product attempt to decentralize colonized notions of time and ownership, upset linearity, revel in impossibility, and reckon with our enmeshment with the more-than-human world. This project is part of activating Eli's illustrated proposal for a new holiday in homage to horseshoe crabs, Bloodtide, which is available for check-out at the Library.

The installation is viewable every day PPL is open!


Organism Extravaganza

Saturday, April 15
PPL Atrium

We celebrated 450 million years of flora and fauna built by the hands of hundreds of Modern Humans and currently installed in the PPL stairwell!

We had a raucous and thoughtful alternative to Tax Day, an afternoon of organism appreciation, land acknowledgment, poetry, music, 'crabaoke,' and crafting in homage to the enduring horseshoe crab and their primordial friends.

Enjoy this glimpse of the celebration!


Support and Funding

Eli worked with a participants from the general public who would drop-in for organism building sessions as well as through workshops with the following groups:

URI’s Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center, New England Estuarine Research Society, PVD Young Makers, New Urban Arts, Movement Education Outdoors, Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club, Sojourner House Camp, and The MET School.

Thanks to PPL for welcoming this absurd and necessary endeavor to hatch and grow within their walls.

Thanks to the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism for project funds, and to First Works for workshop support.