Rebirth Tunnel Immersive Art Installation

Visualization of Rebirth Tunnel Immersive Art Installation
Image by Montserrat Batchelli-Hennessey
Installation by Anna Hennessey
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, March 17, 2024

The American Academy of Religion awarded me a Regional Development Grant to create an art-immersive “Rebirth Tunnel” installation at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion, Western Region (AAR/WR), which was held last weekend at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (March 15-17 2024).  The project was originally devoted to creating a unique interactive activity that promotes symbolic rebirth and community in an academic space and later became communally supported as a tripartite Joint Session of AAR/WR’s Women’s Caucus, Islamic Studies Unit, and Jewish Studies Unit to acknowledge the region’s hope for peace in the wake of the ongoing violence in Palestine.

Created and presented to participants during a 4 hour period on March 17th, the Rebirth Tunnel recognized individual journeys and challenges in life, as well as communal hopes for peace at this time of struggle in the Middle East. Participants first stepped into a Re-Conception Pod, during which time they began their own process of being re-conceived. For some, shedding past personal trauma or memory was integral to the process. For others, the hope of a reimagined future of peace in our world was part of the personal re-conception process. Participants then walked down a path and encountered a Renewal Box that transformed how they have been re-conceived. Finally, upon exiting the Rebirth Path, all participants received a Rebirth Certificate.

The Rebirth Tunnel Immersive Art Installation project is something that I hope to replicate at various locations, including a few here in San Francisco. I will be creating a video with images of the actual re-conception pods and Rebirth Tunnel installation.