“In the "Cities and Oceans of If," Rahmani locates ecological acupuncture points to effect healing change (landscape Trigger Points). … Rahmani then relates these points to each other.”
Since 2000, “Cities & Oceans of If,” has been the conceptual umbrella for ideas about sites that were most clearly articulated in Ghost Nets.
The “If” in the project title, refers to the world we might live in if natural resources were valued and protected. It has included museum and gallery installations, public and virtual art, as well as the Virtual Concerts (link) and Virtual Concerts II (SOS) and “Gulf to Gulf.” Broadly conceiving the definition of a site, this project invites considering how the idea of a site location can be re-defined. Physical, imaginative and virtual sites can be interdependent.
International proposals for public art interventions have included sites in Bergen Belsen, Germany; Geumgang, Korea; New Delhi, India and Pescia, Italy. The goal of restoring sites, to connect fragmented natural resources, has its greatest implications for water. The health of the fisheries mirror the relative success or failure of how we protect water with adequate buffering. The fisheries are one way to track linkage.
When interior wall murals are part of my installations, they have been large, labor intensive, ambitious, temporary and conceived as three-dimensional proposals for ecological change. When the installation comes down and the wall is repainted, I let go of my “investment’. The traces of the mural disappear, just as our ecologies vanish when we neglect to care for them.
"Virtual Cities and Oceans of If" has experimented with using the internet to perform residencies, without the international travel that spews jet fuel over the earth's waters and into her atmosphere.
“The physiological cost of traveling to multiple work sites had become as far beyond my personal resources as the fuel use is that taxes our earth. I recognized an opportunity to discover new solutions to our global warming crisis. …The virtual world can leverage sustainable restoration and remediation of degraded ecologies. Virtuality is brilliantly exploited by terrorists. It can equally dramatically serve a different agenda.”
“My ideas about public art are grounded in radical theatre ideas of the 1960’s and progressive approaches to urban planning. In the course of my career, I have watched and experimented with ideas about public art as it changed from free-standing sculpture to a nuanced relationship between artist, artifacts, site and community. In my practice, conceiving sites for restoration and the temporary or permanent installation of artifacts is dependant upon whether I can see potential for triggering large landscape healing and ecological restoration, beyond the initial ecovention1. I call my process of site analysis, “Trigger Point” theory and conceive of my work as a means to perform “good housekeeping” for the earth with native materials and landscape elements. Bio-diversity, water protection and a clean habitat are as important to me as the human, cultural experience. Each site as an opportunity for me to learn more about ecological systems as much as to solve aesthetic questions.” – Aviva Rahmani 2009
1Ecovention was a term first used in the catalog authored by Sue Spaid for the “Ecovention” show curated by Amy Lipton and Spaid for the Cincinnatti Art Center, 2002. It refers to an artist-initiated act to remediate environmental degradation.
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