Aviva Rahmani

"Trigger Points", 1990-2000

drawing/photo work about her 10 year wetland dump restoration in Vinalhaven, Maine and it's relevance to Riverhead


How does Riverhead fit into a larger matrix of circumpolar sites impacted by global warming? How can threatened resources, as water, wetlands and soils, become protected sources of abundance? What if we could identify small places, formerly rich habitat, "hotspots" of biological richness, perhaps wasteland now, whose restoration might catalyze significant regional environmental healing? As any city develops, it has the opportunity to incorporate such modeling into city planning. The thesis of "Cities and Oceans of If," is that often degraded sites can be trigger points of change. Restoring them can effect macro landscape change, acupuncture "trigger points," on the global body.


Ghost Nets, 1990-2000, on Vinalhaven Island, Maine, restored a coastal town dump to a flourishing wetlands. It still teaches me monitoring skills to apply internationally. Might art restore, connect and link key areas, even in urbanized locations, transforming problems into revenue and peace? In these times of environmental challenge, identifying such opportunities is a process of ecological triage, an analytic and observational task: "Environmental triage," my term for salvaging a biological system on the edge of collapse. Now, our whole world is at risk. But each community can participate in a design process with local and global implications.


I am a citizen of a world threatened by global warming. The natural world I respond to as an artist is a dynamic web of systems as much as particular landscapes. Observing the performance of life in flux drives my practice into analysis and experimentation. This is a personal relationship.



Aviva Rahmani’s career spans forty years of engagement in social and environmental concerns. Her work has been exhibited in close to one hundred one-person and group shows nationally and internationally and referenced in numerous books and articles. Ecological art installations by Rahmani have been shown at the Hudson River Museum, NY,  Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, Museo d’Arte Contemporaneo, Seville, Spain. Restoration projects, as Ghost Nets, have been funded by the Nancy H. Gray Foundation for Art in the Environment. A 2002 one-person show at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Camden, Maine was a retrospective of that project. Tuesdays she hosts, “Virtual Concerts,” at TalkShoe.com.


Illustration:  Riverhead with Ghost Nets, photographic collage, 2006