Aviva Rahmani, ecological artist
Aviva Rahmani, ecological artist

Cities & Oceans of If

Cities and Oceans of If, (2000-2010) located ecological acupuncture (trigger) points to effect bioregional healing change, and sought to connect those points to each other.

The “If,” refers to the world we might live in if natural resources were valued and protected. Broadly conceiving the definition of a site, this project explored how a site location could be re-defined as the interdependence between physical, imaginative and virtual aspects.

International proposals for public art interventions 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 are one way to track linkage.

Virtual Cities and Oceans of If 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.” - August 2006 “Virtual Cities & Oceans of If” press release


Stills from Cities & Oceans of If have been shown in the following exhibitions: Ecovention, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2000; Imaging the River, curated by Amy Lipton, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, 2003-2004; Visions about Nature, curated by Anke Mellin, Korean Nature Artists Association-Yatoo, Chungnam, South Korea, 2005; Called to Action, curated by Lillian Ball, Art Sites, Riverhead, NY; The Drop curated by Jodi Hanel, Exit Art, New York City, NY, April 8 - June 10, 2006 and Groundworks, curated by Grant Kestor, Regina Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA, 2005.


Spaid, Sue. Ecovention: current art to transform ecologies. Cincinnati, Ohio: Contemporary Art Center, greenmuseum.org and ecoartspace, 2000.

Auses, Jack; Kester, Grant and Strayer, Jenny Eds. Groundworks Pennsylvania: Carnegie Mellon University, 2005.

Mellin, Anke, Visions About Nature. South Korea: The Korean Nature Artists Association-Yatoo, 2005.

Genocchio, Benjamin. “Digging In to Nurture Nature.” New York Times May 20, 2007.

Rahmani, Aviva. “Mapping Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism.” PJIM, Vol.4, Issue 2, Winter pp.1-9, 2012.

Rahmani, Aviva. “A Community of Resistance: Collaborative Work with Science and Scientists.” WEAD Magazine. Online publication Issue 7, CREATING COMMUNITY, available at: http://weadartists.org/communities-art-science, 2014.

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