The Zurich Node of the Planetary Collegium. Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts, Zurich, Switzerland.

Aviva Rahmani

About the Research Rahmani integrates performance art with geographic information systems (GIS) science and systems theory, to decide where to intervene in degraded environments and effect landscape scale healing change. “Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism,” emerged as an original approach to restoration, from Rahmani’s test case study site for her Ghost Nets ecological art project (1990-2000). That work restored a strategically significant coastal wetlands, at a former town dump, on a remote fishing island in the Gulf of Maine. Her research investigates the dynamics of such targeted restorations for application to other places, as the Gulf of Mexico. Her premise is that an artist's skills can enhance scientific observations to identify, interpret and catalyze very small ecological "nucleation patches" in landscape "mosaics" as environmental triage. Rahmani regards this intervention as a promising activist process even when the site has been fragmented and destroyed to the point of baseline change. She works with interdisciplinary data, and in collaborative new media webcast sessions with other scientists and artists to track evidence of proof of effect from the application of these leveraged interventions. Her dissertation includes assessing the problems and detailing the design of a model to apply elsewhere. About the Researcher Aviva Rahmani is an Affiliate of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder and a certificate candidate in GIS at City University of New York. A recipient of the Arts and Healing Network 2009 award, she is internationally known for her ecological art, including Ghost Nets and helping to catalyze a USDA expenditure of $500,000 to restore critical wetlands habitat (Blue Rocks). “Gulf to Gulf,” her New York Foundation for the Arts sponsored new media project, is a collaboration with scientists about global warming. Rahmani’s work has been shown in over 30 solo and 50 group shows internationally and been published in five countries. Rahmani attended the Cooper Union School of Art and New York University as an undergraduate and received her Masters from the California Institute of the Arts with a double major in Multi Media and Electronic Music, working with Allan Kaprow, Mort Sobotnick and Judy Chicago. She lives on Vinalhaven Island, Maine and in New York City, New York. Website www.ghostnets.com