Fish Story Memphis: Memphis is the center of the world

  • Aviva Rahmani


In this article, artist Aviva Rahmani describes her methodology for an ecological art project about environmental restoration in Memphis, TN. The city of Memphis attracted her because it is in the middle of the third largest watershed in the world on the Mississippi River, the sixth largest river on earth. Fish Story was a transdisciplinary collaboration with paleoecologist Dr. James White and wetlands biologist Dr. Eugene Turner for Memphis Social, a citywide exhibition. The project launched May 4, 2013, and culminated with an installation that opened to the public May 11, 2013. It was a test for Rahmani's Trigger Point Theory, an approach to environmental degradation that locates nucleation sites to catalyze bioregional restoration for large degraded ecosystems. The Fish Story goal was to identify trigger points in Memphis and explore their activation. Fish were identified as iconic taxa, whose welfare reflects the welfare of the waters humans depend upon. As fish go, so go people. The story of fish is the story of our human future.


Transdisciplinary fish habitat  Mississippi water basin Trigger Point Theory  nucleation performing ecology participatory mapping Anthropocene era Geographic Information Systems GIS science 


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Copyright information

© AESS 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VinalhavenUSA
  2. 2.New YorkUSA

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