Sarah Cameron Sunde is an American, New York based interdisciplinary environmental artist. Her most notable work to date is 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea, a public, video, and performance artwork made in collaboration with water and communities across the world.
art, artist, water, visual
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Sarah Cameron Sunde

Sarah Cameron Sunde is an interdisciplinary environmental artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video and public art. She was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her series of nine performances and video artworks made on six continents, 36.5 /A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 – 2022). In 2017, Sunde instigated and co-founded Works on Water (a triennial and artist-driven experimental organization dedicated to art that is made on/in/with bodies of water). She served as Deputy Artistic Director of New Georges for 16 years (2001-2017), co-founded the live art collective Lydian Junction (2011-2015) and theater company Oslo Elsewhere (2004-2012), and is known internationally as Jon Fosse’s American director and theatrical translator (five U.S. premieres in New York and Pittsburgh).

As a visual artist, Sunde’s solo shows include Gallatin Galleries (New York City), Oude Kerk (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (Auckland, Aotearoa-New Zealand), and Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA). Her work has been seen and experienced at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 3LD Art & Technology Center, the Knockdown Center, EFA Project Space, Little Island, Rattlestick, Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theater and presented internationally in Norway, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, China, Uganda, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, Watermill Center, Hermitage Foundation, Baryshnikov Art Center. Honors include a Princess Grace Award, Creative Climate Award First Prize; Funding from MAP Fund, NYSCA, Invoking the Pause, LMCC / Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, Norwegian Consulate, and Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst. She holds a B.A. in Theater from UCLA and an M.F.A. in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York, CUNY. SarahCameronSunde.com + 36pt5.org

Artist Statement

I make site-specific live performance works and video works that play with scale and duration, and engage the public directly in questions around deep time and our human place in the environment. My work is an intimate encounter with our ephemeral nature. It rides a fine line between complete abandon and utter control, action and stillness.

Time is my primary material, both in content and form: I investigate ideas about “temporality of place,” long-term thinking, and play with duration in order to expand individual and collective sensory experience.

I create interactive situations that strive to stimulate dialogue between strangers and open new possibilities between the everyday and the existential. I believe in collaboration across disciplines, juxtaposing seemingly disparate materials, serendipitous encounters, and letting narrative emerge.

Much of my process is informed by many years of creating work as a theater-maker, director, and translator (1999-2017). Since 2011, I have been experimenting with video and actively crossing formal boundaries. Now my practice is rooted in the visual arts and lives at the intersection of performance, video, and socially-engaged public art. My current interests revolve around breaking down barriers between the human and the more-than-human world. Water became a primary focus after Hurricane Sandy hit NYC in 2012 and I realized that with sea-level rise and extreme weather events, our urban cities are just as vulnerable as our individual bodies. With climate change, I aim to connect the hyper-local to the global and translate abstract ideas into embodied experience.

By Geoff Green

Photo by Geoff Green.