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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Selected press interviews, features, and talks

2023: THE ART NEWSPAPER Art Davos 2023: Culture programme includes work focused on the patriarchy and climate change
2022: NYU CENTER FOR HUMANITIES, Standing with the Sea: Reflections on Sarah Cameron Sunde’s 36.5 (Academic panel with 8 scholars)
2022: SWISS NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION, Performance: Conversation, Materiality, and Knowledge – with Sarah Cameron Sunde
2018: BERLIN ART LINK, Sarah Cameron Sunde on Water As Canvas and A Collaborator (Interviewed by TL Andrews)
2012: THE NEW YORK TIMES,  In-print feature on Karen Allen talking about her role in Sunde’s production of A Summer Day by Jon Fosse
2008: THE BROOKLYN RAIL: In Conversation with Paul Willis about Sunde’s producction of Sa Ka La by Jon Fosse


Extensive bibliography on 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea is online at




Selected Print Media
Marianne Sunde, “Tok Fosse til teaterscenea i New York (Introduced Fosse to the New York Theater Scene)” Dag og Tid, 2023 (Norway)
Hannah Freed-Thall, “Modernism at the Beach: Queer Ecologies and the Coastal Commons,” chapter 5, pp 174-178, March 2023
Shana Chanda, “Stream of Life” ISLAND, summer 2022  (Aotearoa New Zealand)
Una Chaudhuri, Stacy Alaimo, Martin Harries, Stefan Helmreich, Nils van Beek, Peggy Phelan, James E. Young, “Signaling Through the Waves,” pages 200-271, Resilience: A Journal of Environmental Humanities, spring-fall 2020
Jennifer McCabe, “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” exhibition catalogue, 2020
Siago Cece, “Standing in the Ocean to Fight for the Planet,” The East African, November 16, 2019
Shana Chanda, “The Dark Water She Adores,” JANE by Grey Attic, spring 2019 (Australia)
Tailane Muniz, “Em performance de 12 horas, ameriana aborda relação entre tempo e mar,” Correio, April 2
Tatiana Mendonça & Marcos Dias, “Um ato poético,” Muito Magazine, March 31, 2019 (Brazil)
Nicole Miller, “Works on Water,” The Brooklyn Rail, July 14, 2017
Xanne Visser, “13 uur in de zee staan als kunstactie,” NRC Handelsblad, August 11, 2015
Nils van Beek, “Tidal Endurance: Sarah Cameron Sunde brings 36.5 to the Netherlands” The Brooklyn Rail, July 13, 2015
Sam Whiting, “Artist Stands in Bay…” San Francisco Chronicle, August 16, 2014
Fitz Patton, “Satan in Drag” photo feature, CHANCE Magazine, Issue 2, pages 6-31, fall 2013
Sharon Eberson, “Dream of Autumn: a surreal journey,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 10, 2013
Ben Brantley, “Tides Come and Go, but She Won’t,” The New York Times, October 25, 2012
Allan Kozinn, “A Lifetime of Regret Born in a Moment,” The New York Times, October 21, 2012
Andy Webster, “Me and my Hormones, Raging in the 1970s,” The New York Times, April 1, 2010
Susan Dominus, “A Show about Iraqi Refugees…” The New York Times, October 1, 2010
Neil Genzlinger, “Death and Forgiveness at an Amish School” New York Times, June 13, 2009
Paul Willis, “As Few Words as Possible” The Brooklyn Rail, September 12, 2008
Anita Gates, “Young Suicide in the Eyes of Norwegian…“ The New York Times, August 21, 2006
Ann, Christiansen, “Testing Fosse and Ibsen in English,” Aftenposten, March 28, 2006 (Norway)
Phoebe Hoban, “An Innocent Kiss Between Men Becomes a Tabloid Affair,” The New York Times, Oct 12, 2005
Anita Gates, “A Man, a Woman, and a Baby, Locked…” The New York Times, June 17, 2004
Kristin Nilsen, “Fosse inntok New York,” Aftenposten, June 8, 2004 (Norway)

Selected Online Media
Gareth Harris, “Art Davos 2023: Culture programme includes work focused on the patriarchy and climate change,” The Art Newspaper, 2023
Gemma Parks, “Sea level is rising around the world: art is putting it in the spotlight,” World Economic Forum, 2023
Joesph Fowler, “The Arts and Culture Show on at Davos 2023,” Forbes, 2023
Bart Haeck, Back to Davos: A whirlwind week in the crazy center of the crazy world,” De Tijd, 2023
The Founder’s Spirit Podcast, “Galvanizing Climate Action with 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea, (2023)
Tracy Metz Podcast, “3 Water Talks: Too Little,” 2023
Long Now Foundation Talk, “Tides As Metaphor: Proposals Toward Living on Tidal Time,” 2023
World Economic Forum Talk, “On the Water Front,” Annual Meeting of New Champions, 2023
Joesph Fowler, Isabella Gallo, “Why did artist Sarah Cameron Sunde stand in the sea for a full title cycle nine times on six continents,” World Economic Forum, 2023
Rosemary Misdary, “To confront rising sea levels, an NYC artist invites you to stand…” WNYC / The Gothamist, Sept 14, 222
Matthew Schuerman, This artist gets up to her neck in water to spread awareness of climate change,” NPR, Sept 9, 2022
Oliver Kammayer, “Tapping the creative force, art changes mind in a changing climate,” Optimist Daily, February 23, 2022
Shana Chanda, “The Ocean Spirit Inside: talking with Sarah Cameron Sunde,” Eye Contact, June 29, 2020 (Aotearoa–NZ)
Vincent O’Donnell, Interview, Arts Alive Radio, Australia, March 25, 2020
Anthony Gathu, “Art by the Sea,” Mombasa Film Commission, Mombasa, Kenya, December 15, 2019
Tao the Gnd, “Exploring Time and Scale of a Crisis in…,” The Art of the New Green Deal, USA, November 9, 2019
Roda Baiana Show, Metrópole Rádio, April 1, 2019
Nicole Miller, “Sarah Cameron Sunde’s Immersive Performances,” Hyperallergic, March 30, 2019
TL Andrews, “Sarah Cameron Sunde on Water as Canvas and Collaborator,” Berlin ArtLink, August 21, 2018
Allison Meier, “The Inaugural Triennial on New York’s Waterways Drops Anchor,” Hyperallergic, June 21, 2017
Craig Thompson, “Study with the Best: art through a CUNY Lens” CUNY TV, February, 2016
Anna Renken, “36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea” Public Art Forecast,” August 10, 2015
Claire Voon, “Faced with a Rising Tide, Artist Lets it Wash Over Her,” Hyperallergic, August 10, 2015
Danna Staaf, “Artist Will Take a 13-Hour Watery Stand,” KQED Science (NPR), August 5, 2014
Marina Abramovic Institute, “36.5 / phases of the moon,” MAI media, December 24, 2013
Fitz Patton, “Satan in Drag” v-shot preview, CHANCE Magazine, November 25, 2013
Tara Bracco, “In the Trenches: S.C.Sunde,” Theater Communications Group, September 17, 2010
Andy Horwitz, “Five Questions for Sarah Cameron Sunde,” CultureBot, June 29, 2009
Erik Piepenburg, “A ‘Kiss’ Designed,” from sketch to stage interactive feature, The New York Times, October 21, 2005

36.5 / New York Estuary,” Provocation, TDR, pages 2-3, spring 2023
“The Work” and “Reflections,” Resilience: A Journal of Environmental Humanities, spring-fall 2020
“Environmental Art for the 21st Century,” Works on Water Triennial Catalogue, spring 2018 (print)
“36.5 / Public Art Dialogue,” Public Art Dialogue, spring 2016 (print)
“36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea,” PLOT: a journal of landscape architecture, spring 2016 (print)
“36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea,” Curated Series on Arts and Climate Change, Howlround, April 20, 2015
“Uganda at a Crossroads,” American Theater Magazine, May/June issue, 2014 (print)
“One Small Revolution,” blog to document research and process as I bring 36.5 to fruition, February, 2014
“A Deeper Live Experience,” NYC World Theater Day Blog, March 25, 2012
“SA KA LA,” (translation), part of “New Europe: Plays from the Continent,” PAJ Publications, 2008, pages 22-95 (print)
“SILENCE AND SPACE the new drama of Jon Fosse,” PAJ – A Journal of Performance and Art, Issue 87, 2007, p 57-60 (print)
“DEATHVARIATIONS,” (translation), PAJ – A Journal of Performance and Art, Issue 87, 2007 (print)
“NIGHT SINGS ITS SONGS,” (excerpt of translation), Words Without Borders, March 2006

AUTHORED TRANSLATIONS (Norwegian to American-English)
2015 HERBS, THE STOVE, THE CUP by Fredrik Brattberg, commissioned by the Writers Guild of Norway
2014 WINTERREISE by Fredrik Brattberg, commissioned by the Writers Guild of Norway
2013 SLEEP by Jon Fosse, commissioned by Oslo Elsewhere for SATC presentation
2012 IBSEN AND VIGELAND by Tone Wikborg, commissioned by playwright Doug Wright
2012 DREAM OF AUTUMN by Jon Fosse, commissioned by Quantum Theater
2011 PILLARS OF SOCIETY by Henrik Ibsen with Ron Russell, Epic Theater Ensemble
2011 A SUMMER DAY by Jon Fosse, commissioned by Oslo Elsewhere for Rattlestick production
2010 REALITY by Gyrid Axe Øvsteng, commissioned by Aquavit Theater
2008 SA KA LA by Jon Fosse (published by PAJ), commissioned by Oslo Elsewhere
2006 THE WILD DUCK by Henrik Ibsen with Blair Brown (translation/adaptation)
2006 DEATHVARIATIONS by Jon Fosse (published by PAJ), commissioned by Oslo Elsewhere
2006 DUEL: SONS OF LIBERTY 2, commissioned by Sons of Liberty
2005 RED, SNOW AND THE WOLF by Lisa CB Lie, commissioned by Det Åpne Theater


Some quotes about Sunde’s work…


“The evolution of 36.5 over the course of its planned iterations mirrors the evolution of climate art in general. Climate art was, in its inception, a consciousness raising project, dedicated to building public awareness about the reality of climate change and its causes.  It is now one of identifying and activating actual, usable strategies for responding to climate change.   In the case of 36.5, the transformation grows organically from the work’s original conception as well as from the widening circle of community that it has created over time.”
-Una Chaudhuri, Dean for the Humanities, New York University, (New York Estuary, USA)

“36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea is our best mirror, showing our increasing vulnerability in the face of climate change and showing us our best opportunity to act, mitigate and adapt: we can only change course if we take this challenge head on, embrace its complexity and integrate our collective actions, … leaving no one behind.”
-Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for the International Water Affairs, participant, 36.5 / North Sea (North Sea, The Netherlands)

“In this experience [standing in the water], I could see the power and strength of silence, of contemplation, of being still and perceiving the expansion of time. I felt transported to another dimension in the perception of the world, the facts, the people. My humble existence is not even dust in the vastness of the world. The eighty-odd years that I can live are much less than a winged movement of the hummingbird. But the ability to make a difference can be huge. The impact can reverberate for millennia, and the changes can benefit the collective, existence and quality of life of humanity on earth.”
-Daniel Becker, Scholar, Federal University of Bahía (Bay of All Saints, Brazil)

“As we all know, we are living in a time of global crisis, that is not just a crisis of capitalism, but also of planning and performing an idea. I think it is urgent to discuss how we can rethink planning and making art, which is an integral part of the contemporary crisis, how we can imagine decolonization practices that make multiespecies urbanism possible, that would value all lives, humans and no-humans, with the same importance….
-Clara Domingas, artist/anthropologist, core collaborator, 36.5 / Bay of All Saints (Bay of All Saints, Brazil)

“Sea level rise threatens key historical resources like Fort Jesus of Kenya’s port city of Mombasa. 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea is a work of art that asks the world to reconsider their relationship with the sea, as both friend and foe. I am excited to use art to discuss environmental issues with communities. I think it will provoke and inspire communities particularly in rural Africa to take action on environmental challenges that affect them.”
-Martin Marani, PhD, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi (Bodo Inlet, Kenya)

“During the preparation, I was thinking of the art work as a beautiful, highly symbolical gesture, with a slight reminiscence of the corporeal endurance of classical performance art, this time set in a non-art institutional context….But the moment I plunged into the water to stand next to Sarah for an hour or so, I finally understood the project in a completely different—and, I believe—truer way. To feel the water pushing you away from where you are standing, to notice the differences in temperature at your feet and near the surface, to look at the waves rolling towards you, and—most significantly—to feel the tide coming up and, much more slowly, moving out, is not like any swimming experience at all. The water wants to seduce you to move along with it; it warns you that, in this situation, it can do with you whatever it pleases to do. It’s sharing its rhythm and ecosystem with you. As a matter of fact, it’s sharing a secret. Because there’s no other way to know this…..We are fragile and mortal, there is never a position outside of our ecosystem. To plunge into the water is to coincide with everything there is.”
-Nils van Beek, Curator and Art Historian, TAAK (North Sea, The Netherlands)


“Sarah Cameron Sunde and Lydian Junction present their new work Satan in Drag in print for the first time in The Box. This intimate shoot of a work encapsulating male fear of the uncontained feminine—in a very contained rehearsal space at New Georges, an organization devoted to developing new work by women—displays a degree of invention, creativity and courage rarely seen in a traditional performance environment.”
– CHANCE Magazine


A surreal journey: the former Park Schenley Restaurant in Oakland, transformed into a strange graveyard of lost furniture and exposed pipes…a haunting, exploratory space…Fosse’s ‘Dream of Autumn’ is a continuous game of questions without answers. He gives just enough to send you down a path; where it leads is up to you.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Autumn has humor and even warmth to fight the coldness of Life.”
– City Paper

“Quantum’s version of the play is a new translation, masterfully put into English by Sarah Cameron Sunde of New York, who directed as well…The play is strange in its tone and rhythms, in the same vein that Godot is strange. But it is not merely Godot Junior, and neither, despite the laughs, is it a farce like Woody Allen’s Love and Death. Death isn’t funny. People die in this play. As, sooner or later, we all shall do. What’s funny—sometimes painfully funny, both in the play and for us—is how we live.
Entertainment Central Pittsburgh


a quietly brutal little work…this production sustains an icy discomfort. At the core of that unease isn’t, as you’d expect, the thought that this could happen to you; it’s the far grimmer notion that this is happening to you, right now and all the time…“A Summer Day” exerts a strong but stealthy undertow, a distinctive dramatic momentum unlike any other in New York theater these days.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“Sarah Cameron Sunde, who translated the piece, also directs, with an interesting and vaguely European eye for the power of theatrical design.”
– The New Yorker

“the welcome return of Karen Allen to the New York stage is a treat not to be missed
– AP / Huffington Post


“Over the course of Ms. Schultz’s performance on Thursday, the Iraqi refugee population of New York City increased virtually by something like 10 percent, as she brought stories of urban refugee life into a spare rehearsal room.”
The New York Times

“A surprising love affair…”
Huffington Post

“…within just a few minutes of this one-woman show, written and performed by Kim Schultz- I was genuinely hooked.”

“Punctuating it all is some haunting percussive music by Amikaeyla Gaston. Under Sarah Cameron Sunde’s perceptive direction, Schultz gains our sympathies for a people who many people automatically suspect are our enemies. That alone is no small achievement.”
The Star Ledger


“Heartfelt…sterling technical contributions. Unblinking honesty, stings with truth
New York Times

“Heller and her collaborators provide an affecting portrait of an artist as a very young woman.”
Village Voice

A 360-degree sensorium…The great achievement of The Diary of a Teenage Girl, adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel, is to take the girl’s point of view seriously. Neither sentimental nor judgmental…the production’s only agenda is to be true to her experience. We enter Minnie’s most private spaces not to learn from her mistakes but to find poetry in the journey.”
Backstage (Critic’s Pick)

“…the attention to detail in every element of the production—the absorption in this girl’s psyche and her environment—are uncanny. I experienced [it]…more like a happening than a traditional piece of theatre-which felt entirely the right way to experience this play.”

“Immensely powerful, raw, not to be forgotten

“Well paced, well acted, this impressive production

“The Diary of a Teenage Girl: The Play is riveting theater, and as skillful a comics adaptation as I’ve come across. If you’re in New York and have any interest in the semi-autobiographical Phoebe Gloeckner graphic novel from which the play was adapted, or in an unusual and innovative theatrical experience, or simply in a movingly no-bullshit exploration of the lives of young people and the older people who shape them, I’m almost willing to buy you the tickets myself.”
Comic Book Resources


“Ms. Dickey, under Sarah Cameron Sunde’s direction, is completely convincing as she switches among the play’s seven characters. That is no easy feat, since those characters include both the gunman and two of his young victims.”
The New York Times

“Dickey does a terrific acting job under helmer Sarah Cameron Sunde”

The show artfully asks serious questions about our limited capacity for charity, an exercise that spares us from the piece’s unremitting sadness.”
Time Out New York

“The Amish Project is extremely well-executed…Sunde’s direction is beautifully detailed

“The Amish Project is finely directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde. They are so in tune with each other, she and Jessica. And the result is a well paced, sometimes eerie (as when the murderer peers inside the schoolhouse windows) sometimes heartbreaking and many times amusing and in the end a questioning about faith and belief and forgiveness.”
Talk Entertainment

“Crisply directed”

Major kudos go to director Sarah Cameron Sunde for her firm but moderate hand in shaping the work.”
nyc onstage

SA KA LA – 2008

“one of the world’s greatest playwrights…catch stand-out performances

“Playwright Jon Fosse offers a curious birthday present in Sa Ka La…Dr. Seuss meets Neo-Platonism
The Village Voice

“A production full of nuance and rhythm

“Fosse’s writing is Pinter-ish in its economy and in its sense of place…only after the show is over, when there’s a chance to sit and ponder…do Fosse’s finer points eventually reveal themselves like flowers finally shoving out through cracked gray concrete.”

PICK OF THE WEEK! [a] compelling production of a play that has taken too long to find an American audience… It is as if Samuel Beckett, the playwright of absolute minimalism, had convinced Fosse’s fellow Norwegian, Henrik Ibsen, the master of realism, to agree to a collaboration.”

GOOD HEIF – 2007

“A finely executed New Georges production.”
The Village Voice

“The style of the production, under the imaginative directorial reins of Sarah Cameron Sunde, is broad, but with a serious undercurrent humorously expressed. Performances perfectly capture the script’s ideas. Far out!”
The Epoch Times

“Lad’s excitement is hilariously depicted…[a] funny and imaginative play”
New Theater Corps

“A quirky, darkly humorous show”


“It is easy to see [Fosse’s] work as Ibsen stripped down to its emotional essentials. But it is much more. For one thing, it has a fierce poetic simplicity…The cast of ‘deathvariations’ is sometimes stunningly in touch with Mr. Fosse’s worldview. And no small credit goes to Sarah Cameron Sunde who both translated and directed the play. The seemingly simple art of blocking doesn’t normally come in for critical praise, but there is one moment — when Ms. Sunde allows the past to cross in front of the present — that carries layers of meaning
The New York Times

“A taut, gripping exploration of – among other things – our frequent and tragic inability to recognize what’s right before us”

A riveting drama…Fosse’s brilliant, ritualistic language uses obsessive repetition to make [the characters’] fate seem inevitable…Sunde’s direction strengthens Fosse’s concepts with blocking that borders on choreography… neither a second too long nor too short”
NY Theatre Wire


“An intriguing sample of Rodrigues’s highly original voice…[the production] perfectly serves the surrealistic material
The New York Times

“Ms. Sunde does clearly have an eye for expressionist drama.”
The New York Sun

“Her staging is nearly flawless…”

Excellent production
The Gothamist

“Sarah Cameron Sunde’s production beautifully enhances the sense of this world’s eerie menace

“Nelson Rodrigues’s play The Asphalt Kiss has a splashy beginning, a disturbing yet compelling middle, and a terrific surprise ending. Sarah Cameron Sunde has staged it with style and rigor

“Director Sarah Cameron Sunde has whipped her cast into the kind of intensity the playwright demands and they deliver”
The Danbury News-Times

“Sarah Cameron Sunde’s direction is solid
Gay City News


“Mr. Fosse (pronounced FAH-suh), who is Norwegian, and Sarah Cameron Sunde, the American who translated his play, have an ear for conversation, particularly for the synergy of repetition and for the fine line between generality and allegory…. Ms. Sunde, who also directed, has made interesting choices for her cast of five, who are uniformly excellent.”
The New York Times

Absorbing…this couple merits stopping in.”
The Village Voice

“Under director Sarah Cameron Sunde, the actors do a masterful job…[Night Sings Its Songs] reaches us with the high beauty of its aesthetics and the tremendous complexity of the characters developed through thoughtful and intelligent acting and directing. It is a minimalist marvel to see, and will leave you thinking about the value and rarity of speaking directly and being heard.”
offoffonline (the pick of the week)

Recent interview with national Norwegian paper on the occassion of Jon Fosse winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

As a Cultural Leader for the World Economic Forum, Sunde had a solo exhibition at the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland and gave a talk at the summer annual meeting in Tianjin, China, 2023

A conversation between fellows for the Guggenheim Foundation, 2023

With Fosse’s Nobel Prize win, several NYTimes articles mention Sunde’s productions with images, quotes from a 2006 review of DEATHVARIATIONS, and Ben Brantley reflecting on the first time he saw a Fosse play, A SUMMER DAY at the Cherry Lane Theater + earlier features and reviews of Sunde’s work

NPR Feature on Morning Edition about 36.5 / New York Estuary, 2022