Similar to the Aotearoa performance (eighth iteration, initially scheduled for March 2020), the New York performance was also delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Orginally scheduled for September 5, 2020, the performance occurred on September 14, 2022. These two years of extra time became critical, offering genuine space for a deepening and growing collaboration between Sunde, the local community in Astoria, and Indigenous communities native to Queens and Long Island.
September 5, 2020 became a pivotal moment for the project. As a first step in kicking off the process of building this ninth work in the series, Sunde presented a Virtual Event at the site in New York City (The Cove, in Astoria, Queens). She live-streamed directly from the location for 12 hours and 26 minutes (the duration of the tidal cycle), with collaborators from previous sites around the world tuning in throughout the day. View the schedule and write-up about this event here and watch a recording of the livestream here.
This hyper-local engagement grew into a long-term community-powered art collective committed to stewardship, called Kin to the Cove.
A site-specific, community-engaged process: Sunde and NYC collaborators gathered at the water’s edge every month from September 2020 until September 2022, to build Kin To The Cove, a site-specific community-powered environmental public art process that connects local residents to the Cove and Water that surrounds NYC. This process built a team of 36.5 participants while building relationships with the water, imagining a healthier future, and committing to future stewardship of the site. Engagement events were also held across NYC in the lead up to the live performance, as well as after. To view the list of events that took place across New York, click here.
The live performance took place in the Cove on Vernon Blvd at 31st Ave, where Astoria meets Long Island City. Sarah stood in the cove for one full tidal cycle, inviting the public to join her by standing in water and/or marking the passing of hours from shore as “the human clock.” Artist collaborators created interventions and installations to amplify the performance. Over 175 people joined Sarah in the water, over 1000 joined as witnesses from the shore at the Cove. Additional viewing stations were set up on the NYC Ferry, Roosevelt Island, and Upper East Side, Manhattan to allow live audiences to gather from various viewpoints.
Simultaneous international performances took place at previous 36.5 locations: the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Brazil, Kenya, Aotearoa-New Zealand, with core collaborators organizing relay performances and events at the sites where the project initially took place.
Livestream of the final performance was broadcast online, outdoors and into venues in and around all five boroughs of New York City, around the country, and the world. Footage from the global performances was be layered-into the live-stream feed. Thousands of people tuned in.
The New York Estuary durational video artwork was created at the same time. Six cameras captured the entire performance in real-time. Within 10 days, the footage was edited into a durational video work (same length as the performance: 12 hours, 39 minutes). The durational video artwork premiered first to the collaborating community at the Cove on October 2, 2022. An excerpt of the durational video artwork (rendered as a split screen) can be viewed here.
36.5 / NEW YORK ESTUARY promo video:
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