bodies and bodies of water on a moving planet
— post for remote participation in Dancing Performance Climates II at PSi #22 Melbourne
Sarah Cameron Sunde & Sasha Petrenko
36.5 / a durational performance with the sea is a time-based project spanning years and continents: Sarah Cameron Sunde stand in a tidal area for a full cycle, usually 12-13 hours, as water engulfs her body and then reveals it again. The public is invited to participate by joining her in the water and by marking the passing hours with movement on the shore. The project began in 2013 as a response to two things: questions of survival as an artist in New York City and Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the East Coast. It was developed over the course of one “pilot” year in Maine (Bass Harbor), Mexico (Akumal), and San Francisco (Aquatic Park), before launching on a global scale in the Netherlands (Katwijk ann Zee) in 2015. Bangladesh is scheduled for 2016 and the project will be executed all around the world before making its way home to New York City in the summer of 2020. 36.5 acknowledges the temporary nature of all things and considers our contemporary relationship to water in urban environments, as individuals and as a civilization.
While planning the S.F. iteration, Sarah teamed up with movement and media artist Sasha Petrenko and together they created a physical vocabulary to mark the passing of the hours. Based on nautical hand signals, the 6 minute phrase is performed on the hour for the duration of Sunde’s performance. The public is invited to learn the phrase, thus providing space for them to communicate somatically through a collective act of presence.
video about 36.5 / SAN FRANCISCO: https://vimeo.com/118671968 (3 min, 44 sec)
In the Netherlands, when Sarah performed 36.5 / a durational performance with the sea on August 10, 2015, the performance lasted from 8:15 – 21:01 hours and friends of the project stood in bodies of water around the world at the same time. Sasha was in San Francisco, but her choreographic contribution was passed on to Dutch locals who performed a localized version of the movement on the 15th minute of each hour.
time-lapse video from 36.5 / Netherlands: https://vimeo.com/136938432 (2 min)
Sasha and Sarah have been making a new video work to evolve the choreography specifically for participation in PSi Melbourne. This work is structured around concepts of sensing earth-time through water, geology and our bodies. The great distance between us both separates and connects us.
For four days last week both artists mapped out the location and time of the high tide closest to their physical bodies, and attempted to perform the choreography at that time, wherever they were. Sasha was in San Francisco for the duration; Sarah was in the Netherlands, on an airplane, and then in her hometown of New York City.
a video we made for PSi Melbourne (work-in-progress): https://vimeo.com/173354042 (12 min, 29 sec)