:: interactive virtual reality sculpture ::

Created by Edrex Fontanilla and Sarah Nelson Wright
wood, paint, found objects, 360 degree video

For Shifting Sands, Edrex Fontanilla and Sarah Nelson Wright fill their artist-built virtual reality viewer with remote scenes of endangered and undervalued landscapes in New York City. The artists captured four vulnerable Staten Island coastlines facing destruction from sea level rise, storm surges, and development. Massive infrastructure projects are slated to transform these shore fronts as New York City actively fights climate change.

Shifting Sands premieres at Vulnerable Landscapes at the Staten Island Museum at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, curated by Rylee Eterginoso.

April 22-December 30, 2023


The Kill Van Kull: The shoreline across the street from Snug Harbor is home to the long abandoned North Shore Branch train line. This badly eroded coast may become an express bus line, paving over a wild growing woodland.

The Arthur Kill: A waterfront forest and wetlands at the mouth of Mill Creek in Richmond Valley may soon be leveled for a new offshore wind assembly port.

Raritan Bay: The eroded coastline of Tottenville, a residential neighborhood at the edge of Raritan Bay, is now being transformed by the Living Breakwaters project, a system of offshore barriers designed to protect from waves and storm surges.

Lower Bay: A 5.3 mile long seawall will soon break ground along the eastern coast of Staten Island, reshaping these remote beaches with levees and floodwalls.

For more information on these places and projects, see Nathan Kensinger’s reporting:

The Kill Van Kull
The Arthur Kill
Raritan Bay
Lower Bay


To Rylee Eterginoso for curating and supporting this work.

To Donna Pagano and her staff, for installation and gallery operations.

To Nathan Kensinger, for his location scouting, research, and consulting.

To Joy Somberg, for feedback and testing.