The New Dunites is a site-specific research project in the arts investigating a culturally unique and biologically
diverse location on California’s Central Coast. Layered there, in one of the largest intact coastal dune
ecosystems on Earth, is an intricate history spanning the real, the simulated, the human arts, and nature's
methods. Buried beneath the sands upon which endangered shorebirds nest, and where freethinking artists
once hand-built a new community, lie the remains of one of early Hollywood's most extravagant silent film
spectacles. In The Ten Commandments (1923), director Cecil B. Demille transformed the coastal dunes into
desert, building atop them a stylized Egyptian palace of immense proportions. The set from this epic
production remains there today, the only artifact of its kind in the world.