Saturday was the first day of FIGMENT NYC, a two day event held on New York's Governors Island. FIGMENT is a free participatory arts event that celebrates creativity by challenging artists and participants to find new ways to create, share, and dream. For the past ten years, the FIGMENT NYC weekend event has transformed Governors Island with hundreds of collaborative artworks. The theme for this year's event is "Dream Bigger." The event producer estimates that by the end of Sunday approximately 40,000 people will have visited the event.
Eduardo, MOSH's Community Engagement Manager, said it best, "I just followed this guy and new that I had to be headed in the right direction."
Creative groups of artists and non-profit organizations create interactive exhibits that are positioned throughout the island. This year's featured exhibits included:
Artist Designed Minigolf Course
For the past nine summers, FIGMENT has produced an Artist Designed Minigolf Course on Governors Island in New York City that is free and open to the public. The course has received critical acclaim and continues to delight thousands of visitors of all ages each summer. This year’s theme is “New York City Has the Beat.” We are fortunate to live, work and play in one of the world’s most musically vibrant cities. This year’s minigolf holes relate to the sounds of the city or its music scene of the past, present or future.
Revenge of the Third Rail AKA, Pizza Rat by Chris Niederer and Debra Everett-Lane
Millions of people use the NYC subway system every year, but they are always just passing through. What about the full-time residents of the subway system? Now’s your chance to identify with some of the most hated, lowly, and misunderstood creatures of NYC by stepping into their shoes (or bodies). The rats and roaches are small carts built to resemble the front half of the animals but scaled up to accommodate a human. You climb into the front half, placing your hands on the animal's front feet, and use your own feet to propel you forward. Your senses are altered so that you can experience the visual and tactile senses of the animals first-hand. You are seeing like a rat, feeling like a roach, surviving at all costs. But it’s more than just an animal experience – it’s also a race along the subway tracks! The goal is to collect as many tasty, tossed-away morsels as possible while dodging obstacles and avoiding the subway train that is barreling down the tracks. Who will win: rat, roach, or train?
The Hive by Jieun Yang
The Hive is the experimentation in negotiation and consensus. Constructed with salvaged building materials consisting lumber and doors, the project creates a series of threshold that can open and close. When traveling through the space created by multiple modules of triangulated footprint, a participant encounters enclosure that constantly transforms through other participants paths and explorations and learns to communicate, delay, and negotiate. The path, therefore, rarely follows the initial intention, and serendipitous interaction with other participants results in the unknown potential of a chance meeting. And in order to fully enjoy The Hive, everyone’s participation and open-mindedness are required to explore fluctuating possibilities of adjacency, intimacy, and conflict. As each module of The Hive opens and closes, the project’s relationship with the site also changes through fluctuating gradient of transparency, layering, and a formal shift in expansion and contraction. The gradient of colors used to paint the doors, therefore, create prismatic field consisting of frames and surface that become more pronounced through the play of light and shadow throughout the day.
Olfactive Attractions: The Hanging Eco-Portraits of Governors Island by Julia Davis and John Zinonos
Olfactive Attractions is a series of scented installations constructed on Governor’s Island. Situated along roughly 200 feet of the pedestrian pathway within Nolan Park, Olfactive Attractions consists of 5 installations, each capturing the ambiance and identity of a specific territory. These multidimensional and interactive installations allow visitors to experience iconic destinations across the globe, all in a day’s visit to the island. Using vibrantly colored fabrics scented with custom-composed fragrances, Olfactive Attractions harnesses the powers of scent, sight, and touch to transport visitors and ignite the imagination.
Cast and Place by Team Aesop
The pavilion is pieced together from panels made of 300,000 recycled aluminium cans. The cans were melted down and cast in huge clay molds, treated so that they cracked and created a pattern. Its intention is to “re-imagine waste as a transformative resource for our New York City future.”
Mixed throughout the featured exhibits are stations where people of all ages are encouraged to play, imagine, and create using the materials provided.
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