FIGMENT NYC 2017 DREAM BIGGER is a new program for FIGMENT NYC, taking place on Governors Island on June 3-4th. For the past ten years, the FIGMENT NYC weekend event has transformed Governors Island with hundreds of collaborative artworks that are enjoyed by 20-25,000 participants over the weekend.
This year, we wanted to dream bigger. In addition to FIGMENT NYC projects, we found five high-impact participatory weekend-long projects for the FIGMENT NYC event. Read about them below!
Revenge of the Third Rail (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 (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.
Slow Dance (Katya Grokhovsky)
Slow Dance is a durational participatory performance project, which celebrates humanity and unity in the time of great division and unrest. Fifty performers, wearing T-shirts, in three different bright shades, including neon green, neon pink and neon purple, (which carry the printed words Slow Dance with Me) invite passerby to slow dance with them in an old-fashioned manner, without music. The work attempts to connect with strangers through intimate conversation and spontaneous dialogue and will continue throughout the allocated time. The performers are trained to instruct the participants how to slow dance and will have a series of prepaid questions for the audience in order to spark up a conversation, acting as human interactive elements of the work. Slow Dance creates an experience of much-needed connection, positive expression, moments of hope and harmony through direct human-to-human communication via a slowing down of our fast, busy lives.
Olfactive Attractions: The Hanging Eco-Portraits of Governors Island (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.
This Land is Your Land (Victoria Calabro)
This Land Is Your Land is an interactive sculpture inspired by the interaction with gallery visitors at my last exhibition, Special Red with Chashama last fall. This Land is equal part sculpture and “Instagrammable” art spot. This faux grass covered mountain will rise out of fuchsia sand in front of the New York City skyline. People are encouraged to play in the sand. Climb on the gently sloped ramp behind the sandy area and take their picture. The face of the mountain will be covered with faux grass and woven with silk flowers. Named after the Woody Guthrie song This Land Is Your Land, this work embodies the spirit of the FIGMENT community. A temporary monument to the NYC community festival where artists build their reality filled with idealism, tactile experience, and invention that become real when everyone participates and has FUN! Through the duration of the weekend, people will be encouraged to interact and play in the sand. A wooden structure will give the sloped ramp a sturdy base and creates a raised area for lounging and is covered in soft faux grass. The sand and faux grass are all non-toxic and safe for children. There will be a platform people can stand on to take a picture behind the mountain. The mountain would be about 3’ high so people will be able to pose in between the mountain and the city skyline. On the last day, people will be able to bring containers to take a bit of the "magic" home with them. At my last exhibition, I gave away 2,000 lbs of sand and hoped that others would enjoy making art with or playing with the fuchsia sand. I plan to recycle the remainder of the sand and faux grasses from previous works and hope to source silk flowers from Materials for the Arts and other vendors.