Sculpture Garden 2013

Over the past four summers, the FIGMENT summer-long sculpture garden on Governors Island has been a huge success, and has received significant media attention and a large number of visitors… over 200,000 over the course of the 2012 season.
This year, out of over 40 submissions, FIGMENT selected 11 amazingly creative, interactive, and sustainable sculpture projects that, pending funding, will find a temporary home on the Parade Grounds of Governors Island. We also welcome back our wonderful TreeHouse—rapidly becoming a staple ingredient of our summer-long program on Governors Island. In the 2013 FIGMENT Interactive Sculpture Garden, these highly interactive sculpture projects will be open and FREE for the public to enjoy while the island is open on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays from June 8 through September 22, 2013.

Look for installations Biomorphs by Anastasiya Gutnik, Strata by Suprina Kenney and TreeHouse Mural by Brooklyn Artistry inside this year’s addition to the TreeHouse, the Gazebo!

Please help us realize these projects this summer by making a donation to FIGMENT.

Click on the renderings to see them in high-res!

Reverberate by Chris Neiderer, Maria Rizzolo and Emily Webster

(c) 2013 Tom Egan


Reverberate is an interactive soundscape playground where visitors can both sit and play. The underlying modular wood grid structure supports a field of oversized colorful rubber balls alternating with reverberating sound platforms. Visitors are invited to bounce and push on the balls in order to create sound. When a ball is activated (by bouncing), a sound cascades through an array of speakers in the structure. The more people bounce, the more sounds are created. 

Marimba Wheels by Adi Azulay, Levy Lorenzo, and Fleeting Dream Art Collective (Painting by Kate van Rees)

(c) 2013 Scott Lynch

Marimba Wheels is a custom-built kinetic musical art piece made up of 5 steel wheels with marimba keys and resonators. Participants are invited to spin the wheels to make different harmonic notes play. As more of the wheels are being spun a greater variety of musical sound will occur.

Music Box by Kelly Goeller, Geddes Levenson, Ashley Goeller, with original music by Alex Nelson

(c) Scott Lynch

This giant music box serves as a monument where people can see and feel the physicality of music. With two barrels and two cranks, it encourages friends or perfect strangers to harmonize together in rich steel reverberations. The music box is a level playing field: anyone who can turn a crank can play in harmony. In a world where most music is digital, Music Box hopes to inspire nostalgia for a time when recorded music was hand crafted, allowing people to hold it and control it themselves.
If you want to contribute to this project, check out the artists’ Kickstarter page

Scratching the Surface by Michael Borowski

(c) Katherine Gressel

Scratching the Surface transports the domestic activity of digging in the garden into the public setting of Governors Island. It is also a poetic metaphor for the challenges and compromises required for productive, personal relationships. Visitors are invited to use this kinetic, seesaw-like sculpture to dig a small, shallow hole in the ground. Through moving the piece, one feels both the pleasure of cooperative activity and the frustrations of relying on someone else.

Gates and Balance by Robert Lumsden

(c) Tes Rivera

Gates and Balance is a maze that requires multiple players to work together to find its solution. It can only be fully activated by physical interaction with the players, who must cooperate, communicate, and problem-solve.Gates and Balance employs the tactics and aesthetics of video games, pinball machines and arcades. The sculpture reflects the self-contained and self-fulfilling nature of play, as the puzzle is part of a closed loop. Upon completion, Gates and Balance‘s interactive elements reset to their initial positions without material reward or recognition, allowing the next group of players to participate. Check out the artists’ blog here!

Exquisite Corpse by Con Artist Art Collective

(c) Katherine Gressel

Merging ideas spin around this twisted sculpture, a variation on the popular “Exquisite Corpse” team-drawing game. Participants’ creative thoughts are mixed and matched on multiple dimensions, as attendees draw or fill in sections of the sculpture’s stacked polygons with chalk, then combine their sections with those of other participants to form complete figures, or abstract art pieces.

WAVE by Kathy Creutzburg

(c) Nate Davis

WAVE is a large-scale (5′x14′x10″) steel sculpture with rope tapestry elements. The idea for the sculpture was inspired by Katsushika Hokusai’s wood cut print of a giant wave, and by Richard Lewis’ poem “We Are Rivers.” The sculptural form is steel pipe and rod bent into curvilinear forms that mimic a river or ocean wave, painted blue and white. A variety of lengths of white plastic rope, the shorter lengths unraveled, are attached in places where the waves “break.” Visitors can move and pull the ropes into different shapes, each movement representing an idea or thought in motion, like water.

Elevated Earth by The Diggers (Sarah Kantrowitz and Sky Milner)

(c) Scott Lynch

Elevated Earth is a celebration of dirt and of the simple process of transforming raw earth into a building material that is strong, sustainable, and elegant. This sculpture is both a piece of earth construction in itself and a platform for people to try their hand at building with dirt. Atop pedestals of rammed earth, visitors are invited to collect loose dirt, press a brick in the hand-operated brick press, and add it to the sculpture’s form, building up its changing shape across the summer in a collective re-imagining of dirt’s material potential. 

The Fallen Pendants by Anantapa Thongtawach

(c) Leetal Elmaleh

The Fallen Pendants are designed to be sculptures of hope. They are inspired by the Japanese Tanabata festival, also known as the star festival. Japanese people generally celebrate by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on small pieces of paper, and then hanging them on bamboo. The look-alike floor lamps in the sculpture conceptualize fallen stars. Heavy-looking pendants, bent down and touching the ground, aim to create a feeling of spirituality. The locations of the star sculptures are set to reflect certain constellations, alluding to the zodiac. Visitors are encouraged to write wishes on the provided pieces of paper and tie them to the stars’ structure, similar to wishing upon real stars. As time passes and more wishes are added, the sculpture will grow into a monument of hope created by its visitors.

Please help us realize these projects this summer by making a donation to FIGMENT.