When our group got together to start FIGMENT in 2007, we never had any idea that it could ever grow this much, this fast. In 2010, our three-day NYC event had nearly 25,000 participants, and our Boston event, just in its first year, had something like 10,000 participants. It’s really amazing to see how quickly the community around FIGMENT has grown, and it’s exciting to see where it can go next.
Welcome to FIGMENT! (Image (c) 2010 NY_Man)
FIGMENT began in New York in 2007 as a way to bring three important resources together: first, Governors Island, a former Army and then Coast Guard base in New York Harbor that had just been turned over to New York City; second, the creative energy of artists in New York, often creating work without ample resources, often desperately in need of space; and third, the ethos that many of the founders of FIGMENT had learned from Burning Man, expressed in the ten principles—basically, teaching us how to work collaboratively together to make great things happen in a way that is participatory, generous, and free from commoditization.
The idea took off immediately, and, while we expected 500 people or so at our first one-day event, we had over 2,600 people, with thousands more turned away at the ferries. We haven’t stopped since. The New York event has grown exponentially each year, increasing how much art we cram onto the island’s 172 acres, growing in participation as art projects become more ambitious, growing in duration as we add increasingly successful summer-long projects every year, and growing in stability as we build a team that believes in this event and can keep it going.
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Decompression season continues: Just a quick note to remind you that New York City Decompression is this weekend. If you leave right now, no matter where you are you could still arrive in time for the 4pm start time this Saturday, but especially if you are in the area you should check it out.
For more information click here
I especially love the photo gallery on flickr
New York City Looking Up - Carlos Vanegas
FIGMENT is an annual arts event on Governors Island in New York, with artwork in every medium, from installation to performance to music to games and many things in between.
When the founders of FIGMENT began the event in 2007, their inspiration was to marry Burning Man‐style do-ocracy, volunteerism, and the 10 principles with the prolific New York arts scene, and to build a new community for the participatory arts. In 2009, the vast majority of the FIGMENT artists, and a growing number of FIGMENT volunteers, have never been to Burning Man, and there is a groundswell of enthusiasm for an increasing number of season long projects on the island.
It is a free, non-profit endeavor run by volunteers. In 2008, FIGMENT’s second year, over 10,000 people attended.
FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation. Art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at – it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, climb it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it… Interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment.
FIGMENT 2009, held in partnership with the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), is a 3-day participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor. FIGMENT is a project of Action Arts League, and is produced by a coalition of volunteers in partnership with the Pure Project.
So check it out if you are in the New York area.
So why FIGMENT? Famous for his role in New York’s artistic heritage and the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol believed that everyone had it in them to be a star for fifteen minutes. Through his own art, he defined his identity and shaped the world around him. He once commented that he’d like his tombstone to say only one word: “Figment.”
Check out a video HERE