Governors Island to be home to a variety of interactive art projects from FIGMENT NYC Weekend on June 7 & 8 through September 21, 2014
New York, N.Y. - FIGMENT NYC, a free, family-friendly participatory summer-long arts event will be returning to Governors Island for the 8th time, bringing together hundreds of professional artists and thousands of visitors to create art and explore art in every imaginable medium. New York's residents and visitors are invited to Governors Island to participate in a multitude of interactive art projects, unlocking their creativity and finding new inspiration. Visitors are invited to bring their own participatory art projects, too!
David Koren, Founder and Executive Producer of FIGMENT, explained that teams of volunteers are hard at work setting up the final preparations; "It's so awesome to be revving up for our eighth annual FIGMENT NYC event on Governors Island! We're so proud of the impact we've made on the island, and so happy that FIGMENT and Governors Island have been able to grow up together!" Visitors to Governors Island will be delighted to see the extensive renovations that have taken place over the winter to transform this former military base into a vibrant destination.
FIGMENT NYC Weekend: June 7 & 8
FIGMENT NYC kicks off the season with FIGMENT NYC Weekend, taking place on June 7th and 8th from 10 am to 6 pm. Their volunteers take over Governors Island, filling this hidden jewel in New York Harbor with art of every imaginable style and medium. The one thing all of the projects have in common is that visitors are invited to take part - through exploration, play, dance, and paint! This is a hands-on festival. FIGMENT's collaborative projects often explore historical, current, and environmental issues while showcasing New York City's diverse community. A full list of artists and projects, along with a schedule of events, will be available at FIGMENTproject.org.
Visitors taking the 10 am, 11 am, and 11:30 am ferries from Manhattan and the 11 am and 11:30 am ferries from Brooklyn ride free. Adults can purchase $2 round-trip tickets online or at the dock for afternoon ferries. Children under 12 ride the ferry for free at all times. More information is available on the Governors Island website.
Perennial favorite Kostume Kult will be transforming children with a costume giveaway, along with face-painting, music, and a roaming troupe of dancers.
Aqua Attack returns to the island with Calling All Parties' imaginary Japanese game show where you dress up and battle in kiddie pools with super soaked plush toys and guest game show hosts. So, are you a Super Villain or a Super Hero?
Ashley Tata brings us Public Property. Each day, members of Enthuse Theater & Co. will interview visitors to Governors Island and use their stories as inspiration for a performance that afternoon. Tyler Alterman's Brain Borg is part of FIGMENT NYC's first Science Fair.
UChicago's neuroscience lab-on-wheels will be giving visitors a chance to try on brainwave-reading headsets and gadgets and performing feats such as composing music using the electricity running through their brains.
The Light from Below utilizes the historic battery of Fort Jay to explore how technology has disconnected soldiers from warfare in this interactive installation by Chris Jordan.
FIGMENT NYC Season-long: June 7 - September 21
From June 7th through September 21, 2014, Governors Island will be home to FIGMENT NYC's season-long program: Interactive Sculptures, an Artist-Designed Minigolf Course, Ben Jones' TreeHouse, and the Governor's Cup pavilion, designed by CDR Studio. Governors Island is now open seven days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays and until 7 pm on weekends. The afternoon ferries will now cost $2 for a round-trip ticket. Children ride the ferry for free at all times. Over 100,000 visitors annually have participated in FIGMENT NYC's programs since its inception in 2008.
This year, FIGMENT has selected four large-scale sculptures for the 2014 Summer-Long Sculpture Exhibition, from over 50 proposals submitted.
Artist David Aronson will be joining FIGMENT for the sixth year. He's programmed his sculpture so that visitors can play Red Light/Green Light, but he's left room for discovery and interpretation. Aronson explained, "I don't want to give people the opportunity to ignore art. I want art that's going to scream, poke, sit on, or otherwise illicit a response...we transform the passive into the active and the audience into fellow participants."
David Aronson's Traffic Play invites visitors to use solar power and Doppler Radar to play with the city's infrastructure. A Touch of Modern brings us Achilles, inviting visitors to share their vision of the future on the coat of the endangered West African Giraffe - a symbol of intuition and farsightedness. Oreen Cohen was inspired by Governors Island's past in creating A Sharper Lens, enabling visitors to engage in a battle of perceptions by projecting kaleidoscopic views onto the landscape. Kathy Creutzburg's Magic Carpet allows visitors to step into Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and climb onto this unraveling fantasy vehicle and see where it takes them.
FIGMENT NYC's Artist-designed Minigolf course takes New York City itself as inspiration. FIGMENT's ethos of embracing the interactive and participatory is extended to everyone via the populist medium of minigolf. Visitors to Governors Island are invited to pick up a golf club and traverse the 10 different installations, becoming participants in the artwork itself. For the 2014 course, 10 artists were asked to re-imagine what New York City is all about even as it changes and evolves. How can we move forward in a way that extends this possibility for opportunity to everyone, in which all voices can be heard? Rising to the challenge, artists have explored topics as diverse as the "bridgegate" scandal, transportation and real estate development...and our common love of all things pizza-related.
Ben Jones' TreeHouse will return to Governors Island this year. TreeHouse began in 2011 as an exercise in the use of reclaimed and sustainably produced materials to create a playground for kids and adults. This year's TreeHouse is decorated with murals by individual artists and will serve as a performance space during FIGMENT NYC Weekend. Jones says, "The thing I hope people get the most out of the treehouse is Play. Not just the kids though the adults too. As adults we take 'art' way to seriously and don't realize that an experience can be fun, as well as meaningful."
This is the fourth year FIGMENT has partnered with the Emerging New York Architect Committee (ENYA) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY) in running the City of Dreams Pavilion Competition. This year's jury selected Governor's Cup, by CDR Studio Architects. Over 30,000 reclaimed plastic cups have been transformed into a crochet-inspired serpentine shade structure.
FIGMENT NYC Summer-Long Program will be free and open to the public while the island is open, from FIGMENT NYC Weekend on June 7th and 8th through September 21st. Visitors to the island can bring their own bikes aboard on the ferry or rent bikes on the island. Food vendors will be there to serve FIGMENT visitors, but packing your own picnic basket is also encouraged.
Many of FIGMENT's projects incorporate sustainable materials, something that seems natural for a project lead by volunteers seeking to inspire people to look at the world from a different angle. Artist Ben Jones explained his use of sustainable materials in his project, saying, "The TreeHouse focuses on the re-purposing of things rather than recycling of materials. We have lots of stuff that be be something else if you just re-think how it's used."
FIGMENT is a free, non-commercial, decommodified, environmentally responsible event. FIGMENT is constantly growing and continues its mission to offer inclusive and participatory art and creative culture to entire communities, removing the barriers of museum and gallery walls and entrance fees, and blurring the lines between those who create and those who enjoy art.
FIGMENT NYC 2014 dates
Weekend event: June 7 & 8
Summer-Long Program: Interactive Sculpture Garden, Artist-designed Minigolf Course, Governors Cup Pavilion by CDR Studio, and Ben Jones' Treehouse: June 7 through September 21
FIGMENT is a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture, that began on Governors Island in 2007, and has grown and spread to events in 2013 in nine cities in three countries on two continents. In New York, during the FIGMENT NYC weekend event, over 400 artists transform Governors Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork, experienced by 25,000 participants in 2013. In 2011, FIGMENT was voted "Best Art Festival" in New York by the Village Voice. FIGMENT and its projects have been profiled in The New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, ABC 7, CBS Channel 2, WNBC, Thirteen, the Weather Channel, and many other publications and broadcast stations.
"If FIGMENT were a country, it would be the happiest in the world - and I would apply for citizenship immediately." - BBC Travel
"Playful and thought-provoking large-scale installations that are not just a must-see but a must-experience." - The New Yorker
FIGMENT is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization entirely funded by grants and individual donations. FIGMENT accepts no corporate sponsorship of any kind. FIGMENT NYC is supported by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, as well as by the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Andrea Kirk, Producer FIGMENT NYC / firstname.lastname@example.org/ 646.678.0970
Cori Carl, NYC Communications Director / email@example.com/ 732.492.8293
Larisa Fuchs, Press Director / firstname.lastname@example.org/ 914.319.5587