Three days and two showers later, I’m still picking glitter out of my pubes. I know I prattled on yesterday about how nifty the island was, but I have to tell you about the magic that was specifically Figment, too.
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’s goal is to advance social and personal transformation through creativity, in the form of free participatory arts events and exhibitions. FIGMENT is uninterrupted by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. Selling or advertising goods or services is not permitted. Neither our artists nor our planners and staff are paid — everything that you see at FIGMENT is born from a simple desire to share imagination with each other and the public.
If you have six minutes to spare, you can view a great video from last year’s event here. It makes me grin all over again. I almost don’t even mind that I’m still fishing glitter out of random orifices.
I’m not even exaggerating this time. Seriously! There was a kiddie pool filled with silver glitter – gobs and gobs of glorious glitter! In and amongst the glitter, the artist had deposited toys to manipulate the shiny mana – colanders, hand mixers, ladles, tea balls. When I dipped my hand beneath the surface, it was submerged in the softest, purist sand I’ve ever touched. I slowly raised my hand, watching the silver pour over my knuckles, leaving an iridescent trail – as though a thousand tiny snails had traversed the plains of my hand.
Interwebz, I could have stayed in that spot all day. If Justin Timberlake had walked up holding a cheesecake, I would have honestly believed I had died and gone to heaven. My brother quickly dispelled that notion when he dumped a handful of glitter on my head. The inevitable glitter brawl ensued and now my used q-tips look like tiny disco balls.
FYI: Glitter brawls are fan-fucking-tastic.
As Thom and I paused to pick the glitter out of our teeth, a garbled voice warbled from farther down the hill. “Did she just say, ‘Pink unicorn of doom?'” I asked Thom.
“I’m pretty sure,” he responded.
“Kiddie pools of glitter AND pink unicorns of doom?!??! This is the best day EVER! We are SO going there next!”
Upon arrival, we found two kiddie pools (I swear it’s like a theme!) approximately fifteen feet apart. Each pool was filled with water. The lawn surrounding the pools was scattered with broken and soggy stuffed animals. A guy and a gal stood side by side within each kiddie pool – wearing costumes. All four of the individuals were panting from exertion. One gal, particularly winded, was doubled over. Her left hand pushed against her thigh for support while her right hand tried frantically to secure her tiara before the next round.
The garbled female voice emerged erupted from the bullhorn again. “ARE YOU READY?!?!” Tiara Gal managed to stand upright while everyone else nodded. “GO!!!”
In a flash, everyone was out of their kiddie pools collecting stuffed animals and then dropping them into the water. Once the majority were collected, they then proceeded to fling the soaked plushies across the fifteen feet of grass and into the faces of their opponents. I couldn’t help but giggle when the guy to my right took a soggy Snoopy to the face. I looked back to the left to see Tiara Gal trying to extract a dripping SpongeBob from her headdress.
Then I saw the giant fuchsia mass moving through the air. I was momentarily blinded as the bright sun reflected off a golden hoof. Could it be? YES! It was the dreaded Pink Unicorn of DOOM! When all it’s water-logged girth crashed into the horror struck duo, they crumpled beneath it’s weight. “GAME OVER!” screamed the referee into her bullhorn.
There were so many wonderful exhibits that I can’t possibly recount them all, but I have to tell you about one more – a wishing tree. A beautiful ancient oak tree was wrapped with a fine copper wire wound in endless twists and graceful twirls. The artist provided participants with a tiny, metal-trimmed, paper circle and a marker.
The only instructions were to write your dream and hang it on the tree. On one side, I wrote my dreams that I say out loud to anyone that asks. On the other, I wrote the dreams that I dare not speak out loud. I reached as high as I possibly could (which, let’s face it, is pretty damn high) and added my disc to the collective, my public dreams broadcast to the sky, my secret desires whispered to the tree.
If you’re curious, you can see more photos from the day here.