simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Figment
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Monday, 9 July 2007


Figment was a one-day arts festival held on Governors Island - click here for more photos. There was a sense that this was to be a New York style Burning Man - many of yesterday's participants have attended and the organizers have themselves have referenced Burning Man as an influence. The event took place at Nolan Park, a historic district with a shaded green surrounded by period homes. Attendees were encouraged to bring projects, contribute and participate (at the Burning Man festival, being a spectator is discouraged in keeping with their 10 principles: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.) Over 50 exhibitors attended with names like Misericordiam, Limbonade Stand, Krinkl-O-Torn, Groovehoops, Sisters, Earth Paint Tree, the Tub Project, Wish Tree, Zenbend Hanger Reuse Project, etc. From the Figment website: " Expect a dizzying array of fabulous art and activities, spanning a variety of imaginative possibilities ranging from ambitious sculptures to exquisite performance to wild costuming to edgy arts and crafts and beyond." The goals of Figment would not appear to be so ambitious for a first year festival, given NYC's large population and arts community. However, although having the fest on Governor's Island has its merits, having to transport everything and everyone by ferry definitely had a substantial impact. The free 10 minute ferry ride to Governors Island (the subject of a future posting) turned out to be somewhat harrowing. The lines for the ferry were huge, with waits of over an hour - by days end it was clear there would not be enough ferry space and crossings to carry everyone - only 6 ferries were scheduled between 10AM and 3PM. But I imagine this festival will build momentum and I look forward to seeing its growth in future years. Note: The events name "Figment" was inspired by an Andy Warhol quote stating that he would like his own tombstone to be blank: "No epitaph, and no name. Well, actually, I'd like it to say 'figment' " ...


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