Not a Figment of My Outdoor Imagination
May 21, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
FIGMENT, a forum for the “creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines,” has selected 15 creative, interactive, and sustainable sculpture projects that–contingent on funding and approvals–will find a temporary home in Figment’s 2010 Sculpture Garden on NYC’s Governors Island throughout the summer.
Touch by Bayard
Touch consists of inflated pieces of silicone-impregnated rip stop nylon and nylon marine-quality thread that are filled with air by fans. Touch groups three inflatable pieces in a natural environment–an inflatable garden– as if they had grown there. The nature of the inflatable work invites the visitor to not just walk around and through the garden, but to turn from viewer to collaborator –and touch the artwork to begin understanding how something as flimsy as fabric becomes solid and erect.
Living Lawn Furniture is a set of earth-integrated sculptures intended to be installed early on Governors Island and morph with the environment. Integrating living edible plants, and other lawn substrates, the seats will ideally provide space for a tête-à-tête with another participant as well as raise awareness about Governors Island’s environment. According to the artists, “the naturally-formed seats provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion.”
A Lay in the Grass
Visitors to A Lay in the Grass lie on a bed, look up, gaze, and “ignite a cognitive experience through the act of physical rest and an opening of the mind.” A seeded grass mattress from a host rooftop garden in Brooklyn fills the four-post bed frame. The sculptural bed, according to the artist, “can be seen as parallel to the imaginative play that transcends one’s conscious environment during the act of rest or dream. A Lay in the Grass joins the literal with the metaphor: the bed is a place for release, quiet, and the unconscious state of being. The installation itself reflects the state of Governors Island as a place of detachment, introspection, rest, and transmutation. The components of the installation speak of natural resources, symbolic elements, and surrealistic dreamscapes. A Lay in the Grass utilizes sustainable, recycled and organic materials, as the idea of the cycle is an important component to the overall work.” Amen.
Pallet City, a linear installation, built entirely from recycled pallets, invites participation and feedback while raising questions about the “practicality and aesthetics of pallet use.” As described by the artists, the installation “implies different activities that take place within the urban environment: sit (implied by a bench); park (a bike rack); dwell (a shelter); plant (a planter with small garden, which visitors can help water); perform (a stage where visitors can mount and document spontaneous performances, pose for photos etc.); observe (seats accompanying the theater); exhibit (a gallery space with 2-3 different exhibits that the artists will curate during the summer, and a wall where visitors can put up their own small drawings); play (the rolling section), and learn (an ‘information kiosk’ at one end). Pallet City will describe the city in terms of active, democratic use rather than passive viewing or restricted areas. The project will ideally spark public dialogue on the notion of city itself and the creation of democratic, sustainable cities.”
The interactive sculpture projects will be free and open to the public from June 11 to October 3 on Friday 10-4 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10-6 pm.