Seated by the Anacostia River, I invite visitors to help me clean up the river whilst I read them folk tales. The means of clean-up I offer my audience? Bottles of sudsy solution, to blow bubbles out over the water. And, true to my word, in exchange for their efforts, I regale my Comrades in Clean with folk tales of heroes whose simple nature and desire to do good in the world bring them their happily ever after in the end.
This clean and simple day, filled with storytelling and bubble-blowing, enjoying the sun and the breeze off the river with friends old and new, took place on September 29th, 2012, as part of the first annual FIGMENT DC, a participatory and interactive arts event that seeks to actively involve the community in the joy of experiential art.
FIGMENT demonstrates what the arts can be: participatory, bursting with creativity and completely free, born from the desire to share imagination and invention between artists and the public.
FIGMENT is a forum for the creation and display of participatory and interactive art by emerging artists across disciplines. FIGMENT began in July 2007 as a free, one-day participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor with over 2,600 participants. Since then, FIGMENT has grown significantly each year in number of projects, duration, participants, volunteers, fundraising capability, exhibitions, locations, overall level of commitment and participation, and public support.
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, 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.
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