Considering bringing a project to FIGMENT Oakland 2018? Awesome! Before you submit, here are some things you should consider. Think of them as part practical how-to and part inspiration board to get your creative juices flowing:Read more
Registration is officially now open on the FIGMENT Artist Submission Portal.
We are excited to announce that FIGMENT Oakland is now accepting project submissions for our September 29th event. Already, we're receiving some amazing projects on our submission portal Of course, the more art the better, and we look forward to seeing your submission between now and the September 1st deadline.
Who are we? FIGMENT is a non-profit organization dedicated to participatory and interactive art that transcends disciplines. What types of projects work well at FIGMENT? Glad you asked! FIGMENT Oakland provides a unique opportunity to showcase pieces that don't really fit into traditional exhibition spaces. Pieces that are too hands-on, too participatory, too site specific, too experimental, too messy or loud or playful or large. This can take any number of forms and speak to any number of creators, includingRead more
For FIGMENT Oakland 2018, we’re scheduling two different kinds of meetups to connect with community members interested in participating in our fall event. Our Open Team Meetups are geared towards artists and volunteers alike, while our Artist Meetups are geared solely towards artists.
Open Team Meetups
Interested in volunteering your time, talents, energy, or art to FIGMENT Oakland? We’re always interested in meeting community members who want to join our 2018 team. Come to our planning meetings to find out what we’re up to and how you can get involved.
Location - Farley’s East - 33 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612
- June 25
- July 23
- August 20
- September 17
Interested in submitting a project to FIGMENT Oakland 2018? Come to our Artist Meetups in Mosswood Park to meet the curation team, tour the park, and learn more about what makes for a successful FIGMENT project.
Location - Mosswood Park - 3612 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94609 (we’ll be at the picnic tables near the playground)
- June 16th 11am-1pm
- July 14th 11am-1pm
- August 11th 11am-1pm
- September 8th 11am-1pm
Join the team for our community-driven participatory art festival!
FIGMENT Oakland is coming back to Mosswood Park Saturday this September! As planning starts for our fourth year here in Oakland, we’re looking for self-motivated, outgoing, volunteers to help with artist outreach and curation.Read more
A Conversation with Astro Botanicals artist Stan Clark
“I’ve been making these inflatable sculptures for over five years,” Clark told us, recalling the efforts he put into building his business. “Events help it get off its feet,” he elaborated, “I do festivals and concerts.” In order to expand his project’s outreach, Clark has installed his inflatable sculptures at a variety of professional and volunteer community events around the Bay Area. We spoke to him recently about building his business, and the meanings behind his unique creations.
Above: Enormous inflatable Astro Botanicals sculptures at FIGMENT Oakland.Read more
Calling all Bay Area Artists, Volunteers, FIGMENT Oakland friends...You’re invited to our special PARTYcipation Meet & Greet Mixer on Wednesday, May 24!
Join the FIGMENT Oakland core team on the patio at Temescal Brewing for housemade brews and popcorn. Meet and mingle with FIGMENT artists past and present, volunteers, friends, and the art-curious.
Want to know what's up with being an artist at this year's FIGMENT? Want to learn about what FIGMENT is to begin with? If you’re considering submitting an art project, volunteering, or just want to learn more about how to support this fun and creative event, this is the perfect time to get involved.
Here are the details:
- Date and time: Wed, May 24, 2017, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM PDT
- Location: Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609 [MAP]
- First 25 RSVP’s get a FREE DRINK TICKET so make sure to sign up for that on Eventbrite!
- Share the event on Facebook and help spread the word!
Above: Participants at FIGMENT Oakland 2015, Mosswood Park
Above: Video still from Illustreet at FIGMENT Oakland 2015. Click for the video!
Outdoor events like Coachella,Burning Man, and Lightning in a Bottle have attracted increasingly massive, energetic crowds, drawn by music, community, and art. Each event centers around an escape from our fast-paced, urban lives, allowing us to indulge in a sort of urban play. The Coachella and Lighting in a Bottle festivals both feature big-name musical acts as their main draw, while at the Burning Man festival, art and community-building are the main course, while music shows are a close complement. Together, art and participatory community can shift our perspectives, enabling us to indulge the more childlike impulses of play, fun, and experience for its own sake. For FIGMENT artist Aitan Mizrahi, creator of Illustreet, “all it took was a dry erase board [and] a timer.”
We caught up with Mizrahi this week for a conversation about how Illustreet was presented at FIGMENT Oakland, and how interactive art encourages participants to leave their daily stress behind.Read more
Get to know the Bay Area's favorite robot
“People don’t dance enough,” announced Chris Hirst, the creative force behind Robot Dance Party: an infamous robot that dances in San Francisco’s Dolores Park, Oakland FIGMENT, the annual Burning Man event, and many other places. “This made me think that a dancing [character] would encourage people to dance more.” People think: “I’m dancing with a robot and it looks ridiculous, but it doesn’t make me feel nervous or embarrassed.”
Dancing seems to have many different connotations attached to it, including ideas about how people should dance. Robot Dance Party started as a reaction to those ideas, with a simple goal: to encourage people to express themselves freely, without having to worry about dancing “correctly.” The fun and lighthearted art project-turned-robot-costume initially started as a submission to 2007’s Burning Man. But Hirst’s lovable robot wasn’t as successful at Burning Man, probably because the event inundated with crazy, wild, and funky art projects. “At Dolores [Park], people are [much] more likely to approach it and dance with it, because it’s unexpected and fun,” Hirst grinned. While dance may be Hirst’s art, the robot itself is a whimsical, artistic reversal of what usually comes to mind when we think of the word “robot.”
Above: Chris Hirst creates a little Robot Dance Party at FIGMENT Oakland 2015.Read more
FREEDOM, IDENTITY, AND ART IN AN ERA OF SURVEILLANCE
None of our lives are truly private. Is “Big Brother,” the NSA, always watching us?
It wouldn’t be possible without data. Bright, multicolored advertisements flash across our screens, across most of the websites we use everyday, from Facebook to Gmail, Instagram to Snapchat, using cookies to track our behavior and then pester us about shirts, shoes, or other recently viewed products. These smart, targeted advertisements have enveloped my own Facebook page, each ad resulting from careful algorithmic sculpting of my online reality.
Every piece of our data is a tiny snapshot of our lives. Highly sophisticated facial-recognition algorithms, like Amazon Rekognition, are able to use that data to find a face within a morass of pixels. With cloud technology, facial recognition can now estimate a subject’s age range, gender, and other variables, complementing biometrics like iris recognition, retinal analysis, and fingerprint scanning.
A model in CV Dazzle facial disguise, courtesy of Adam Harvey
For FIGMENT artist Adam Flynn, invasive data collection was something many weren’t even remotely paranoid over. That is, until CV Dazzle. Computer Vision Dazzle (CV Dazzle), a project from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), directly responds to algorithms’ invasion into our private lives. Adam Harvey created CV Dazzle as a technology that doubles as art, because each brushstroke has to be strategically placed on a person’s face in order to confuse state-of-the-art algorithms used in surveillance software.
We sat down with Adam Flynn recently to explore this topic, the impact of surveillance on communities, and his goals for his FIGMENT project and beyond.Read more
FIGMENT highlights DIY interactive cinema with Larry Lansing and Eddie Kestermont
Imagine: It’s a balmy spring afternoon. Eager to watch an award-winning film, you search for YouTube previews of The Revenant. Clicking on what appears to be a film trailer, your screen is flooded with detailed footage of a monstrous grizzly bear sinking his teeth into Hugh Glass, who howls with a pure, unadulterated rage.
Spoilers like these ruin the surprise, rendering carefully crafted stories and artful cinematography predictable instead of exciting. Eddie Kestermont and Larry Lansing, joint creators of The Box Theater, decided it was time to create an innovative spoiler experience. The result: a playful, 10-minute film featuring deep spoilers from The Sixth Sense, Star Wars, and other classics woven into a mini-documentary.
The inspiration was simple: create a high-quality replica of the movie theater experience without full-length film showings. Craving “an outlet for restless energy,” Lansing considered compiling a montage of spoilers celebrating the best moments in cinema. For co-creator Kestermont, spoilers were only the beginning. He assembled deep spoilers—the pivotal moments in a series that profoundly alter an audience’s previous perceptions of the story.
Look out! There are deep spoilers inside this Box! (snapshot from FIGMENT Oakland, 2015)