Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Figment 2013 June 8 and 9

It was another great Figment Festival.

First of all a HUGE thank you to all my friends who came out to help make sculputures, and keep me company. It’s a lot of work going out there and getting everything organized but it made it fun that so many of you showed-up to say hello. It was really touching…

The weather was absolutely horrible on the Friday before, over 4 inches of rain. I thought for sure Saturday would be blown out, but it cleared up just in time for the morning.

The crowds were a little smaller, but I stayed busy, and had a full-house for much of the time.

Since I was alone I developed a strategy of standing on the curb and acting like a carny to bring in the shills for 10 minutes. Once I had 10 people working on sculptures who understood the program I would go sit in the shade and talk to friends, and have snacks and drinks. This worked remarkably well, and I did very little actual work.

The plan was that Sunday would be dedicated to throwing them in the water, but the Sun came out full force on Sunday, and that brought the folks who wanted to use the magnifying glasses to mark the wood in droves, so I let them continue to do construction.

Some of the Figment organizers asked me if I wanted to have the peace parade stop by. The peace parade was a bunch of people dancing and singing going from exhibit to exhibit. When I realized it would be a crowd I devised a plan to have the freaky parade people help me do the launching. It worked like a charm.

There were actually two parades. The first one started near me and I gave a little speech about the project then danced them over to the my area and handed out tons of sculptures. I then led them to a good spot off Castle William and got them to throw the wood in.

The parade goers were singing and dancing and they began to sing a song about “Tim made a bunch of driftwood, and now we are throwing it in the water, la la la….” For a moment I felt extremely powerful leading 50 singing people on a crazy parade, all them shouting my name. Like Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, but it didn’t last…

10 minutes later a second even bigger peace parade arrived and the process was repeated. On the second go round this wacky guy paddled up. He is in a crappy rec boat with no spray skirt, an unzipped PFD, no float bag, and I’m pretty sure he was as loaded as me and the peace paraders. We threw the sculptures to him, and he picked one up, put it in his boat, waved to us, and went on his way! So I KNOW that one was found. He was probably washed out to sea with it, so we might not get it back…

On Sunday morning before taking the ferry over to the Island I stupidly got up at 5:00AM and went out with some folks from the Red Hook Boaters to see them blow-up this building on Governors Island. It just seemed like something I had to do, since I was spending most of the weekend there anyway. The officials made us stay a long long way away, but we did get it on video, and it did feel really special to be out on such a beautiful morning when everyone else was still asleep:

I made a short video of the implosion. Check it out.

I am featured about 1/2 way into this cool video Antonella made of the festival:

This kid made a really cool scultpure. She did a little narwall, using a knot hole for the nose, then worked out from there. She was having fun, I'm not sure what this sour puss was all about, look below for the happy artist and finished product.

See she is smiling now!

It says "P E A C E" the parade freaks liked this one. (It also says Tim better find a place to charge up the drill)

Did we have a good crowd? hell yes we had a good crowd. People are checking out the art, a bunch more are hard at work making it making sculptures, everybody helping everyone else and having fun.

This guy actually read all the instructions and got very intense about "naming" his piece.

So there were actually two little kids who made battle axes. Using very different construction techniques. This one was definitely into it the most.

He is about bean his buddy...

It was a pig, I thought it was a cat....

John and Delores did really nice ones.

Ilya made an extremely sturdy catamaran.

I'm not sure if this is blood on the end, but it might be.

The kid in the middle has tattooed herself with the markers. Aunt Marcella was in charge.

The yang and the ying, (see below). This piece was actually a demonstration piece I did to show people how to use the reeds to join two pieces together, but somebody just kept going with it...

Another personal favorite of mine...

Crazy Kayak dude after picking one up.
Peace Parade leader whips crowd into launching frenzy.
I didn’t see too many of the other exhibits, but these young women with the bicycles definitely got my attention. They did their performance right next to me. I’m sure they were somehow affiliated with the folks who do the “Bike Kill” every fall. 

They had two routines one based on Star Wars, one on Le Mis, and they switched from BMX to road bikes halfway through!