Monday, October 25, 2010

David Koren for Figment Project 2010

The Art in Odd Places 2010 festival recently concluded. It was such a delight to see our artists infusing their works along the stretch of 14th Street. Please check our Facebook group and Flickr page to see pictures from the festival.

Although the festival just ended,  Art in Odd Places recognizes the need to acknowledge other festivals, especially in New York City, that share the credo in making art accessible. A few months ago, Governor's Island was transformed into a a great art space for "Figment NYC 2010". The vision of the festival is to "celebrate the  abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artists and our communities to find ways to create, share, and dream.". What is so interesting about this festival is the emphasis on participation, where people are encouraged to interact with the art works. It is literally bringing the arts closer to the intended recipient. It is through festival like Figment that bring the word "accessibility" to whole different level.

Art in Odd Places reached out to David Koren, Executive Producer and Founder for Figment to share his thoughts about  Figment and a few other questions, including his emphasis on participatory art
David Koren,Founder and Executive Producer at Figment

Aiop: This year's event was definitely a huge success. How was this year's Figment different from the previous ones?
DK: Well, after four years, it really does seem that we are part of the cultural landscape in New York City, and people know about Figment and what we stand for. This year's Figment event had nearly 25,000 participants, over 10,000 more than last year, who engaged with 400 art projects. And we estimate that our summer-long minigolf course, sculpture garden, and pavilion will be visited by approximately 75,000 people this summer. Aside from the growth in terms of number of participants and visitors, we also believe we are growing in terms of the overall quality of the projects we create, and the skill of the artists who bring work to Figment.

Aiop: What is the ultimate goal of Figment?
DK: In a word, participation. We want everyone to participate and to create a deep and engaging experience for everyone through participation and collaboration. We would like to see every single person who comes to Governors Island bringing something to share, some way to engage with others. We believe that participation creates community, brings us all closer together, and in this way is a vehicle for personal and social transformation.

Aiop: You mentioned the parallelism between Burning Man and Figment. Could you speak more about this?
DK: Figment is inspired and influenced by Burning Man, but is not linked to Burning Man in any official way. The founders of Figment view our event and projects as a way to share the principles that we have learned from Burning Man with a broader audience: Participation, Decommodification, Inclusion, Self-Expression, Self-Reliance, Giving, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leave No Trace, and Immediacy. The influence goes both ways… Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey has said that the 2010 Burning Man theme, "Metropolis," was inspired by his trip to New York and Figment in June 2009. We see Figment as an evolution of the principles of Burning Man brought out into the public realm.

Aiop: Figment's work is driven entirely by volunteers. How important is it to build not only a strong Figment community but also building relationship within the public art community?
DK: We're all about relationships, and building as broad a community around participatory public art and Governors Island as we can. We have built strong relationships with groups concerned with the arts, design, sustainability, Governors Island, our waterfronts, etc. We believe that public art is art that is created by and for the public, and we welcome partnerships with any organizations that share this view.

Aiop: It seems that Figment is really big on the idea of participatory art, the ability to interact with the work as oppose to merely seeing it. Tell us more about this.
DK: Participation is what we're all about. It's at the heart of what we do, and what sets us apart from other arts organizations. We resist the idea of the artist as a singular genius who is ordained by the cultural elite. We believe that we are all creative, that we all have the capacity to make art, and that if we work together we can create things that no one of us could have created in isolation. Every one of our projects involves participation or interaction in some way. Through this focus, we seek to bring the moment of creation as close as possible to the present moment. Think about most art you see in a museum or gallery: it likely was created by someone else, who you've never met, a long time ago in a faraway place. It couldn't be much further away from you and your experience. By focusing on collaboration and participation, we're bringing the moment of creation, the moment when the creator says, "Aha! I've got it!" as close as possible to the present time and place. Art isn't something that has to be created in isolation in a studio. Art can be the experience that we're creating together, right now.

Aiop: Anything you would like say to Art in Odd Places as its 6th annual festival just recently concluded
DK: Art in Odd Places does a great job creating a more democratic arts experience for the people of New York City. Keep up the great work! I think it's important to consider, as I know you guys do, just how engaging a work of art is… Is the art just about going somewhere and looking at it, or does it reach out and grab you, and get you to engage with it - and to collaborate with the artists in creating a shared experience? I think that's where the real frontiers lie in art today.

For more information about this exciting project, visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AudioMole Launch Party @ Sullivan Hall

Art in Odd Places was invited to check out the launch of great website for underground music called "Audio Mole NYC". This is a user generated site allowing a different avenue for underground and indie music to thrive The website's launch party at Sullivan Hall featured 10 bands. Here at Art in Odd Places, we definitely approve anything that offers a different a way of exploring the spectacle of daily life.

The brains behind AudioMole- NYC: Hannah and Robbie

A creative give away at the event:

The launch event held a battle of the bands event:  First stop, she calls herself the "NYC Subway Girl"

The Band called "The Press" 


"The Ravages" performed

Feel free to visit to find out more about the website and find a new way of enjoying music.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AiOP 2010 artist, Scott Kildall sharing his "After Thought"

Scott Kildall posted in his blog his recent Art in Odd Festival experience. To read more, click on the picture

Zach, Scott and Minha from "After Thought"

Stay tune for more post Art in Odd Places review

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Linda Hesh sharing her Art in Odd Places 2010 Experience

My “Chance Meeting Doorknob Hangers” are definitely causing various reactions on the street. I've been blessed, cursed, thanked and questioned.  I have spoken to kids at a Latino community center, Korean manicurists, an Italian tailor, a Middle Eastern barber – a full range of ages and backgrounds. These pieces of paper have inspired everything from “Praise Jesus!” to “You can't do that here!”   I love leaving these little bits of art along the street to for people to find whether I get an immediate reaction or leave it for the future.

Photo courtesy Linda Hesh

This project has had one unexpected result. I didn't really think about what would come of me looking so carefully at every single door as I accessed whether it could accommodate a doorknob hanger.  It's a feeling like I “own” this street. Every building has been examined and I “know” every place on the entire length of the street. I have a close connection, almost like it's my home. 

Photo courtesy Linda Hesh

Photo courtesy Linda Hesh    
Thanks Linda! More artists reflecting on their experience coming soon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


This weekend at Art in Odd Places 2010: CHANCE 
Respond to a letter addressed To A Young Poet left behind by Sheryl Oring on each Avenue along 14th Street (Friday – Sunday, 10am), watch as the BroLab Collective manually transports water for 24 hours straight from the Hudson to the East River (from Friday, 3pm to Saturday, 3pm), locate Linda Hesh’s suggestive doorknob hangers scattered randomly along 14th Street (daily), try your luck with Maya Suess, the Lady of Luck herself, for one last time! (Saturday, 12-2pm) Get anything you wish notarized at Carrie Dashow’s Yesiree Notary Booth in Union Square (Saturday, 12-3pm), hustle and argue with Jessica Ann Peavy as she tries to convince you of her point of view (Sunday, 4-7pm), discover the sounds of the rivers that cap our city with the help of Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Thomas Dexter (Friday – Sunday, 12-1pm), become the subject of Simonetta Moro’s window drawing as she tracks pedestrian movement in a storefront (Saturday – Sunday, 12-4pm), experience historic sounds of the city at Pratt Manhattan culled by Christopher Dameron and Annika Newell from sound archives (daily), grab a publication of poetry based on directions given by cab drivers to Dannielle Tegeder (daily), walk on over and say hello when members of Flux Factory wave at you from across the street (daily), and witness a spectacle as Irvin Morazan tries to hail a taxi in his outrageous Mayan headdress and Cheez Doodle outfit (Friday, 5-6:30pm).

Views of Sheryl Oring's Letters to a Young Poet at various locations along 14th Street. See website for details  


City Souvenirs
Performance begins at the NE corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue (by the Food Emporium)
Friday, October 8 (11am – 3pm): Heading East; Saturday, October 9 (11am – 3pm): Heading West; Sunday, October 10 (11am – 3pm): Heading West

Dressed in “official” uniforms, the duo will walk along 14th St with a cart that holds blocks of wet clay. This clay will be used to make direct impressions of often-unnoticed details of the spaces they traverse in their walk. The public is invited to participate in the creation of objects that will serve as a record of a specific moment in time of New York City’s history.



A talk by Marc and Sara Schiller

Friday, October 8 (7 – 9pm): Pratt Manhattan auditorium, 144 W 14th St, 2nd Fl.
With Street Art works often only lasting minutes, viewing them digitally has been one main way to understand the movement. Using hundreds of examples of site specific, global work, the Wooster Collective will take you through what makes Street Art so compelling, why the artists are motivated to make illegal art, and how the movement has transformed over the past decade.


TXTual Healing
Friday, October 8 (8 – 10pm): 52 E 14th Street at Broadway (former Virgin Megastore)

TXTual Healing is an interactive public projection that encourages community building and idea sharing through performance. Notzold invites passersby to respond to a predetermined subject via text messaging, and screens the resulting dialogue onto urban structures.  In so doing, he creates an experience of happenstance and curiosity for bystanders and participants alike.

Video screening curated by Marco Antonini

Saturday, October 9 (7 – 9pm): Pratt Manhattan auditorium, 144 W 14th Street
Featuring: Ivan Argote, Tobias Collier, Simon Faithfull, Wojciech Gilewicz, Leopold Kessler, Jules Marquis, Chris Moukarbel, Valerio Rocco Orlando, Colin Snapp, and Virginie Yassef.

Spotting Signs of Progress - Green Map Icons, Sustainability and YOU!

Saturday, October 10 (1-4pm): 14th Street Y, 344 E 14th St, lobby

Join Green Map System, a non-profit organization that empowers international communities worldwide to chart their progress toward an environmentally sustainable future, at the 14th Street Y on 10/10/10 to share findings from their ten-day scavenger hunt along 14th Street. Then, help design new Green Map Icons as part of the Global Work Party for Climate Solutions.
Please note: All Elastic City walks are FULL. Please check to sign up for future walks.
All events FREE and open to the public. In case of rain, please refer to the website for schedule changes: