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The “explosion of creative energy” that is FIGMENT takes over Governor’s Island in New York City once a year. The event lives up to its billing, too. That’s partly because the free festival is entirely run by volunteers. It has to be an explosion of creative energy, since the entire thing is defined by everyone’s participation.  [all photos by Maddie Potter]

Siwon Park, a producer of FIGMENT NYC, explained to us that this festival is “a safe playground,” where everyone can play, interact, imagine, and explore themselves to the wildest extent. Play, however, doesn’t even begin to describe some of our favorite outfit. They were just downright fun. Here’s what we found as we took to the FIGMENT festivities this weekend, and explored the world of interactive and participatory art–and, as noted, costumes….

The Figment Project Costumes

We just had to talk to these playful spirits–we were completely drawn in by the colors! We made friends with Wabi Sabi (left) and Moustachio (right). These two are members of the Kostume Kult. They’re not a real cult, though. This organization gathers hand-me-downs and thrifted costumes to give back to kids at events like these. Their station allowed kids to walk up and choose the costume that they wanted to wear and then take home. Moustachio declared that he aims to inspire imagination, and these two did just that.

Figment Project Costumes 3

Figment Project Costumes 5

Carol Crump (far left) is a member of Calling All Parties. It’s an art collective that “gets you to do stuff you never thought you’d want to do, and love it.” Their interactive piece “Aqua Attack” was a huge hit at the festival. Players get suited up in costumes and enter one of two opposing mini-pools labeled “Super Hero” or “Super Villain.”  These were filled with water soaked plush toys. 3, 2, 1… fire! Sopping wet toys were flinging everywhere. The moral of the play? That you can be whoever you want, whatever you want,whether it be good or evil. Or evil for just 5 minutes.

Figment Project Costumes

Figment Project Costumes 4

We’re already looking forward to next year’s event–but if you missed this one, then you’re still in luck. FIGMENT is an inclusive kind of event, after all. The festival is being held in eight cities across the world. There might be a FIGMENT festival happening near you! For all the locations and plenty more information, check out the FIGMENT official site.

Justin Gilbert is a rising senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is studying Advertising and Public Relations, with a minor in Studio Art. This course of study stemmed from his love of design, fashion, creativity, and innovative marketing. This summer, Justin hopes to gain valuable insight and experience in the world of editorial fashion. In the future, Justin plans to be a fashion public relations professional while simultaneously growing his blog, The Style Lion, to become a staffed publication and a brand of its own.