Vicki Clough Curates

Musings on art and life.

FREE, FUN, Participatory art!—FIGMENT Toronto 26-27 July 2014

So, “what IS FIGMENT?” you might ask. And I can answer with three simple words. FREE. Participatory. Art. And it’s on an island. Olympic Island to be exact. With a crack team of Superhero volunteers, kick-ass art projects from Toronto and New York, and music acts to knock your socks off, FIGMENT Toronto will be an event to remember.

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Figment aims to break down the barriers between artist and viewer by being completely free, un-commodified, and participatory, so YOU get to actually be a part of the art! These are key parts of the 11 Principles—

1. PARTICIPATION
Transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play.

2. DECOMMODIFICATION
FIGMENT seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We will not substitute consumption for experience.

The Conundrum, by David Hynes, was a huge hit last year, and looks as though it will make a come-back again this year!

The Conundrum, by David Hynes, was a huge hit last year, and looks as though it will make a come-back again this year!

3. INCLUSION
Anyone may be a part of FIGMENT; no prerequisites exist for participation except willingness to work and play. We welcome and respect the stranger.

4. SELF-EXPRESSION
Each individual and collaborating group has unique qualities, and through self-expression can offer a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of others.

Nail Art by Humboldt Magnussen

Nail Art by Humboldt Magnussen

5. SELF-RELIANCE
FIGMENT encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

6. GIVING
FIGMENT is devoted to acts of gift giving and volunteering. FIGMENT itself is a gift from volunteer artists and event staff, who hope that each participant brings an attitude of giving. Giving does not imply a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

7. COMMUNAL EFFORT
We seek to create an environment ripe for each individual to achieve personal artistic transformation — but the creation of such an environment can be done only through creative cooperation and collaboration.

Ganesh by Frank Perna

Ganesh by Frank Perna

8. CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY
Each participant in FIGMENT is responsible for creating a civil environment for all other participants. We endeavor to produce this event in a way that fosters a civil society and that is socially responsible.

9. LEAVE NO TRACE
We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves to leave each place in a better state than we found it.

pARTicipate in FIGMENT, you'll have an awesome time…

pARTicipate in FIGMENT, you’ll have an awesome time…

10. IMMEDIACY
Too often the limit for creative expression is the barrier between our inner selves and the selves that we present to the world. By breaking down that barrier, we can gain a profound appreciation for the opportunities that lie in each time and place.

11. GRATITUDE
We believe it is important to remind ourselves where we come from, and to appreciate what has been given to us to get us to where we are. We are not entitled to anything, and approach our relations to others from a place of gratitude for their efforts.

Stilt Walkers at FIGMENT 2013

Stilt Walkers at FIGMENT 2013

By some amazing shift of planetary alignments and “right place, right time” situations, I have found myself in the awesome role of Curatorial Intern for this years event. I have landed in amongst a wonderful team of people and am being opened up to some pretty incredible experiences that mostly involve fun times and too much sun. Or sun times and too much fun… Whichever you prefer.

While my opinion might be a little biased, and these images only show a tiny snippet of the magic we’re bringing to Olympic Island this year—I would encourage you to keep an eye on our lineup, as it gets better and better by the day!

And for all those artists and volunteers who are interested, you can still SUBMIT A PROJECT or VOLUNTEER! Deadline is the 9th of July,

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF FEE GUNN

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Vicki Clough

Vicki Clough

Vicki is an independent curator and craftsperson with a focus on socially engaged and participatory art and events. In January 2016 she helped launch Reconstructing Resilience, an ongoing research and curatorial project that aims to address the various forms of sustainable practice. She has been the Curatorial Director of Figment Toronto since 2014 and has also co-curated exhibitions including Move to Stillness, for the Harbourfront Centre's Kick Up Your Heels Festival (2015), The Duel, AGO First Thursdays (2014) and What Are You Made Of? OCAD U Graduate Gallery (2013). She initiated the Toronto based workshop model and website Polymers in Action: Socially Engaged Art and the Environment as part of her studies at OCAD University, where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. She publishes on anything that interests her deeply and moves her to the point of lengthy verbal expression.

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