BY DIANE AGUIRRE
FIGMENT isn’t all in your head. This festival, which took place in Oakland’s Mosswood Park on Saturday, is as real as can be. Lucky attendees were treated to rockin’ bands, cool LED art, arts & crafts classes, and dancing robots. The best part? No corporate sponsors. The whole thing is run by volunteers and emerging artists who submit their art, perform their music, or just show up to help during the event.
The scale of the event seemed massive when I got there, so it was a matter of deciding where to start. Take a peek inside the giant birdhouse? Tour the Museum of Unnatural History? Pedal the sustainable sound system to make music come out? It was difficult to choose. Luckily, there was an adventure vending machine to provide some direction. I put some tokens in and got a small packet containing a vial of liquid (*probably* some essential oils) and instructions saying to relax under some shade and take a whiff. After enjoying the scent of the mystery liquid (sweet grass extract?), a whole new set of adventures awaited.
Besides the registered art installations that were placed in the park, people were invited to bring their mobile, renegade performances, art, and anything else creative to add to the event. Even if you forgot your flaming tuba or square hula hoops at home, there were plenty of opportunities to participate, including a community mural where anybody could pick up a brush and paint.
FIGMENT was an invitation – an invitation to be creative, interact with people in your community, and participate in making some of the magic of the event. Don’t worry, if you didn’t hear about it in time you can always get a head start on ideas for next year.