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Archive for the ‘Eleanor Savage, Jerome Program Officer (and art lover)’ Category

tuning the sky

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

tuning the sky is a pop-in, illuminated cyclorama. It is a “surround-yourself-with-light” environment inspired by subtle and dramatic shifts of color in the sky.

Sometimes energizing sometimes calming, we respond to the changing light of the sky. Do you ever stop to watch the purple cast of a storm cloud approach, pause as blue sky turns to flame orange before daylight becomes twilight, or wake up just as the night sky is suddenly saturated with the warm amber hue of a fair weather sunrise?

Pop into one of the suspended islands of sky and tune the light of this miniature atmosphere to the sky of your dreams. When you enter one of these floating worlds you immerse yourself in a single color, a halo of light that fills the horizon all around your head. Feel the changing light as you bask in a dusk to dawn glow that you can tune to match the spirit of the moment that most inspires you.

Sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota.

Diane Willow

Multimodal artist and creative catalyst Diane Willow works among disciplines and media: “by any medium necessary” best describes her process. Focused on art as experience, she invites people to engage in multisensory explorations as participants and choreographers. She is associate professor of experimental and media arts at the University of Minnesota and shares her work internationally.


The Letterpress Shanty

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Letterpress Shanty is home to Northern Spark’s communally authored letterpress broadside, The Shantyquarian. Combining social networking with old-fashioned hand-printing from moveable type, The Shantyquarian turns socially generated text (sourced
from social networking platforms and on-site visitors) into a hand-typeset document laid out and printed on a letterpress and distributed to visitors throughout the night. During the weeks before Northern Spark, the Letterpress Shanty will generate online prompts through Twitter, Facebook, and Blogspot to solicit short texts from contributors around the world. These texts will be assembled and set in type on location at Northern Spark. Participants can submit to The Shantyquarian by tagging tweets with #shantyQ, responding to prompts on Facebook, or filling out an online questionnaire, available on The Shantyquarian blog.

Throughout the night, artists will solicit visitors with questionnaires and engage them in writing games to gather more material to be assembled with the online submissions. The document created will capture the immediacy and diffusion of online social networking, anchoring it in place and time to the intimacy and concreteness of the experiences of festival participants. When the Letterpress Shanty has finished assembling the texts, artists will begin hand-printing broadsides and distributing them to
the public for the duration of the evening. To complete the circle, a downloadable PDF of the broadside will be posted online.

The goal of the Letterpress Shanty is to draw together technologies across time and participants across space to create a collaboratively authored artifact of the event. Visitors are invited to pull a print on one of our antique letterpresses, engage with the typesetting process, and participate in collaborative writing games.

Observation Tape Deck

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

 Based on her installation Status Update, Caly McMorrow’s Observation Tape Deck is a site-specific, interactive light and sound installation for the Foshay Tower’s observation deck that plays on the Foshay’s significance as a historic building and its former role as a radio transmitter. Participants are invited to use vintage broadcast microphones stationed at each corner to record their observations or memories inspired by this unique panoramic view of the Twin Cities. Speakers placed on all sides of the outdoor observation area play back the stored recordings in sync with vintage lightbulbs, creating an evolving collage of visitors’ experiences throughout the 12-hour installation.

Caly McMorrow

Caly is an installation artist, electronic musician, and sound designer. One of few women in the DIY-driven cultures of circuit bending, hardware hacking, and chiptunes, she blends a background in classical music, technical theater, and digital audio to create environments that incorporate sound, light, and interactivity.

Yellow River @ Mississippi River :: seeking what a river carries

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Yellow River @ Mississippi River :: seeking what a river carries is a collaborative student project that emerges from an image quest to gather clues to the cultural meanings and histories of the Yellow River in China and the Mississippi River in Minnesota. These rivers resonate, converge, and diverge in the collective imagination. A shifting projection of images sparked by this collaborative visual quest, Yellow River @ Mississippi River will juxtapose these virtual views with those of the nearby downstream flow of the waters of the Mississippi River that shape this site.

Artists and professors Liu Xuguang and Diane Willow are the catalysts for a project that will be created by students at the University of Minnesota and the Beijing Film Academy. The students will communicate with each other and experiment with a range of virtual media before coming together on site to present their vision of these two rivers and the meanings they carry.

Sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum and the China Exchange Program of the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota

Liu Xuguang

Beijing artist Liu Xuguang exhibits his work internationally. He is vice-director of the fine arts department and director of the New Media Art Lab at the Beijing Film Academy. He received his PhD in fine arts at Tsinghua University and studied at the National Institute of Saitama University of Japan and Tokyo University of Arts.

Diane Willow

Multimodal artist and creative catalyst Diane Willow works among disciplines and media: “by any medium necessary” best describes her process. Focused on art as experience, she invites people to engage in multisensory explorations as participants and choreographers. She is associate professor of experimental and media arts at the University of Minnesota and shares her work internationally.

Star Spectacle on the Greenway

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Join In the Heart of the Beast Theatre for this interactive display of masks, dancing, and music. March to the beat of a different drummer and experience Star Spectacle!

Since 1973, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre has been using water, flour, newspaper, paint, and unlimited imagination to tell stories that explore the struggles and celebrations of human existence. Drawing inspiration from the world’s traditions of puppet and mask theater and its lively roots in transformative ritual and street theater, In the Heart of the Beast creates vital poetic theater for all ages and backgrounds.

letting go

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

HOTTEA is the tag name of artist Eric Rieger, a critically acclaimed installation artist and designer who creates street art with skeins of yarn in the Twin Cities and internationally. For Northern Spark, HOTTEA employs yarn and recycled materials on an installation project that will add colorful warmth to Target Park and complement Palace of Wonder, the community project undertaken by Patty Mitchell and Robert Lockheed. Come by to see what they’ve done! Stand back to see it all, or move up close and get lost in the details.

Eric Rieger

Eric Rieger (HOTTEA) is a well-known street artist. His stunning typographical installations are both beautifully elaborate and simple. His works have been displayed by invitation throughout the United States and internationally, with recent exhibitions in London, Berlin, and Poland. HOTTEA has exhibited at Minneapolis Future Presence Gallery and HAUS Salon, and he contributed to a series of European television commercials for a Converse shoes campaign. He was invited to design and execute his work prominently at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair, and in 2013 he will exhibit new work with a solo show at the Burnet Art Gallery in downtown Minneapolis. He received his BFA in graphic design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Letterpress Lock-In

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Lunalux has been sharing the ancient craft of letterpress printing with the local community since 1993. One of our favorite mediums for expression is wood-type posters. Our Loring Park studio houses a collection of vintage dingbats, decorative cuts, and lead and wood type; these concrete elements provide both wonderful inspiration and challenging constraints for presenting information and expressing whimsical or deep thoughts.

During Northern Spark, the artists at Lunalux will be locked in for a letterpress all-nighter. Usually the process of designing and printing a poster might be stretched over days or even weeks. On the night of June 9, we’re kicking the creative process into overdrive and printing a unique edition every hour. And we’re counting on the Northern Spark crowd to tell us what to print:
visitors are invited to submit ideas for potential production during the festival. Guests can wander through our studio to see the printing process up close and personal. Look on as we dig through our collection of type and decorative elements, create quick-fire compositions, and pull prints on our hand-cranked 1960s-era Vandercook SP-15 proof press. Hot-off-the-press prints will be given
away all night long.

Letterpress Lock-In printers:

Jenni Undis, Lunalux
Morgan Hiscocks, Lunalux
Mary Bruno, Bruno Press
Chank Diesel, alphabetician and artist
Ruthann Godollei, printmaker and art professor, Macalester College
Bill Moran, Blinc Publishing
Chip Schilling, Indulgence Press

Lake Street Luminary Promenade

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Highpoint Center for Printmaking and the Bakken Museum invite you to partake in an electric spectacle of handmade magnetic luminaries and printed paper lanterns as part of the Lake Street Luminary Promenade. Create magnetic “lightning bugs” that will
adhere to light posts, bike racks, and parking meters along the Lake Street sidewalk in front of Highpoint. Print relief block images onto glowing paper lanterns that can be strung along the Luminary Promenade or in the rain garden behind Highpoint’s studio.

Leave a lightning bug or lantern at Highpoint to make your mark on the site, and take another with you to light your way across the city. But before venturing into the night, enjoy live music and wood-fired pizza, and take in the 2011–12 Jerome Residency Exhibition in Highpoint’s gallery.


Wood-fired pizza  6 – 8:30 pm
Music  6 – 9 pm
Lake Street Luminary Promenade 6 – 11 pm


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Set up along the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis near the Weisman Art Museum, AutoNocturnal consists of six tiny automatons, each depicting behaviors of a different nocturnal animal, such as the owl, the wolf, and the bat. With the nighttime Mississippi River as a background, each automaton incorporates a mix of high and low technologies to enable audience participation and interaction, magical thinking, and wonder.


Monday, March 26th, 2012

A microprojection event on the Washington Avenue Bridge near the Weisman Art Muesum featuring tiny demons and nocturnal beasts that plague your subconscious during the night hours. Animating and collaging demons and beasts from across cultures,  University of Minnesota associate professor Jenny Schmid, alumni Drew Anderson, and student and alumni members of MAW will roam with microprojectors around the bridge and river to surprise and trouble visitors with a performance designed to elucidate the darker side of your dream life.

The Two Wheel Tour: A Parade of Oddities

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Two Wheel Tour, the city’s smallest theatre trails behind Open Eye’s tandem bike to present A Parade of Oddities and light up the night with miniature spectacle.

Under Ice

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Life continues under ice.

Lighting and projection artist Michael Murnane attempts a rare and sometimes frightening glimpse into the living world under ice. After ice has formed on the surface of a lake or river, it becomes an eerie ghostly environment of darkness, with fleeting images of life, and of silence, broken only with an occasional thundering crack.

Using high-resolution projectors, live multilayer playback technology, and stage lighting, Murnane will project massive images on the historic Pillsbury A Mill on Main Street in Minneapolis. These images were collected through the ice and reveal his reflections and feelings from years of ice fishing with his father, as he wondered what was going on through the hole as well as in his own life.

Michael Murnane

Minneapolis lighting designer Michael Murnane loves to point lights and projectors at just about anything in an effort to create a unique environment. A thirty-year veteran of theatrical lighting design, he has lit hundreds of shows in the United States, Canada, China, Tanzania, Kenya, and several countries in Europe. He works in a wide range of theatrical genres, including theater, opera, concerts, galas, architecture, television, and corporate events, and his designs consistently win praise for their powerful emotional tone.


Monday, January 16th, 2012

SHIFT is a sound and interactive movement environment located in the lobby of the Barbara Barker Center for Dance at the University of Minnesota. SHIFT asks which communicative qualities contribute to a sustainable, evolving society, best serve the conversation, and lay the groundwork for growth.  In between performance events, spectators will be invited to explore the interactive environment freely.

Performance times:

10:00 PM and 11:15 PM (20min)
(Q & A after first performance)
The environment will be available for audience participation between 10:20 pm and 12:30 am

Conceived and directed by Vanessa Voskuil
Sonic environment and technology by Manjunan Gnanaratnam
Design installation by David Mehrer

Performing Collaborators
Jeffrey Berger
Hilda De Roover
Andrea Ñ Gutierrez
Alexandre Spinelli Ferreira
Pierre-Gilles Henry
Ifrah Mansour
Emma Rainwater
Sammy Samejima

Vanessa Voskuil

Vanessa Voskuil is an independent choreographer, director, performer, designer, community organizer, teaching artist, and creator of dances, interdisciplinary performances and films. She has created more than twenty original works presented by theaters and universities throughout the Twin Cities.

Manjunan Gnanaratnam

Composer Manjunan Gnanaratnam has worked extensively as an interdisciplinary artist within the context of Modern and Postmodern Dance for almost thirty years. His research in physical computing methodologies and multidisciplinary identities originated at the Computer Music Labs at the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport, New York, in the early 1990s.

David Mehrer

David Mehrer holds a B.F.A. in sculpture from Minnesota State University Moorhead. His work with Vanessa Voskuil in En Masse won a Minnesota SAGE award for outstanding design. David is active in the Minneapolis theater and performing arts community as a set designer and stage manager, as well as designing and fabricating retail displays.


In Habit: Living Patterns

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

“Ultimately we choose which habits to repeat. It is in this choice that we become and are always becoming, always crafting our social skin.”—Pramila Vasudevan

For the 2012 Northern Spark Festival, Aniccha Arts premieres a nine-hour overnight outdoor performance at the Central Avenue Bridge underpass. In Habit: Living Patterns explores the collectively learned habits and practices that emerge from the everyday, critiquing the acts of power that are reinforced by these patterns. This dance performance is composed of sixteen vignettes featuring performers who are dancing and interacting within an immersive electronic music and video environment in the landscape of patterns of movement in the audience.

The Aniccha Arts ensemble for In Habit: Living Patterns includes Pramila Vasudevan (artistic director, choreographer, and dance collaborator); Piotr Szyhalski (director); Jasmine Kar Tang (dramaturg and dance collaborator); Caleb Coppock (visual media designer); John Keston (musician); Benjamin Reed (installation designer); David Steinman (technology designer); Clare Brauch (costume designer); Cornelius Coons  (graphic designer); Sarah Hoover Beck-Esmay (dance collaborator); Dustin Maxwell (dance collaborator); and Chitra Vairavan (dance collaborator).

Pre-Festival Performances
Thursday, June 7th, 9 pm (60 minutes)
Friday, June 8th, 9 pm (60 minutes)

Northern Spark Festival Performance
Saturday, June 9th, 9 pm – 6 am (Join or leave anytime.)

Aniccha Arts

Aniccha Arts is a performing arts company that uses dance and electronic media to interrupt public space and invoke mass response. This sense of interruption, which involves an immersive atmosphere and interaction between audience and performers, is conveyed through kinetic presence, a mode of artistic intergration that simultaneously centers visual art, sound, and a movement aesthetic rooted in contemporary Indian dance and multiple dance forms. Trained in Indian dance and visual media, Pramila Vasudevan is the founder and artistic director of Aniccha Arts. The company’s repertoire includes Dousing the Mirage (2007), presented by Center for Independent Artists; an excerpt of The Wet Bug Hush (2008), featured in the Choreographers’ Evening at the Walker Art Center; The Weather Vein Project (2009), part of the Artists on the Verge fellowship at the Weisman Art Museum; and Words to Dead Lips (2010) of the Catalyst Series at Intermedia Arts.