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Archive for the ‘Project’ Category

The Eye of the Walker

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Using the window of the Skyline Room as a screen, The Eye of the Walker watches over Minneapolis from dusk ’til dawn.


Where the Chill Came From

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Minnesota and the Midwest in general is a hotbed for paranormal activity.  From the Stillwater Bigfoot to the ghosts of the MIA, nearly every town in our state plays host to a supernatural guest.

Join us to hear local stories of the strange and unexplained, as well as share your own. Be careful though, once you find out what’s in your neighborhood you may not want to return home until morning! A paranormal investigator with the TCPS (Twin Cities Paranormal Society) for nearly half a decade, Nathan Lewis will be your guide through the legends of the region and share his personal investigation experiences.

Located in James Turrell Sky Pesher.

Material World

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Target’s South Tower lights up with a new project by Jim Campbell, creator of last year’s spectacular Scattered Light installation. 

Shin’m Piñata

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

When you walk into the Great Room of W Minneapolis–The Foshay, you will see colorful candy drops forming the shape of your body in video projections, which then explode when you move close to the projection.

Shin’m Piñata is an interactive audiovisual system created for the Northern Spark 2012 festival by Eunsu Kang, Donald Craig and Diana Garcia-Snyder. It is based on the artists’ Shin’m 2.0 project and its interactive system developed in 2011 with the Kinect sensor. As an interactive installation, Shin’m Piñata welcomes you to play.

Throughout the night, Diana Garcia-Snyder will dance with her interactive “piñata.” The dance starts in the middle of the crowd outside the Great Room. The dancer moves only when members of the audience touch her; otherwise she remains still. Through interactive participation, the dancer and the crowd move into the Great Room together. She jumps in and dances with her piñata and also with the audience. Participants are invited to join in the dance as well as interact with their own piñatas.

Busk until Dawn

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

A new participant in Northern Spark in 2012, Whittier Artists in Storefronts presents “Busk Till Dawn,” a European-styled fête featuring the best local acoustic, spoken word, and avant-garde street performances in the arms of the recently transformed Romanesque-revival remains of the Metropolitan Theatre (now Icehouse Court) at 2540 Nicollet Avenue. Performances begin at 9 pm and run through the night until the sun comes up.  Lightsaber guided walking tours of the Whittier Artists in Storefronts project throughout the evening!  Prepare yourself for a dimly lit vaudevillian carnival amid ruins filled with beautiful melodies and incredibly dazzling weirdos!

Set times are as follows:
9pm        Hillbilly Heroin
9:30        Danny Viper
10:00      Jaime Carrera’s “Tragicomico”
10:15      Jezebel Jones and Her Wicked Ways
11:00      Paul Dickinson and the Riot Act Literary Series
11:15      Mary Mack
12:00      Patches and Gretchen
12:45      Jaime Carrera’s “Tragicomico”
1:00       Upstate
2:00       Rana May of the Riot Act Literary Series
2:30       Busk Till Dawn!!!!

Performance Artists and Buskers will be staged throughout the park from 9pm-6 am.

Presented by Joan Vorderbruggen with support from Whittier Alliance, Eat Street Social, The Lost and Found, and Dunn Brothers!.


Dancing in the Dark

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

An evening stroll is illuminated by the glow of a streetlamp and the sparkle of the stars. A casual walk down an alley quickly transforms into a lively and spontaneous burst of movement. Similar scenes appear in films: characters traverse cobblestone streets and begin to change the night with dance. 

Nestled in the Loring Park neighborhood, Four Seasons Dance Studio is a warm and inviting space that encourages social partner dance in a relaxed atmosphere. Styles range from tango and salsa to the waltz, foxtrot, and swing. The studio hosts dancing events for the community, including swing parties and tango milongas. 
Join dancers from Four Seasons Dance Studio at Northern Spark to watch, wonder, and engage in an evening of dance!

Dancing in the Dark will take place in front of the studio in Loring Alley. Starting at 9 pm, swing dancers will perform dance demos. At 9:30 pm, visitors are invited to join in a mix of Latin, swing, and ballroom dances. Teachers will be on hand to provide direction. Join in the fun!

Picturing Peace: PhotoVoice, 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Armed with cameras and a critical eye, more than a dozen Minneapolis teens documented their reflections and hopes for peace and safety in their communities. This collection of photographs represents their perception of the strengths and assets that support community peace and create an environment where young people can thrive.

Picturing Peace: PhotoVoice, 2012 is a collaborative community engagement and photography project that explores youth violence, peace and safety, and community supports for young people. Teens from local neighborhoods participated in the PhotoVoice workshops led by local artists Community Blueprint and Bfresh, in which they discussed issues confronting them as individuals as well as their community, learned the fundamentals of photography, and curated their own work to create this collection.

This photodocumentary project is coordinated and funded by the Downtown Improvement District and Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support as part of its Minneapolis Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence.

For more information about the project, go to

Check It Out!

Gallery Exhibit: On display at City Hall.

Outdoor installation: The images are installed on sixteen utility boxes in east Downtown.

Download the walking tour map at or pick one up at Minneapolis City Hall, Open Book, or Minneapolis Central Library. Connect to the link on each box to learn the photographer’s own perspective on that work.


Announcing the Picturing Peace Photo Contest

Submit your own photographs that illustrate the theme of “Community Peace and Thriving Youth” and win the opportunity to have your work featured on the project website and installed on a utility box in Minneapolis. Go to for more information.

Presented by Minneapolis DID and Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support

Cloudy Waters: Dakota Reflections on the River

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Cloudy Waters is a multimedia piece that depicts the Mississippi River from the perspective of the Dakota, using ambient nature sounds interwoven with Dakota voices and projections of video and still images onto the Washburn Crosby West Engine House.

The river has been a site of both loss and strength for the Dakota community, connecting people yet serving as a boundary. It embodies the core Dakota belief “mitakuye owasin” (we are all related), signifying the profound connection among humans (and their thoughts, dreams, and ideas), other creatures, and the land we all share.

An audio version of Cloudy Waters plays every day in the Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard, free and open to the public during museum hours. For the one night of Northern Spark, Cloudy Waters will be enhanced with projections of video and still images.

Cloudy Waters was developed by award-winning Dakota video producer and director Mona Smith in collaboration with the Minnesota Historical Society’s exhibit media team. It was first exhibited at the Minnesota History Center in 2004 and has been adapted and expanded for the Mill City Museum Ruin Courtyard.

Mona Smith

Mona Smith (Sisseton–Wahpeton Dakota Oyate) is a media artist, educator, and the owner of Allies: media/art. Her work has been broadcast through PBS and other networks and shown at festivals, conferences, and museums in Europe and North and South America. She has received multiple awards from Native and non-Native film and video festivals, and in 2007 she was named Community Artist of the Year by the National Museum of the American Indian. Recently she has turned to new media, developing art pieces for the Internet, creating sites for web distribution of Native-focused media, and making multimedia installations. She and her family live near the Maka Cokiya Kin (center of the earth) in south Minneapolis, overlooking Wakpa Cistinna (Minnehaha Creek).

Late Night Improv

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Visit our new downtown theater for a special free performance of our legendary late night improv. Inspired by audience suggestions and pure, unbridled imagination, the cast of the Brave New Workshop delivers an all-improvised 45–60 minute performance without a script. The “genius of improvisation” that has made the BNW famous since 1958 is a rite of passage for any fan of the performing arts in the Twin Cities.

Brave New Workshop’s sidewalk café patio bar is open from 6:30 pm Saturday until 12 midnight Sunday.

ARTifacts in the Gallery, Live CoLab in the Alley

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Color. Light. Sound. Visit Gamut Gallery’s grand opening show, featuring Brant Kingman and Silvia Yordanova, at 1006 Marquette Avenue. Veterans of this space will be familiar with the alleyway entrance, which leads to a live multimedia outdoor installation. View collaboration, live painting, sculpture, projections, and sound, inside and out of the Gamut Gallery.

ARTifacts in the Gallery, Live CoLab in the Alley highlights the debut of Gamut Gallery in downtown Minneapolis and previews what to expect from its CoLab events series.

Northern Spark @ MIA

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Generous support for Northern Spark @ MIA is provided by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Journey to the Surface of Mars

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Join artist Margaret Pezalla-Granlund for a visual journey to the surface of Mars, guided by the photographs, drawings, and writings of Earl C. Slipher, an astronomer at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, who made hundreds of thousands of images of Mars. Over decades of observation, Slipher observed a mysterious system of canals on the surface of the Red Planet. The waterways criss-cross the planetary deserts, channeling melting ice from the Martian poles through the parched planet. What are these mysterious canals? Why do they appear? Join us for tea, cookies, and imaginative speculation.

This salon will complement the exhibition, ExtraMundane, on view in the Burnet Gallery.


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.


MN Film Shorts

Friday, April 6th, 2012

See selections from the best of the MN-made shorts program at this year’s MSP International Film Festival at this late-night outdoor screening.

‘92 Skybox Alonzo Mourning Rookie Card

Jim and Dave, two brothers who don’t like each other very much, are forced to come together when their dad dies in Kansas City. Dave is pretty sure he has an Alonzo Mourning Skybox Series rookie card, but Jim has other ideas.

DIRECTED BY Todd Sklar, 12 min

Little Wolf

While trying to escape from two deadly hillbillies, Lowell and baby Samantha seek refuge in the most unusual place, ultimately being pinned against humanity, empathy, and faith.

DIRECTED BY Christopher Peck, min


A successful businessman just living his life is thrust into a puzzling chain of events. After he returns from the war, as past and present fuse, he is forced to confront a haunting mystery.

DIRECTED BY Darin Heinis, 16 min

The Well

A detached young outsider has trouble interacting with anybody, instead preferring to simply observe. When he follows his fellow classmate into the woods, he discovers a secret of hers involving an old well, and decides to investigate further.

DIRECTED BY Christopher Jopp, 10 min

Seeking Sasquatch

A comedy about famed Sasquatch hunter and TV host Karl Patterson, and his fiery wife, Patty. Upon learning of Karl’s plan to search the Arctic with his sexy Russian co-host in search of Sasquatch’s Arctic cousin, Patty tells Karl the unthinkable: Sasquatch doesn’t exist!

DIRECTED BY Jim Morgan, 8 min

The Pony Collector

A young boy searches for a missing pony figure that was given to him by his absent father. A sensitive, charming tale with some moments of magic.

DIRECTED BY Jason Ho, 14 min

Little Words

A story of disappointment and rejection. Set in the early 60’s, R. M. Brusse is a post-modernist writer who hopes to get her first novel published.

DIRECTED BY Ann Prim, 14 min

White Space

Follows the inner life of a deaf performance poet as he makes his debut at an open-mic night for a hearing audience. Can the language of the heart emancipate the inner voice, transcending the white space between a hearing audience and a deaf man’s soul?

DIRECTED BY Maya Washington, 9 min

Hedge Magic, with projects by Jess Hirsch and David Hamlow

Friday, April 6th, 2012

June 2 – August 5, 2012

Participating artists: Chris Lawrence, David Hamlow, Jess Hirsch, Amy Reckley, Meredith Foster, Peter Goche, and Keith Lemley

The Soap Factory has always been a nexus of transformation between the various states of matter; artists take this alchemical process further into a transformation of states of being. Filling the Soap Factory’s Victorian warehouse space with site-specific installations, the artists in Hedge Magic look at the processes of transformation and culture through the super-natural lens of art, with the artist as the interrogator of the secret process of nature.

Peter Goche takes the natural forms of the Mississippi ox-bow, forms made over millennia, and transforms them into sinuous sculptures of crafted wood. Meredith Foster also looks to the ageless river for her inspiration, drawing out the river and its landscape through water and ash. Keith Lemley works with wood and neon, creating an illuminated arbor of wonder with the ancient timber of The Soap Factory, while Amy Reckley gathers material from the building and its environs for an explosion of sculptural gesture. Chris Lawrence arranges objects into patterns that evoke the hidden occult geometries of the gallery space. Jess Hirsch takes abandoned and forgotten furniture and transforms it into sculpture, changing the pieces beyond recognition and then re-presenting them to the original owners. David Hamlow takes the refuse and detritus of our commercial life and fashions this material as building blocks for his own interpretive structures.

Join the Soap Factory on the night of June 9 for Northern Spark.

David Hamlow will be making bricks of recycled cardboard and plastic packaging. Bring cardboard to contribute, or use David’s stockpile to help create bricks and add to an ever-expanding room-sized structure. Jess Hirsch will host an old-fashioned tent revival in front of The Soap Factory, exorcising the demons out of abandoned furniture. Her white tent will be full of sage, smoke, eerie music, and candlelight while hosting tarot card readings by Stefanie Motta and vocal loops by Tabitha Sheets.

Midnight Padhandling

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Midnight Padhandling combines the shimmer and potentiality of a large-screen video display with the fluidity and independence of human movement. Twenty performers gather to tell an animated story through movement and visual transitions by manipulating Apple iPads. They are accompanied by an acoustic sound score.

Conceived by Scott Sayre in collaboration with Vanessa Voskuil
Movement Director – Vanessa Voskuil
Technical Director and Video Compilation and Design – Scott Sayre
Music Director and Soundscape Design- Peter O’Gorman
Diane Anderson, Margaret Bauman, Michaela Bram, Florence Brammer, Joshua J. Carter, Amelia Foster, Ania Grandbois, Andrea Gutierrez, Mary Hartnett, Wendy Jones. Carissa Logghe, Kimberly Long, Virginia McBride, Valerie Overby, Gregory Parks, Rose Sherman, Kirsten Stephens, Kris Wetterlund, Johanna Zollar, Nan Brownf

Sound and Music Performers
Maria Benson, Robert Borman, Mark Countryman, Beth Erickson, Lisa Goese, Paul Karlson, Eva Mohn, Peter O’Gorman, Shannon Thorson

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.

Scott Sayre

Scott Sayre is a multimedia artist, producer, director, and graduate faculty member. He has worked for more than twenty years with a wide range of national and international cultural institutions in the development of rich multimedia experiences for teachers, students, and the public.

Peter O’Gorman

Peter O’Gorman is a composer, percussionist, and interdisciplinary artist. He has worked with Black Label Movement, Crash, Flying Foot Forum, Zenon and numerous other artists. He is a 2010 McKnight Composer Fellow, and a recipient of a 2011 Sage Award for outstanding design.

Captured Dreams

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Paper Darts and the Loft invite you to forget for one playful night what makes dreams unreal. Ignore your friends who complain when you talk about your dreams, and instead revel in the notion that the world at large wants to read about the fantastic things deep inside that mysterious head of yours.

Voice of the Dream

Time: 9 pm – 1 am
Location: Open Book

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea

By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
―T. S. Eliot, “Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Over the course of the night, a selected group of poets, storytellers, and performers will recite works from the field of dreams―both private and practical, both their own and the creations of others―to help participants prep their minds for a trip to the astral plane. Readers will follow some of the common thematic threads that weave together our universal dreamscape: recurring, fantasy, nightmares, and the surreal.

Scribe of the Dream

Time: 9 pm – 5:30 am
Location: Target Performance

 . . . this world gives no room 

to be what we dreamt of being.
―Adrienne Rich, “Pieces”

The reading and dreaming space of the Loft at Open Book’s transformed Target Performance Hall will be stocked with blank tablets ready to be filled with your Kafkaesque experiences and anecdotal advice for navigating the nonphysical realms visited during sleep. Loft staff will offer writing prompts, ideas, and dream interpretation stations to help decode your subconscious. Take a micronap and use the dream interpretation stations to help divine where your dreams will take you. Write it down as a poem, story, lyrics, or essay and submit it to Paper Darts before you leave.

Story of the Dream

Time: 9 pm – 5:30 am
Location: Loft classroom

. . . no one wants to hear what you dreamt about
unless you dreamt about them
don’t let that stop you
tell them anyway
and you can make it up as you go.
―Built to Spill, “Made Up Dreams”

One of the Loft’s classrooms will be converted into a darkened viewing room, where a film comprised of recorded dream stories (submitted by participants before the event) will be combined into one joyous, fearful, and exquisite loop of odd storytelling. This film will play throughout the entire night. Make of its stories what you wish: clues to the collective unconscious? prophetic revelations? souls’ portals into another realm?

Record of the Dream

Time: 9 pm – 5:30 am
Location: Open Book Commons

Dreams are featherweights,
And memory can shake them off with ease.

―Wislawa Szymborska, “The Real World”

Paper Darts will set up a workstation in the commons at the Loft. This area will be committed to translating your dream writing into one cohesive magazine that captures the events of the evening in its pages. Once your dream-themed compositions are complete and you are ready to return to the mundane physical world, your stories, poems, essays, and tidbits may be submitted for copyediting and inclusion in this one-of-a-kind publication, which will be available for purchase via print on demand at the conclusion of Northern Spark.

Bat Detection

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Chances are that not only insects will visit our gleaming fabric but so will bats. These furry fliers will be on a hungry search for food. We will have a bat detector, which will let you hear the ultrasonic sounds bats make converted into a symphony of clicks and whirrs audible to human ears.

Located at the Weisman Art Museum on the East River Road Lawn

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

ICE-Cycles Bike Puppets

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

The ICE-Cycles Collective invites everybody to experience the joy of art, bicycles, winter weather, and fashionable personal expression in a completely new way. Many bikers are not four-season cyclists, and they may not be aware that bicycles are a rich medium for artistic expression. With expert guidance from cycling devotees, artists, and problem-solvers, art and cycling can be a tandem joy year-round. ICE-Cycles seeks to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of bike transportation and to educate participants on ways to safely take the fashionable fun home.

About Change: MCAD Alumni and Acts of Transformation

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

What does it mean to “transform the world through creativity and purpose”? Using the college’s vision statement as a point of departure, this exhibition spotlights the myriad ways in which MCAD alumni have contributed to the transformation of the cultural landscape, in Minnesota and beyond. The creative practices of more than a dozen individuals and collaboratives working in the fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interactive media, and other entrepreneurial fields are featured. Experience engaging illustrations and books by Wanda Gág, paintings and prints of George Morrison, and mind-boggling interactive work by multimedia designer JK Keller—just a few of the artists in this exhibition that celebrates the 125th anniversary year of MCAD.


Swing Hall, Swing All

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The solitary sensation of swinging takes on a new dimension in Keetra Dean Dixon’s collective, high in the sky, swing installation in the skywalk on the MCAD campus. For a full, even swing, all swingers must be in sync. Out of pace swinging results in playful collision.

 Keetra Dean Dixon

Keetra Dean Dixon, an MCAD alumna with a BFA in design, teaches full time at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland. Her 2D, 3D, and experimental projects have gained notoriety for their friendly, sincere absurdism. Her objects and installations aim to involve the viewer as an active participant. The pieces create or exemplify heightened emotional moments and often rely on context or unique interactions to complete the work’s narrative.

Reconstituting the Landscape: A Tamarack Rooftop Restoration

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Christine Baeumler’s tamarack wetland restoration project on the roof of the main entrance to MCAD calls attention to these fragile and unique ecosystems and presents an artistic reimaging of green roof infrastructure. The project intends to remind residents how we might “reconstitute” the landscape by capturing water where it drops. An adjacent outside wall features a large-scale video projection of spectral tamaracks, and “field stations” are set up in the second floor galleries where the rooftop is especially visible through floor-to-ceiling windows. Visitors can look at the installation through binoculars, learn about the animals that inhabit this unique and often inaccessible landscape, and record their own observations. Maps of local remnant tamarack ecosystems and information on how people might explore these unique places will be available. During Northern Spark a naturalist will be on site to answer visitors’ questions.

Presented by MCAD Gallery at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with support from the McKnight Foundation, Barr Engineering, and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

Christine Baeumler

Christine Baeumler, the recipient of a 2011/12 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists, is associate professor of art at the University of Minnesota. As a public environmental artist, she explores the power of art to increase awareness about environmental issues and to facilitate action. She approaches her art through the combined perspective of art and the natural sciences, and her concern lies not only with diminishing ecosystems but also with the extinction of the human experience of these environments and the species that inhabit them. By portraying places remote from our daily experiences, yet impacted ecologically by our actions, her work offers the viewer a glimpse into these compelling, fragile, and often invisible worlds.

Midnight Mario

Friday, March 30th, 2012

“A single coin may have the power to change your destiny . . . ”

Pianta, Super Mario Sunshine

A traditional child’s game of jump rope meets the high tech world of Xbox Kinect in this interactive installation. A robotic arm turns the rope as the participant jumps into a projected Super Mario Bros. backdrop where the only objective is to hit the brick and make the gold coins rain down. Based on the super spare Super Mario Bros. arcade game (1983 version) but no longer a narrative of combating monsters and saving distressed damsels, this game arouses nostalgia but compels the heroic jumpers to keep on jumping. Alas, one never knows when enough gold coins are enough—but make a mistake and your turn is over.

Presented by Gallery 148 (a student-curated exhibition program) at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Peng Wu

Peng Wu is an MFA student at MCAD.

Light Fall

Friday, March 30th, 2012

No, the sky is not falling. But standing in a space surrounded by hundreds of glow-in-the-dark bouncing Superballs might make visitors think otherwise. Walk into the space and the balls become part of your physical environment; watch from outside the transparent walls and observe the beautiful cascading rhythm as the balls roll to one end and are transported up again to the roof. Take a seat on the stationary bicycle that propels the balls up a conveyor belt and down into the structure. Unpredictable wonder!

Presented by Gallery 148 (a student-curated exhibition program) at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Peng Wu

Peng Wu is an MFA student at MCAD.

Door to the River

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Performed continuously from dusk until dawn, this collage of sound, light, and motion is an experiment in spontaneity inspired by abstract expressionist painters. All of the sound in the performance is improvised, cyclically built up and broken down as waves and vibrations constantly overlap and overtake what came previously. A sense of continual becoming characterizes the piece. Like the flowing elements in the paintings of Willem de Kooning, the sounds are connected to color and movement as video projections envelop the space. Fluctuating between representative imagery and nonrepresentational form and color, the video loops at random to maximize the unexpected.

Presented by Gallery 148 (a student-curated exhibition program) at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Ryan Hughes and Matt Reimers

Ryan Hughes and Matt Reimers are seniors with a concentration in painting in the fine arts studio program at MCAD.

Spark in the Park

Friday, March 30th, 2012

In keeping with Northern Spark’s theme of “think and wonder,”Spark in the Park is a mix of mental and physical activities spread across two grassy spaces. To the left will be “think,” a simple zine workshop. The zines will be created with a simple template and mark-making tools; prompts will encourage participants to think as they create. To the right will be “wonder,” which features glow in the dark frisbees and badminton with LED-lit birdies.

On the hour, a dance party will bring the two sides, like two halves of the brain, together. These parties will last the duration of one song and will include flashlights, confetti, and glowsticks. At the end of the song, refreshed participants may return to their previous activity, switch sides, or move on throughout Northern Spark.

Presented by Gallery 148 (a student-curated exhibition program) at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Christopher Alday

Christopher Alday is a junior at MCAD with a concentration in print, paper, and book arts.

Kate Thomas

Kate Thomashas a BFA in design from CalArts and is pursuing an MFA in visual studies at MCAD.

Sit and Spin Shanty

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Our purpose is to engage onlookers in the most universal form of interpersonal interaction (play) through the construction of a giant sit-and-spin shanty reminiscent of the ever popular kids’ toy. Teams of up to eight, both known and unknown to each other, enter the shanty and collectively spin themselves and the entire shanty around a central table. Users communicate and physically work together to get the shanty spinning. This “art ride” will produce laughter, an increased awareness of oneself in rotational space, instant camaraderie with strangers, and in some cases of excess spinning, light nausea. Movement and light will create the principal aesthetic both inside and out. From the inside, participants will experience daylight streaming in along moving arcs of projecting geometry through the slatted walls onto the opposite interior wall. From the outside, onlookers can observe a spiral screwing in or out of the surface below, depending on the direction of rotation. Constructed from various types of plywood, five thousand staples, and three gallons of glue, all situated atop a fabricated central steel spinning shaft, the Sit ’n’ Spin Shanty has been said to resemble a rubber-band ball, an egg, and a space ship. Our real intention is to create something truly unexpected, especially as this giant pod seems to begin to spin by itself.

The Shiny Shadow Show Shanty

Friday, March 30th, 2012

This project is primarily performance and lighting. A moveable Gypsy Vardoo serves as the large enclosure that holds our playfulness inside. The Vardoo has several windows and peek holes, which will be screens for shadow performances. A variety of lights and
materials contribute to adorable and lovely playful shows for the city to enjoy all night long. Many vignettes will feature music boxes and gypsy-themed music, and many of the stories told would be shared at gypsy camps around the world. We are brewing other exciting ideas about how to use shiny surfaces and bouncing lights to promote the physical beauty of the night and the shanty, and we look forward to sharing our lavish visions with you.

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.

Shanty of Wonder

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Celebrating what makes ice fishing a wonderful Minnesota pastime, the Shanty of Wonder was created to inspire a sense of mystery and whimsy on top of the harsh environment of a frozen lake. Stop in and feel free to experiment with the mechanisms that cover our walls. Try to break the code on our bank vault door, or simply leave a message in a bottle to your future self (or the fish—most people leave messages for the fish). Remember to mind your fingers, always take a step back when unleashing the energy in unknown machines, and please bring cocoa.

(The fish are happy that we are reaching out to them and enjoy the opportunity to learn about the crazy things happening above water. Just please do not ask if you can eat them: they do not care for that. They understand that they will be eaten sooner or later, if not by something above the water then definitely by a larger fish. They prefer to live in the moment, the blissful yet ignorant moment.)

The Dance Shanty

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Temple of Doom, Buckingham Palace, Universal Studios, Chimney Rock, the Dance Shanty. A single unit pushing through this atmosphere with great weight. Here, without inhibition or regret, on this earth for a mere fraction of time. A force much larger
than we ourselves will know.  Here, the pursuit of positive personal and communal transformation. Here, 2012.

Capitol HILL Shanty

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Capitol HILL is erected as a monument to the absurdities of government. Visitors can stand on the Soap Box, disrupting the pat language of political speeches with their own mad-libbed insertions. From that platform, folks can harangue the masses with their
own message, or liberate one of our provided pieces as part of Operation Mad-Libs Freedom. At the Department of Mustachery, they can adopt suitably stuffy facial hair to pay tribute to Gilded Age bosses. Stencils of our famous facial hair forefathers give them templates to bring a new presence to their mug or amend an existing mustache. Citizens may also go freestyle, as our inspirational gallery of birds, bananas, beavers, and other beardly incarnations demonstrates.

This farce also allows opportunities for participatory, if fanciful, outlets for governance. Visitors move through the vestibule lined with dreams submitted to the Department of Dream Intake and Processing, encountering their first chance to take a direct role in what happens in the shanty. At the Department of Departmenthood and Departmentality, you can submit an application to create your own department. Departments may be fancy, shiny, overbudget, ghostly, and godly—with staff positions ready to be filled! If the 24-hour spin cycle gets overwhelming, escape to a hideaway in one of the twin domes of the completely transparent Capitol HILL. As night gives way to dawn, replicating and ridiculing the bureaucratic formalities of government, citizens will be encouraged to reimagine and reanimate networks of autonomy and interdependence.

Thee Sashay Shantay

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The top floor of a derelict Victorian house holds a treasure-hunting fashion journey. The roof of the house meets the pavement, suggesting that the other stories were overtaken by an apocalyptic urban improvement rezoning project or some other natural disaster: the attic peacefully crests the surface of the pavement and remains phenomenally intact. Light wafts through its ancient ceiling boards; pigeons and spiders roost in the rafters. The interior of the attic is outfitted with homespun eccentricities of a rugged,
survivalist grandma’s house—a real wildebeest hide hangs in a corner and steamer chests are stacked around the room to create secret nooks and crannies of wonder. We invite the public into a surreal yet intimate space where people can discover its whimsical and innovative design.

Pix-aural Sensorium

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Ai Minnesota instructor and digital artist Tim Armato teams up with UX designer and musician Brian Rowe to create the Pix-aural Sensorium. Pulling from a stream of photos submitted from any mobile device, this project will generate a continuously evolving melody. The images are analyzed and the pixels are pushed to seed a generative musical score that accompanies a dynamic, large-scale, visual projection of the photo queue.

The Pix-aural Sensorium is presented by Tim Armato and Brian Rowe with support from The Art Institutes International Minnesota.

The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies)

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies) will distribute 1000 interactive blinking LED devices to bicyclists who attend Northern Spark 2012. The devices are outfitted with microcontrollers and radio units that allow them to mutually and observably synchronize with others, as do certain species of firefly. In isolation these devices look similar to conventional LED cycling safety lights, but in groups they exhibit an immediately noticeable phenomenon. To maximize the visual impact for all festival attendees, organizers will encourage participating cyclists to gather together in a large group to tour various festival sites.

This project owes much to the research of Yoshiki Kuramoto, who in 1975 first articulated a mathematical model that describes why, how, and when large systems of similar oscillators (things that cycle automatically and repeatedly) can mutually synchronize, without any single coordinating force or leader. With Kuramoto’s legacy (as well as the earlier work of Norbert Wiener and Art Winfree) as a starting point, 1000 Fireflies aims to activate and transform the social networks and urban dynamics associated with cycling by fusing this existing system with one biased toward synchronization. Grafting this artificial system of synchronized blinking lights onto a real-world urban transportation system does two things: first, it calls attention to the individual act of cycling as a component of a larger dynamic system with its own unique patterns and qualities, and second, it momentarily transforms that system through a subtle but pointed intervention in urban social space.

The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies) is documented and published on a project blog. The software and hardware implementation details are published under an open-source license, allowing others to reproduce the designs or use them for new projects. Through an open process and significant outreach, organizers receive input and participation from members of the Minneapolis/St. Paul cycling community.

How can I get one?

A limited supply of Kuramoto lights will be available free of charge at the beginning of the festival at the two Info Tents near the Stone Arch Bridge and the Info Tables at these partner sites: American Swedish Institute, Midtown Greenway Coalition, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Weisman Art Museum.

Avoid waiting in line and guarantee yourself a light by making a pledge of $10 to the project’s Kickstarter campaign by June 1. Kickstarter supporters are invited to pick up their “fireflies” prior to the festival at this event:

Saturday, June 2
Pre-Spark Bridge Lighting
7-10 pm
Mill Ruins Park, 103 Portland Ave, Minneapolis
Pick up your reserved light and watch us “flip the switch” at dusk on this year’s signature artwork, THINK AND WONDER, WONDER AND THINK on the Stone Arch Bridge.

Kickstarter supporters who don’t pick up their lights prior to June 9 must retrieve them at the Information Tent at Fifth Avenue SE on the night of the festival.

Ride with all of the Kuramoto Lights

On June 9 meet in Father Hennepin Park at 11:45 pm for an midnight ride across the Stone Arch Bridge with all the Kuramoto lights.

The Ride Before the Ride

Want to join the blinking mass in a ride leading up to the Stone Arch ride? Nice Ride staff will be leading a group ride departing from The Walker at 10:30 pm. The group will then progress to Loring Park, stop at Hennepin and 4th Street, and then continue on to Father Hennepin Park to arrive at the Stone Arch Bridge by 11:30. If you can’t make it to the 10:30 departure, feel free to meet the group at any of the stops along the way! They will be stationed at Loring Park until 10:45, and Hennepin and 4th until 11:15.

Don’t have a Kuramoto light yet? Have no fear! The Nice Ride ride leader will have about 25 lights to give out along the way. Join in early if you want to grab one!

David Rueter

A former software engineer, David Rueter holds a BA in politics from Oberlin College and is an MFA candidate in art and technology studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mobile Experiential Cinema

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Mobile Experiential Cinema is a multi-location projected cinematic experience seen through the lens of the mystery genre, featuring live performance and explored while biking. Bring your bike, your curiosity, and your wits to this urban exploration of locative cinema. An audience on bicycles will collectively try to unravel a mysterious narrative throughout the city. Beginning under the Central Avenue Bridge on the west side of the Mississippi River with two “screenings,” at 10 pm and 12 midnight, the project then travels to four other locations in Minneapolis. The audience will encounter objects, natural and artificial sounds, and film segments that make up a narrative mystery. You will experience live theater, actors, and installations that will guide you to the meaning of the adventure. Keep your eyes open: there are many moments along the journey to find clues. The story exists not only in the film but all around you as part of the asphalt, the graffiti, the siren in the distance, and the pedestrians dodging out of your way. As you watch it together, you will try to solve the mystery. Your vigilance will help you find the answer—and find your way back to the present moment. The mystery will lead you down undiscovered streets and deep into the cracks of the city. Don’t expect to end up where we started!

Daniel Dean

Daniel Dean produces sculpture, video, and public art projects that focus on public spaces, value, and social systems. He often pursues collaboration that explores social relationships, participation, and issues of public and private space. He has been an integral member of Floating Lab Collective since 2008.

Ben Moren

Ben Moren is a multidisciplinary media artist whose work spans filmmaking and writing custom software for media-based installations. His projects bridge the gaps between digital and natural worlds. He is president of MAW, where his primary activity is creating locative cinema projects.

Sketching the Night

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Help us catalog this amazing diversity of flying, crawling, and jumping life of the night through the art of sketching. “Capture” your very own insect model and create a miniature portrait using a variety of art materials. Take your portrait with you, or add it to the communal diversity of life gallery, a hanging art record of the incredible creatures that we see during the night. Who knows—your artwork might become a draw for other insect visitors!

Located at the Weisman Art Museum on the East River Road Lawn

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

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.

Wonder/Think Project

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

The cognitive acts of thought and wondering have become more public with the emergence of mainstream social media. Our ability to find answers to what we wonder about has advanced as Internet search tools continue to improve. The Wonder/Think Project explores how the shift toward an online social culture has shaped our ability to wonder and changed how we think about the unknown.

Our project consists of multiple simultaneous projections that invite the audience to consider what people worldwide are thinking about and wondering about right now. It is a site-specific installation that displays real-time Twitter messages that start with “I wonder” or “I think” and pairs those messages with related images found via The resulting stream of information offers a spontaneous glimpse into the lives of others and the opportunity to wonder about the people behind those social media posts.

By isolating and relocating social media messages and photos outside their online context, the Wonder/Think Project challenges participants to consider their intent and style beyond the disposable culture they inhabit. We hope visitors will be initially drawn to the project by curiosity or voyeurism, then will be led to examine and discuss what they wonder about.

Christopher Houltberg

Christopher Houltberg is a Minneapolis-based artist who works in a wide range of media to explore how ordinary corporate structures like Amazon, Twitter, and Flickr guide and frame contemporary life. He received his MFA in visual art at the Art Institute of Boston and is assistant professor at Augsburg College.

Max Harper

Max is a software engineer and computer science researcher. He works on the CrashPlan team at Code 42 Software, building the best data backup software in the world. He has written more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles for computer science journals and conferences.

Light Up the Greenway

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Watch history being made as the first annual Greenway Glow lights up the Greenway! Cyclists will compete to see who can come up with the most creative lights and costumes. Watch the Big Glow soon after 9 pm, as cyclists start their route through Northern Spark, with stops at venues such as the Vine Arts Center and Intermedia Arts, as well as visits to art installations and performances along the Greenway.

The Midtown Greenway is a 5.5-mile former railroad corridor in south Minneapolis with bicycling and walking trails. The Midtown Greenway Coalition is a member-based organization of neighborhoods and individuals who love the Midtown Greenway. We’re the people who got the Greenway built by public agencies, and we work to protect and enhance it every day.

It’s free to watch the Greenway Glow. Cyclists will be raising funds for the Midtown Greenway Coalition’s programs and services, like the popular Trail Watch safety patrol, which bikes the Greenway every night to help keep it safe. Other programs include initiatives for more public art and native plants along the Greenway, as well as efforts to keep the corridor clean and the trail free of glass.

Presented by the Midtown Greenway Coalition and partners 

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.

Student Spark

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Student Spark is a curated exhibition of digital artworks created by Ai Minnesota students. Wave, jump around, and dance to control a wall of interactive art visualizations filling the gallery’s storefront windows.

Student Spark is presented by The Art Institutes International Minnesota.

Palace of Wonder

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

During their month-long residency in the Twin Cities, Patty Mitchell and Robert Lockheed will work with art community leaders, art centers, and teen artists on a collaborative artwork that will include contributions from across our cities and build to a culminating co-created Northern Spark event. The artists have an infectious spirit that feeds their creative environments and installations, all of which include recycled and donated materials. Think balloons, quilts, painted fabrics, sewing stations, and giant installations. Come and be involved!

Patty Mitchell

Patty Mitchell is an artist and social entrepreneur. For twenty years she has facilitated collaborative projects nationally and internationally with a focus on working with artists with developmental disabilities. She is passionate about exploring her own and others’ obsessions and making collaborative artworks. She founded Passion Works Studio in Athens, Ohio, which makes site-specific works, fine art, and art products, and also generates employment opportunities. She received her MFA and BFA in photography from Ohio University, where she was named a Distinguished Alumna.

Robert Lockheed

Robert Lockheed vividly remembers the excitement of exploring art as a child. His love for adventure and the outdoors drew him to Colorado, where he lived for twenty-five years after serving in the Air Force. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a mechanical engineering degree and worked as a plumbing and mechanical consulting engineer, overseeing construction of major
league baseball parks. He has been an organic farmer and massage therapist, and worked with hospice care, providing relaxing touch to clients. During the past two years he has returned to art making: he partners with Patty Mitchell to collaboratively facilitate art programming through Norwich Consulting Services, specializing in working with people with developmental disabilities.

Short Films Inspired by the Word “TRAIL”

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MNKINO is a monthly excuse for anyone to make a film and to meet others who like doing the same. It’s not just for film school graduates, MFA candidates, or videographers: it’s for you. How does it work? It’s pretty simple. At our monthly meeting (and on our website) we announce a word, object, or idea to include in your film. Bring your TRAIL themed video to the screening with your contribution as a .mov or .mp4 on a flash drive, or send us a message if you plan to use a different format. 

Mission: Do more with less. Make something move.

We’ll have our first screening at 10PM with a Q&A with all the filmmakers who are present. We’ll repeat the films at 10:45 & 11:30. 


Thursday, March 29th, 2012

PixelTron150 recalls the golden era of arcade culture, when crowds would gather around arcade cabinets and video game culture was exclusively outside the home. The PixelTron is a large screen made of 150 oversized pixel blocks, each lit by a color-changing LED. It hosts an original game developed for Northern Spark, and festival attendees are invited to step up and play. PixelTron150 was created by members of New York City’s DIY arcade collective Babycastles, an organization that curates arcades and runs educational workshops around New York, at the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of the Moving Image as well as smaller venues.

PixelTron150 is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is a Minnesota-born, Brooklyn-based game designer. He has a master’s degree in entertainment technology from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center and was a professional game designer for eight years, working on games such as Homefront, The Simpsons Game, and Dead Space. He is a member of the DIY arcade collective Babycastles, which curates and hosts a recurring lecture series and organizes game jams. He lives in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson is an architectural lighting designer based in New York. She discovered her love of lighting in Minneapolis theaters as a teenager and learned the tools to practice it with a degree in architectural engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her architectural lighting design ranges from bridges to universities to boutique hotels; her projects include the Christopher S. Bond Bridge in Kansas City; Keen Hotel in Palo Alto, California; and Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. She designs at Illumination Arts and resides in Brooklyn.

The Peloton

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

A peloton is the pack of cyclists in a race. In this project, visitors to Northern Spark are invited to mount a group of bicycles rigged to a stage. These participants pedal, affecting the show through the electricity they generate. The show, visible to the public, will take the pack of cyclists on a ride through a strange neighborhood of characters. Leading the pack of the Peloton will be a wooden marionette cyclist, who guides the ride. The Peloton creates a hilarious, implausible scenario as a way to reflect on how we manage the almost miraculous act of sharing streets, sidewalks, and neighborhoods with each other.

When the Peloton is not in “show” mode, it is available for ad hoc dance parties: just plug in an MP3 player. Not only can you generate tunes for passersby and friends; by pushing through the bike pedals, you can feel the effort required to amplify your music. It’s an opportunity to experience what it takes to generate electricity. The shows occur once an hour. Sign up to ride at the site of the Peloton.

Presented by Northern with support from Forecast Public Art, The Playwrights’ Center, Red Eye Theater, and the Jerome Foundation.

Janaki Ranpura

Janaki Ranpura believes in making it fun to live cheek-to-jowl. She builds nomadic structures that promote enjoyment of human density. As a designer, she values intimacy and mobility. She unites technology with the traditional stagecraft of puppet theater. Projects evolve from her experience as a performer, community artist, writer, and designer for parades and stage.

Mom’s Cookies

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Mom’s Cookies is a series of short silent videos showing packaged convenience foods prepared from start to finish by a well-coiffed mother figure. The videos will be projected onto mill buildings near St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River.

These videos commemorate this area of the Mississippi River as the birthplace of modern packaged foods. Viewers will have the opportunity to watch the product of the waterfall’s power literally rise in the oven, with the waterfall itself as a backdrop.

St. Anthony Falls and its natural source of energy attracted settlers and industry in the nineteenth century, first as the site of sawmills and later flour mills. The Minneapolis flour mills (many of which later merged into General Mills) developed innovations in flour production, which led to Minnesota flour being the highest rated in the country for fineness and quality. In 1931 General Mills further revolutionized food production in the United States with its introduction of Bisquick, the nation’s first baking mix. With Bisquick, the age of packaged and boxed foods was born, completely changing how Americans, and many of the people throughout the world, eat. Mom’s Cookies reminds viewers of the history of the mills and their importance to contemporary food production and consumption.

Homemade baked goods have a powerful hold over the American psyche. Mythology about mothers and grandmothers baking magical frosted delights in the kitchen play into our ideas of what it means to be loved and cared for. Home-cooked meals represent our greatest desire for comfort and security. Mom’s Cookies asks the viewer to contemplate the technological advances that occurred at this site of natural wonder and power, as well as the depth of the social and economic changes they brought to our society.

Rosemary Williams

Rosemary Williams is a multimedia artist whose work spans video, audio, performance, and installation. She has been awarded the Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists and other grants, and she exhibits her work internationally, including recent shows in Berlin, London, and the Czech Republic. She is now making her first feature film.

Yoga meditation – That Sweet Moon Language

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

We offer yoga and meditation for all levels, followed by a short play inspired by Persian poets Rumi and Hafiz. Join us as the sun sets near the crossing at 28th street and the Greenway.

Yonic Arts Collective is a group of multitalented creative women from numerous artistic backgrounds. Since our founding in September 2011, we have had the privilege to dance at Patrick’s Cabaret, perform spoken word and music for Nathan Blumenshine’s campaign for the Minnesota legislature, and dance at the Bryant–Lake Bowl. If you are interested in joining our weekly gatherings, contact

whiteonwhite: algorithmicnoir

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is a noirish film that never ends and never really begins. A computer dubbed “The Serendipity Machine” continuously shuffles 3,000 shots, 80 voice-overs, and 150 pieces of music, creating an ever-changing story involving Holz (Jeff Wood), a geophysicist stuck in a 1970s-era metropolis called City-A. Just as its citizens are subjected to time manipulations, Holz’s own fate is dictated by the machine editing this film. 2011, video.

Artist’s Cinema is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.

Located in the Lecture Room of the Walker Art Center.

Water Works Temporary

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Water Works Temporary is a convergence of multiple art and design projects at the proposed Water Works park site—the area from Third Avenue to Portland Avenue and from the Mississippi River to First Street. This site will feature Night Blooms, commissioned by Northern Spark from artist Wil Natzel; a horticulture exhibition among the mill ruins; and a landscape lighting scheme of the proposed Water Works Park.

Horticulture Exhibition

Making waves. Changing course. How landscape architecture is influencing the way we understand water. 

This year the American Society of Landscape Architects–Minnesota Chapter (ASLA–MN) is focusing on protecting, enhancing, and celebrating our regional waters. Changes in climate and increased human pressures on our resources are difficult to predict. What is certain is that our complex connection with water will continue, as will our constant effort to understand and improve that relationship. The waterways we take for granted here in the Midwest create environmental, social, and economic ripples that can be felt across the country and around the world. Similarly, innovative projects have the power to alter the course of industries, fields of research, and the way we live. In 2012 ASLA–MN is showcasing the influence of water—one of the most powerful and important elements of our landscape—as well as the work it inspires and the legacy landscape architects will leave. 

On the evening of June 9, ASLA–MN will demonstrate the confluence of innovative twenty-first-century water treatment, art, horticulture, and entertainment with floating islands and a giant outdoor living room in Water Works Temporary, located at the banks of the Mississippi River near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. The plan includes design and installation of a floating island in Mill Ruins Park that will improve water quality, attract beneficial plant and animal species, and help restore the river to a livable fishing habitat. These islands, known as floating treatment wetlands (FTWs), are powerful tools in water stewardship. They mimic natural floating islands to create a concentrated wetland effect. Constructed of durable, nontoxic postconsumer plastics and vegetated with native plants, the islands float on top of the water, providing a beautiful habitat for birds and animals, while underneath the surface they aid in cleaning the water by attracting microbes that are responsible for breaking down water-borne pollutants.

Join us as we celebrate our greatest state resource: water.

Night Blooms

For 2012, we commissioned Wil Natzel to create an architectural-scale installation just below West River Road Parkway near the Stone Arch Bridge from the humblest of materials: cardboard. Using a specialized CNC cardboard knife, he will make eight blooms ranging in height from 15 to more than 20 feet, assembled into a cluster. Each bloom has a round ten-foot diameter top that forms a permeable enclosure—an environment that can be explored throughout the night.

Natzel is interested in the history of architectural ornamentation, as well as its expression today using contemporary tools in unexpected ways with unusual materials. He has produced and assembled large architectural constructions of cut cardboard (giant domes with squids) at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. Night Blooms is his first outdoor cardboard installation. This whimsical bouquet, reminiscent of sunflowers stretching toward the moonlight of nuit blanche, contrasts with the surrounding historic structures in the community. The ephemeral materials, like a memento mori, remind us of the passage of time and the resourcefulness necessary to survive and prosper.

Natzel comments on his work: “With Night Blooms, I construct structures where pattern and decoration can thrive in architecture. I am creating spatial graffiti as a purely decorative enhancement to the built environment.”

Infrastructure as Habitat

The Minneapolis Park Foundation, with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the College of Design at the University of Minnesota are sponsoring five installations at the Water Works site. University students created large scale cladding systems—as part of the RiverFirst project of proposed Knot Bridges—using drift wood and recycled industrial wood. Each cladding system is designed to provide habitat for a diversity of species along the river.

Warm up the Greenway

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Warm up the Greenway with a jazz concert, posters printed by bike, a 15-piece orchestra, and improvisational song, dance, and storytelling.

Dorothy Doring Sings Jazz on the Greenway!

Location: Sheraton Midtown patio near Chicago Ave
Hours: 6 pm – 7:15 pm

Dorothy Doring, a chanteuse specializing in jazz standards with a hint of gritty blues, is a longtime Twin Cities favorite. She will perform on June 9 from 6 pm until 7:15 pm on Midtown Greenway near the Midtown Bike Center. She is a versatile singer who brings her eclectic background into her live performance.

Treadprint Posters with ARTCRANK and LOCUS Architecture

Location: on the Greenway at Elliot Avenue, near the Midtown Bike Center
Hours: 6 pm – 9:30 pm

Bring your bike to make your own Treadprint poster to take home or hang in our outdoor gallery. Participants will create works of art with their bike tires through a special process involving crushed chalk. Each “treadprint” poster will be unique, depending on the bike tire and how the artist chooses to bike over the poster paper. Keep your work of art or hang it in our public gallery on the Greenway.

Semiconductor Orchestra

Location: on the Greenway near Chicago Avenue, near the Midtown Bike Center
Hours: 7 pm – 9 pm

This 15-piece orchestra will light up the Greenway with classical music. Enjoy an outdoor concert, courtesy of the Semiconductor Orchestra. The orchestra includes cello, viola, piano keys, guitar, banjo, brass, oboe, French horn, flute, Native American flute, clarinet, and percussion, and the musicians take turns conducting, so each piece is a new experience.

Sponsored by Friends of Walker Library

Yonic Arts Collective

Location: on the Greenway at the CEPRO plaza at Tenth Avenue, near the Midtown Bike Center
Hours: 7:30 pm – 8 pm

Join us for a night of improvisational song, dance, and storytelling on the Midtown Greenway. The performance will begin at 7:30 pm at the CEPRO green space, a new public plaza on the Greenway between Tenth and Eleventh avenues. Yonic Arts Collective is a group of multitalented creative women from numerous artistic backgrounds. Since our founding in September 2011, we have had the privilege to dance at Patrick’s Cabaret, perform spoken word and music for Nathan Blumenshine’s state legislative campaign, and dance at the Bryant–Lake Bowl. If you are interested in joining our weekly gatherings, contact  

A Small Greenway Spectacle

Location: under the Bryant Avenue bridge on the Greenway
Hours: 8 pm – 8:45 pm

See Retro Spectacle and Au NaturElle’s dazzling performance as the Greenway comes to life! These performance artists celebrate the diverse bicycling body (the individual bodies that transport us and the community of bicyclists that sustains us) and empower riders through inclusive, bicycle-inspired performance.

Don’t Wake the Neighbors Concert

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Gear up for the morning hours with caffeinated beverages and high-energy unplugged live music from Sleeping in the Aviary and Buffalo Moon.

Located in the Riverview Gallery of the Weisman Art Gallery.

Vine Arts Center 2012 Spring Member Show

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Vine Arts Center invites you to join our vibrant artistic and bicycle-friendly community. We will be open from 6 pm until midnight on June 9 for the opening of the 2012 Spring Member Show, which features new and Northern Spark–inspired art. You can also enjoy the light artwork by guest artist Light the Underground outside the Ivy Building for the Arts—part performance art, part photography. The Vine Arts 2012 Spring Member Show will be on view until June 23, 2012.

Thirty members strong, the Vine Arts Center is an art-inspired space with a great gallery that promotes local artists and their artwork. Artist members work cooperatively to unite diverse artists, patrons, and the broader community through our creative presence and events. Vine Arts member shows bring out the best in our artists and our community. Members of the cooperative will be present on June 9 to enhance your experience of their work, and you may be inspired to create some art yourself!

Presented in collaboration with the Midtown Greenway Coalition’s Light Up the Greenway projects

Dream Lab and Greenway Glow Party

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Start off the night with food and drink by Bryant Lake Bowl, beer from New Belgium Brewing and live music in our gallery by The Serfs, Wailing Loons, and One Ukulele. Party with the Greenway Glow riders and check out our current exhibit Dream Lab.

Schedule of Music:

9 pm: One Ukulele
10 pm: Wailing Loons
11 pm: The Serfs

Dream Lab

Over the last three months, Intermedia Arts has invited over 60 artists, curators, youth, board, staff, neighbors and partners together to vision with us about the future of our property and facility. From green roofs to lip couches, natural light to art studios, food markets to dance clubs, the idea have ranged from the practical to the whimsical and everything in between. The Dream Lab exhibition showcases the visions and dreams from our community in a mural installation.

Treadprint Posters

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Participants will create works of art with their bike tires through a special process involving crushed chalk. Each “treadprint” poster will be unique, depending on the bike tire and how the artist chooses to bike over the poster paper. Keep your work of art or hang it in our public gallery on the Greenway.

ARTCRANK is a show of bicycle-inspired poster artwork that introduces people to talented local artists and sends them home with affordable, original works of art. Every ARTCRANK show features posters created by artists from the host city. Admission is always free, and posters are priced to allow everyone to take home at least one.

LOCUS Architecture Minneapolis crafts meaningful architecture for clients who care about their spaces and what they represent.

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Owls Are Not What They Seem is a site-specific installation that transforms the pavilion of Father Hennepin Bluffs Park into an imagined habitat for a school of squirmy critters. This is a place to dance, pet, and play with imaginary nocturnal beings in their native setting. The structure will become a bright beacon, visible all over the park.


Members of Keepers—Rachel James, Kit Leffler, Andrea Steudel, Yuichiro Tanabe, and Josh Winkler—have collaborated in different combinations for various projects over the years. Andrea Steudel and Yuichiro Tanabe worked together in the Minneapolis Art on Wheels project (MAW), making mobile projections, most notably traveling to Kitchen Budapest for workshops and public performances. Rachel James and Steudel worked on FantaShanty for the 2010 incarnation of the Art Shanty Projects. Most recently, Kit Leffler, Josh Winkler, and James formed Secret Knots Gallery.

THE Northern Spark

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Electricity, which powers almost all technology in the twenty-first century, first became a useful energy source around 1800 with the invention of the battery. Since then, wires, switches, light filaments, transformers, motors, and floods of inventions (diodes, vacuum tubes, speakers, microphones, telephones, radio, TV, transistors, thermostats, and in our contemporary era LEDs, LCDs, CCD sensors, PCs, motherboards, chips, Ipads, and Siri) chart a history of dazzling innovation and miniaturization. In the process, however, electricity as something elemental and wondrous has become invisible. Our project is to reassert electricity’s essential mystery and to exteriorize and celebrate its properties along with its function as sign and symbol.

We will construct THE Northern Spark, an iconic electrical spark generator installation near the St. Anthony Falls hydroelectric plant, the only waterfall-driven hydroelectric plant on the Mississippi River. The installation will consist of a centralized rotating electrode arm from which electricity will jump across a spark gap to approximately one hundred terminals along a twelve-foot-diameter steel circle. Adjacent to the arcing power circle will be a video projection of closely related imagery, including the spark machine in operation, tonally reversed images of it, shadow images, close-ups, and other aspects.

David Goldes

David Goldes received an MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop at SUNY Buffalo; he also has a BA in chemistry and biology and an MA in molecular genetics from Harvard University. He has been awarded grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, and the Bush Foundation. His work was featured in the exhibition Midnight Party at the Walker Art Center. Since 1986 he has been a member of the media arts faculty at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Jonathan Bruce Williams

Jonathan Bruce Williams received his bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2008 and was awarded a 2009/2010 Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant and a 2010/2011 Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists.

The Black Pirate

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Take-Up Productions presents Douglas Fairbanks’s silent classic The Black Pirate (1926) in this screening of the acclaimed collaboration with The Poor Nobodys, who recorded the score in a live performance at the Trylon microcinema in 2011. The Black Pirate will be shown soon after 9:30 pm and again at 11 pm. Bring your parrots, eye patches, and especially your bike for this amazing pirate extravaganza!

Take-Up Productions is dedicated to screening classic films. Take-Up runs the Trylon cinema and presents screenings in neighborhood theaters such as the Heights and the Riverview. The Trylon at 3258 Minnehaha Avenue features 50 deluxe rocker seats, a 20-foot screen, and our pair of Century Model SA 35 mm projectors.

The Art of iPhone Slideshow Exhibit

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Hiding within your iPhone is one of the most inspiring, capable, and just plain fun imaging systems in photography. More than a snapshot device, the iPhone is a powerful creative tool, right in the palm of our hand. Imagine—a camera, darkroom, and visual research laboratory, all in our pocket! Liberated from rushing home to our computers, we can capture and process our images anywhere.

This year’s Northern Spark festival provides an opportunity to exhibit your creativity and the stunning output possible from your iPhone by projecting your own photographs on the Pillsbury Silos along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. This event is presented by Mpls Photo Center with support from its member volunteers.

To be included in the Mpls Photo Center digitally projected slideshow exhibit during Northern Spark 2012, email your iPhoto images at their largest size to by midnight, May 15. The projections will occur from dusk until 2 am on June 9–10.


Suggested iPhone apps for final editing of your images:

Hipstamatic: The Hipstamatic brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras.

Camera Bag: Camera Bag pairs a full suite of photographic tools with high-quality filters and vintage simulations.

Tiltshift: Create a nice bokeh effect in night-scene photos with the lens blur filter. You can even choose a shaped aperture (hexagon, heart, dollar sign, etc.).

ColorSplash: ColorSplash quickly and easily gives photos a dramatic look by converting them to black and white while keeping chosen details in color.

Tai Chi: Movements for Well Being

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

In essence Tai Chi is specific but uncomplicated low-impact movements of the body, often described as meditation in movement. The extensive for the Well Being of mind, body, and spirit are optimized when the graceful movements are combined with good postural alignment, correct breathing, and an uncluttered, softly focused mind. 
Natural Step School in Minneapolis is dedicated to making Tai Chi enjoyable, easy to learn, and accessible to everyone regardless of age or ability.
 Natural Step offers classes at Open Book and is not a martial art school.

Presented by Colin Snow, founder of Natural Step

Supported by Open Book

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.

Sparkler Conversations

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Using sparklers, create works of “word art” that will be captured by camera and projected on walls and bridges in the Greenway.

At the Experimental College of the Twin Cities anything can happen . . . like sparkler conversations. Have you always longed for the chance to follow an entomologist? Or academically bask in your love of New York here in Minnesota? Or perhaps teach that strange party trick you picked up in Canada to a group of eager participants?

The experimental college movement started in the late 1960s as a reaction to mainstream education. During the spring of 2006 a group of students created our own ExCo here in Minneapolis–St. Paul. In the spirit of the ExCo movement, it strives to offer the Twin Cities community the opportunity to teach or learn in a space open to alternative education and all kinds of knowledge, including and beyond academics. Anyone can teach or take a class, and every class is free! For more information, check out our website,, where you can find a class list or sign up to teach a class.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

SPARK3DS is an exhibition and mini symposium that explores the world of digital sculpture: sculpture created using virtual tools such as Rapid Prototype Machines (3-D printers), CNC Milling Machines, and Laser Router/Laser Cutters—all of which are software based design and sculpture / maker tools that produce machine printed or machine cut 2-D or 3-D objects.

SPARK3DS: An Exhibition of 3-D Printed Sculpture

Artist Receptions and Opening:  Sat. June 9th, 7 pm – 2 am

The focus of this exhibition and mini symposium is to expose artists and designers to an incredible art and design production resource that is just coming of age: customized, on demand, digital production for the individual studio practice. We are entering a period of time where artist are going to have core access to powerful software and machines that will aid them in the creation and manufacture of one work or a thousand works, right from their desk tops.  While that is already happening for a group of artists and designers who are early 3D Print adopters, nationally and internationally, most studio artists and designers have not developed the resources or working knowledge that will enable their participation in this highly customizable digital, machine, production technology. 3-D Printing is the harbinger of a revolution that will help build a local and sustainable, creative economy: the digital studio. 


Symposium: Sat.  June 9th 10 am -3pm
Open to artists, designers, educators, and the public.
Gallery13 will host artists and the general public at a Mini Symposium on Saturday June 9th: 10am-3pm where industry along with visiting artists will participate in a forum of presentations, discussions and demonstrations. In this symposium participating and visiting artists will talk about their work and how digital production impacts creativity, production, and studio practice.  Discussing and learning about individual and collective experience in the studio  will  provide a much needed basic and practical look at this new and more accessible art production industry.  Finally we want attendees to better understand and grasp the vast amount of activity taking place, bubbling below the surface, in this area of the arts and to be able to come away with information that will help guide artists into this new area creativity, production, and art making.
For more information or to register, go here.

Soar through the Universe

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Take an interactive tour of the latest Earth and space science discoveries! We begin at the Earth and travel 13.7 billion years back in time to the earliest limit of what astronomers can detect. We will visit any astronomical object you would like to see along the way.

Located at the Weisman Art Museum in the Shepherd Room

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Sleepers Awake

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Inspired by the tall tales of ghostly creatures inhabiting the ruins of the lower landing of the Stone Arch Bridge, Sleepers Awake transforms a crumbling arch into the lair of one of these luminescent beings rumored to inhabit the area . . . but never before seen.

Created by the artists at PUNY as a site-specific user-responsive piece, Sleepers Awake combines animation, action script, flash, sound analysis, and night vision camera to create the illusion of a living creature responding to the environment. Put simply: jump up and down, wave your arms, yell and scream at the creature, see him respond, have fun and smile.

PUNY is an artist-driven, interactive studio based in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Best known for its animation on the Nickelodeon show Yo Gabba Gabba, PUNY has brought its unique amalgamation of substance and style to film, television, and Fortune 100 companies. From 2009 until 2011, PUNY operated the Pink Hobo Geek Art Gallery, voted “Minneapolis’s Best Art Gallery” by L’etoile and Metro Magazine. PUNY now produces The HUGE PUNY Show, an interactive variety experience combining live comedy, video, and animation.

For Sleepers Awake, PUNY assembles a right-meets-left-brain trust of four of its creative professionals:

Shad Petosky:

PUNY cofounder and creative director. Formerly of Big Time Attic, Shad produced graphic novels ranging in topics from space to paleontology for publishers such as Simon & Schuster and the U.S. government. With PUNY, he specializes in storytelling, ideation, and media experiences, and he has produced TV pilots for Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, IFC, and Fox, as well as animation for the films Super and Big Miracle.

Yuichiro Tanabe:

A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA in interactive media, Yui grew up in Ecuador with a Japanese family and attended an American high school. His truly multicultural upbringing sparked an interest in using visual communications to create engaging moments that can be experienced by all different types of people. At PUNY, he cultivates that passion as a multimedia artist, animator, and interactive designer.

Vincent Stall:

The design director and cofounder of PUNY, Vincent did stints as a visiting artist at Miami Ad School and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Under the name King Mini (his boutique design studio), he published the beloved book Robot Investigator and the misunderstood book Everyone Takes a Turn. His rock and roll posters have graced the pages of Sonic: Visuals of Music, Meathaus, Rosetta, and Beast as well as music venues and transit kiosks everywhere.

Joseph Beuckman:

Having DJ’ed the world over while earning degrees in computer science and physics, Joe is an object in motion. He has designed interactive classroom software and played the organ at NHL games. He is an accomplished computer artist and cofounder of the art collective Beige. He brings to PUNY his expertise as a Game Physics, Datavis, and CMS specialist. He is also half of Minneapolis’s premier glockenspiel duo, New Kids on the Glock.

Raptor Meet-and-Greet

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Live raptors perched outside the museum! This program includes three live raptors on display with two highly trained educators. Participants can ask questions, take photos, or just relax and watch the raptors.

Established in 1974 as part of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, the Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 700 sick and injured raptors each year, while helping to identify emerging environmental issues related to raptor health and populations. An internationally renowned education facility, the Raptor Center trains veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world to become future leaders in raptor medicine and conservation, and also reaches more than 200,000 people annually through its unique public education programs and events.

Presented by the Weisman Art Museum and the Raptor Center

Psychedelic Art Parade

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

This illuminated street-art parade will begin at 9:15 pm. The parade, which includes a forty-piece marching band complete with brass, strings, accordion, woodwinds, and a fifteen-piece drum corps, will draw inspiration from the after-dark parades of Mardi Gras. The band will play original compositions inspired by Afro Beat rhythms, Balkan brass phrasing, and Eastern European string arrangements. This parade will utilize the darkness of the night by illuminating performers and the parade space with glowing lights and light-reactive makeup and fabric. Audience members are encouraged to wear LED lights, glow in the dark fabrics, and fun makeup.

All participants will gather near the Mill City Museum at 9 pm for the beginning of the parade. Band members, dancers, stilters, floats, and audience will then progress across the Stone Arch Bridge. The parade will end near the Soap Factory at 9:45 pm. The entire marching band will be adorned with LEDs, glowsticks, and black light–activated body paint. Stilters and carriers of lanterns and black light will walk alongside the band to illuminate the parade. A team of J-setting majors will lead the band while performing choreographed dances to the music. Tuba players and other performing artists will ride glowing floats behind the band.

Jackie Beckey

Jackie Beckey has been creating community-engaged art for years. In 2010 she curated a street-art parade for a marching band on the West Bank of Minneapolis. Since then, she organized a Kickstarter funding campaign to present a parade with this same marching band on the Greenway bike path.

Psychedelic Marching Band

The forty-piece psychedelic marching band, comprised of brass, strings, accordion, woodwinds, and a fifteen-piece drum corps, performs original compositions for illuminated street-art parades.

Night Walk

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Beginning at sundown, I will travel through the night carrying a lantern on a harness, with my face concealed by a scarf to remain anonymous. I will begin in Powderhorn and attempt to pass all of the project sites in Northern Spark. After walking for several hours, I will arrive at the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Main, where my raft will be tethered. The raft is composed of found lumber and debris, and has a bed. I will climb onto the raft, hang my lantern above the bed, lie down, and close my eyes to go to sleep. As I rest, several friends will convey me down the river, past the busiest festival zone,through the locks, and beyond.

During my long walk, I will be able to connect with fellow participants of the night festival. Usually I will be relatively solitary, which may cause passersby to wonder about the masked person walking alone with a lamp mounted to her shoulders. They may not recognize I am a performance artist and will not know for certain if I am eccentric. This ambiguity allows viewers to react sincerely rather than with a conditioned response to art, as in a gallery. Unless I am obviously interacting with an art project, I am just a person walking at night.

When I reach the raft, I will be close to the epicenter of Northern Spark, with the relative safety and solitude of my raft at the other side of the crowds. On my raft, I will escape the public sphere and enter a quiet, intimate place. I will travel over river locks on an exposed bed with hundreds of potential viewers, trusting in my companions to direct and guide me. The river ride is my presumed “safe place,” but I will actually be much more exposed on my raft; my walking portion will be my “exposed” time, though here I will enjoy more anonymity. I intend to address the guarded feelings we experience when exposed to the outside world contrasted with our far less guarded feelings when we are alone and sheltered. These feelings may overlap: solitude can be achieved in a crowd, and fear can occur when we are safe and alone.

Leslie Kelman

Leslie Kelman is an installation and performance artist who creates work about space, shelter, and labor. She works full time at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as a shop technician and part time as an instructor.

Night Vision Tours: All Will Be Illuminated

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Join the Weisguides for these interactive tours, and be prepared to engage all your senses. View art in a new way, with only a flashlight as your guide.

Night Bikes

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Watch specially decorated art bikes as they travel over the Sabo Bridge. These “illuminated” bikes will help light up the Greenway with art. Night Bikes is a celebration of motion, light, and rideable art. Illuminated art bikes will gather for a parade and performance across Sabo Bridge, expanding the creative experience of the Midtown Greenway.

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

Landscape of the Mind

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota presents Landscape of the Mind. The exhibition explores the relationships of landscape, imagination, and experience in a variety of media. Each of us inhabits two separate but related landscapes: the physical landscape that surrounds us and the mental landscape of our own interior environment. The body, memory, culture, and history moderate the intersection of these landscapes. The art in Landscape of the Mind explores the shape, texture, and topography of these spaces and the relationships between them.

The curators of the exhibition are Lynn Lukkas, associate professor of experimental and media arts in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, and Howard Oransky, director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. Landscape of the Mind includes a site-specific artwork made by Berlin-based artist Ulrike Mohr during her residency at the University of Minnesota while teaching a sculpture workshop in March–April 2012. Projects made by the workshop students are displayed in a companion exhibition in the Quarter Gallery, also located in the Regis Center. Laura Aguilar: Life, the Body, Her Perspective, a video biography of the artist Laura Aguilar, will be screened continuously during the public reception on June 9 from 9 pm to 12 midnight.

The Regis Center for Art is wheelchair-accessible. All events at the Regis Center for Art are free and open to the public.

Artists featured in Landscape of the Mind:

Laura Aguilar, Rosemead, California
Kate Casanova, Minneapolis
Jan Estep, Minneapolis
Jil Evans, Minneapolis
India Flint, Mount Pleasant, South Australia
Allen Guilmette, San Diego, California
Mark Knierim, Minneapolis
Joyce Lyon, Minneapolis
Ulrike Mohr, Berlin, Germany
Pipo Nguyen-duy, Oberlin, Ohio
Jane Norling, Berkeley, California
Rebecca Pavlenko, Minneapolis
Anette Rose, Berlin, Germany
Bernhard Sallmann, Berlin, Germany
Petra Spielhagen, Berlin, Germany
Kenneth Steinbach, Minneapolis
JoAnn Verburg, Minneapolis

Presented by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, with support from the Goethe-Institut Chicago.

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

Käthe Kollwitz: Making Human

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The Weisman Art Museum opens all its current exhibitions for the entire night. Take a flashlight tour with the Weisguides or visit your favorite masterpiece in the middle of the night. Free.

Located in the Edith Carlson Gallery in the Weisman Art Museum

Jack Brass Band

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

March with the Jack Brass Band on the Greenway! The crack of the snare drum, the blat of the sousaphone, the blaring brass over all—the Jack Brass Band is an infectious machine, one that drives crowds to their feet and commands them to groove. Formed in 1999, this is the only New Orleans–style brass band in Minneapolis, true ambassadors of the Crescent City’s brass band tradition. The Jack Brass Band embraces the traditions of New Orleans jazz, while adding old-time blues, rock, hip-hop, pop, funk, and reggae. Following this recipe, it brings to the table an overflowing plate of greasy down-home music for your soul. “If you like your gumbo spicy and your music hot, check out the Jack Brass Band,” said Wynton Marsalis. The Jack Brass Band brings the party to any event with a rich tradition and a groove that will make you want to get up and dance to the New Orleans sound.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Public social space is all around us and permanently changing. iLounge/instant/interim/interactive provides a social stage to create a temporary community for a minute, an hour, or an evening. Operating as a social catalyst, it will be what the citizens of Minneapolis want it to be; the visitor to iLounge is an active part of its spatial production. The ambition of iLounge is to be an urban space that interacts with its inhabitants, adapting to the needs of the citizens but also stimulating them to look, listen, exchange, reflect, relax, and gain something lasting from the experience. iLounge is instant, interim, and interactive, and predominately refers to “I” am.

The design suggests a dynamic and adaptive carpet, a topography that embraces and stimulates exchange as well as interaction. The configuration is intended to alter the speed and the direction of its participants, influencing them to interact, slow down, look in various directions, and generate informal exchanges to promote different types of urban life. The architectural modules have a versatile surface that supports the human body in multiple ways: lounging, standing, resting, socializing, exchanging, playing, observing, and being observed. As an interactive piece, the modular nature of iLounge offers the option to change the topography of its surface, to aggregate and rearrange its layout.

This inhabitable social sculpture motivates the creation of a temporary community in flux. Live-feed video cameras create a media echo of the spatial production. The media footage feeds into an incorporated projection station that will project the image of the interim social space onto surrounding urban surfaces and firewalls. The visitors are not passive spectators but dynamic participants in the production of art. Real-time mapping of iPhone locations will be displayed in the media footage. iLounge is public furniture, but even more it is an interactive artifact of cultural production. QR codes spread throughout the city communicate the space far beyond its spatial dimensions, encouraging the creation of interim communities in material and digital space. Visitors are invited to reflect on the concept of social space in flux and might better understand the importance of social networks in our everyday culture.

iLounge is a co-commission of Northern Spark and ZERO1 to be presented at Northern Spark 2012 in Minneapolis, MN, and the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial in San Jose, CA and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mona El Khafif

Mona El Khafif is associate professor of architecture and head of the URBANlab at California College of the Arts. She received a professional architecture degree in Germany and a doctorate in urban design in Austria. After practicing and teaching at the TU Vienna, she joined the URBANbuild program at Tulane University in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She coauthored URBANbuild: Local/Global and published Staged Urbanism: Urban Spaces for Art, Culture, and Consumption in the Age of Leisure Society. Her design research operates at multiple scales, examining interdisciplinary aspects of urban regeneration and the production of public spaces. At the ZERO1 Biennial in 2010, with a group of URBANlab students, she presented OPspace, an interactive installation designed to reactivate empty storefronts.×10-cities/

Marcella del Signore

Marcella Del Signore is assistant professor at Tulane School of Architecture. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from University La Sapienza in Rome and an MS in advanced architectural design from Columbia University. She is the principal of X-Topia, a practice networked in the United States and Europe that explores the intersections of design with digital processes, urban space, and art. Her research focuses on the understanding and development of public and urban space through performative actions, applied technology, responsive systems, and digital processes. She has practiced in Rome, Madrid, New Orleans, and New York. In 2010 she was awarded “Young Italian Talent” by the Italian government in the architecture and design category. 

Greenway GoPro: Live Video Projection Project

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Using mobile GoPro cameras and a live feed, bikers will travel the Greenway and capture images, which will be projected on buildings near the Midtown Bike Center. Multiple images will create a collage of visual art.

GoPro helps people capture and share their most meaningful experiences with others—to celebrate them together. Just as a day on the mountain with friends is more meaningful than one spent alone, sharing our collective experiences makes our lives more fun.

Photographer Ellie Kingsbury of south Minneapolis organized Greenway GoPro.

Lighted Recycled T-shirt Rain

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Inspiration of design: see it, feel it, touch it, share it.
Lighted Recycled T-shirt Rain (LRTR) is an interior ceiling light made with recycled T-shirts decorated with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and electroluminescence (EL), hung from the ceiling with transparent wires. This art piece, which can be an actual light source, was inspired by sustainability, technology, and fashion. As fast fashion becomes a major trend, its harmful influences, such as increasing amounts of waste from the fashion industry on the environment, the economy, and society, are revealed.

Lighted Recycled T-shirt Rain encourages consumers to think about sustainability when buying garments. A fashion designer and a researcher, Helen S. Koo centers on sustainability and technology as she works with LEDs, ELs, fiber optics, and other electric lighting technologies in fashion and interior design. She applies her expertise in sustainability and lighting technology to Lighted Recycled T-shirt Rain for Northern Spark.

Lighted Recycled T-shirt Rain not only expresses an idea regarding sustainable fashion but also allows people to touch, walk through, take pictures, and have fun with the artwork. Visitors actually see, feel, and interact with it. Koo made this art to share with others and wants them to get involved by walking and sitting in the rain of the lighted T-shirts and naturally thinking about sustainability and fashion while enjoying the art.

Glow & Go

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

See and be seen! The American Swedish Institute welcomes you with free parking for bikes and cars and glowing luminaries lighting the way into our castle courtyard.

Whether traveling by bike, car, or foot, we urge you to apply your own crafty vibes to yarn-bomb your bike (or body!) with glow-in-the-dark beads, yarn, and other glittery sparkle. For additional glow-on-the-go, make a simple paper luminary to take home. Taste
an organic hot dog, served Swedish-style with creamy mashed potatoes, along with a cold beer, pop, or glass of wine at our romantically lit outdoor food bar.

While engaging in these deLIGHTful activities, you can listen to the forward sounds of the Eclectic Ensemble, an ambient experimental group that draws on jazz free-form improvisation, Asian harmonic structure, African, Middle Eastern, and Indonesian
interlocking rhythms, and ambient texture schemes. The Eclectic Ensemble seeks to spark the imagination of its audiences and provoke new interactions through its distinctive sound—an unusual arrangement of rhythm, texture, timing, and presentation.

And while you’re here, catch a glimpse through the glowing two-story windows of the new Nelson Cultural Center next to the castle, which will open on June 30, 2012.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

April 28 through May 27

              opening reception: April 28, 7 – 11 pm

              closing reception: May 26,7 – 11 pm

Final dispersal: June 9, 9 pm – 12 midnight

FLO(we){u}R is a month-long performative installation that returns The Soap Factory to a site of industrial production. Artists Amber Ginsburg and Joe Madrigal will recreate a World War I–era target test dummy bomb factory, creating target test bombs from terra-cotta in the gallery space.

FLO(we){u}R highlights a little-known detail of American military history. Beginning in 1914, terra-cotta factories, which produced the decorative façades on buildings in downtowns across the United States, were commissioned to make ceramic test bombs for the Air Force. The ceramic bombs were then filled with baking flour and dropped from airplanes; the white marks made by broken shells allowed pilots to calibrate their targeting.

The Soap Factory’s gallery space will house a full-scale bomb manufacturing facility, and all aspects of production will be on display, from clay mixing through molding to drying. Over the course of the project, labor will accumulate in the form of dummy test bombs. Two variations of the terra-cotta dummy bomb will be produced based on original World War I blueprints. One model is fired for use as a seed shaker. The second model, un-fired, will be used for test launches and a one-time seed dispersal at the end of the exhibition. These seedings will leave new white blooming marks on the landscape. The Soap Factory’s location in Minneapolis’s historic milling district lends rich context to the humble materials filling each bomb.

During FLO(we){u}R, the audience will see production in process and will be able to interact with the dummy test bombs. Deviating from the military’s intentions toward accuracy and destruction, the interactive and performative elements will address dispersion and formation, using history and metaphor to insert a poetic undoing of the bombs’ military past. Gallery visitors are encouraged to fill bombs with a custom mix of flour and white blooming seed mixes. This mix will be scattered throughout Minneapolis by artist-led seed walks throughout the city’s park system or by bicycle seed rides.

The finale of FLO(we){u}R will take place during Northern Spark on June 9. With the factory cleared away from The Soap Factory, the remaining bombs will be racked, ready for anyone to take them away, replacing the military precision of aerial targeting with the random trajectories of strangers in the night.

Fire Works

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Catalog Projects with Chris Larson, Bruce Tapola, Sarah Ann Burns, Aaron Dysart, John Fleischer and Jennifer Danos.

In conjunction with Northern Spark and the Walker Art Center’s Open Field, Catalog Projects presents Fire Works. For this one-night exhibition and performance, seven Minnesota artists will each sculpt a three-dimensional wooden object, which will be exhibited in the Cargill Lounge of the Walker Art Center. In the spirit of Allan Kaprow, the art objects will not be accumulated by the institution but rather liberated by a sacrificial act of burning on the Open Field campfire. The event provides the opportunity to investigate our cultural tendencies toward acquisition while emphasizing a visceral experience of the present moment.

Presented in partnership with and Catalog Projects


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

“The less the life there proves a counterpart of our earthly state of things, the more it
fires fancy and piques inquiry as to what it is.”
—Percival Lowell, Mars and Its Canals, 1906

Margaret Pezalla-Granlund’s exhibition Extramundane will explore the imaginative and expressive potential of modeling speculative landscapes: those unexplored places beyond what we can see, the places beyond our everyday world, the extramundane.

The American astronomer Percival Lowell popularized the theory of the Martian Canals through his books, including Mars and Its Canals, in which he imagines the citizens of the dying planet working in harmony to engineer a system of planet-wide canals to carry water from the shrinking polar ice caps. Today, one hundred years after Lowell was widely discredited, amateur scientists still scrutinize images of Mars for evidence of an advanced civilization. We are inspired and moved by our desire to discover something extraordinary. What if we could see beneath the surface of Mars? What if we could model the wondrous things just beyond our ability to see?

Explorations on Non-Intention

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Inspired by John Cage’s aleatory experiments in musical, written, and visual composition, MCBA hosts a night of printmaking, sound installation, and performance.

Printmaking: Roll of the Dice

Artist: Monica Edwards Larson
Location: Letterpress studio, Open Book (downstairs)

Join Monica Edwards Larson of Sister Black Press and a team of experienced letterpress printers in making a multilayer print using wood and metal type, found objects, and other alternative letterpress techniques in MCBA’s letterpress studio.

Matrixes may be predetermined, but their order is not. Roll our set of “aleatory dice” and let chance determine what, where, how, and which way you print your paper. Once your chance operation is complete, digitally document your print in MCBA’s bindery. All completed operations documented will be uploaded and projected in MCBA’s front windows for everyone’s pleasure—with popcorn included!

Sound Installation: Moveable Sound Type

Artist: Jonathan Zorn
Location: MCBA gallery and studios

Experience a new sound installation by composer Jonathan Zorn that features captured sounds from MCBA’s environment: the hums, clicks, clanks, splashes, and rumbles of artists at work and equipment in use. Through sampling, layering, and processing, sounds will be recombined and synthesized through a specially created computer program, constructing a kaleidoscope of ambient textures— continuously sounding, never the same. The primary installation will be in MCBA’s gallery, but smaller offshoot experiences may be found throughout MCBA’s studios.

Event Scores: Actions for All Times and Places (for Alison Knowles)

Artist: Jonathan Zorn
Location: MCBA gallery

Originating in John Cage’s famous 1957–59 Experimental Composition classes at the New School for Social Research in New York, event scores became a mainstay of the avant-garde Fluxus movement, providing direction to audience members for the creation of a short art performance. By elevating simple or mundane everyday actions to the level of a public performance, event scores invite reconsideration of the relationship between what is art and what is not art. For Northern Spark, Jonathan Zorn has composed a series of these performative event scores and invites visitors to MCBA’s gallery to collect a set and stage their own impromptu performance at MCBA (or anywhere else) during the festival.

Drawing NIGHTclub

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Join in making collaborative drawings under the twinkling lights of the Open Field Grove. Like the very popular daytime edition, Drawing NIGHTclub invites local artists and the public to grab a pencil and add contributions to an evolving pool of pieces over the course of the night. Think glowsticks and blacklights for this nocturnal round of social art making.

Dakota Combo Jazz Ensemble

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Dakota Combo is the premier student jazz combo of MacPhail Center for Music. Its musicians are selected through a live audition process. With generous support from the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, this group performs regularly throughout the Twin Cities and was awarded the Mingus Spirit Award at the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York City in February 2010.

Cycle Saints Installation

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

As you bicycle on a trail or an empty road on a beautiful summer morning or a challenging winter afternoon, do you ever think about why cycling appeals to you? Why do you forgo your car and get out on those two wheels? Are you ever envious of the dashboard saints and roadside shrines that offer good luck charms and places to reflect for drivers? Then visit the Cycle Saints shrine to reflect on what cycling means to you.

This exhibit adapts the car-based dashboard saint and roadside shrine for bicyclists. For this evening only, the Greenway will host a trail-side shrine to imaginary animal saints that embody different aspects of cycling. Cycling connects to many characteristics of our lives, from endurance to relaxation, dexterity to exploration. The shrine will display icons of animal “saints” that illustrate these traits, such as an otter representing playfulness and a salmon representing endurance. This fun installation adopts car-based ideas for cyclists and creates a space for Northern Spark attendees and cyclists to reflect on the more ineffable qualities of bicycling as a practice.

The shrine will be created by Jessica Zeglin, an artist whose paintings focus on animals, plants, and the natural world; our human interactions with nature; and our conceptions of nature, personhood, beauty, and value. Her recent work explores the theme of animals as saints, calling into question the line between our perceptions of high and low value creatures. She lives and works in Minneapolis, where she leads a triple life of public health research, visual art, and music making (as one-half of the band and arts collaborative the ghost test). See her work at

Celebration of Life, Energy and Power: Views of Our World

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The core purpose of the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center (KAYSC) is to empower young people to change our world through science. The KAYSC engages 100 youth in grades 7–12 every year in out-of-school-time (OST) science programming— after school, on Saturdays, and during the summer. Programs target students from communities underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

For Northern Spark the KAYSC is teaming up with artist Ta-Coumba Aiken and the community to explore sustainability through art via science and technology. Stop by and check out the product of this collaboration!

Car Dreams

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Car Dreams will explore our car-based economy and culture and its effect on our environment and communities. Our largest exposure to our community is often as daily commuters in cars on roadways. As a private space in public, cars create a simultaneous experience of context and displacement. A car’s occupants are observers rather than participants in their landscape, very much like a person viewing a video projection, and the car masks their humanity to those on the outside. As a global community we seem to be traveling through a world we are separate from, aware of how damaging our ride is yet unable or
unwilling to step out and become involved in change. This dialogue becomes even more relevant with cars being targets and weapons for terrorism, fueled by war and environmental destruction.

Car Dreams is an overnight installation of a car on a public street incorporating video projection of the effects of oil on our lives and landscapes. Synchronized video will be projected onto the windows of the car from within, creating the appearance of a single visual space. The video, taken from multiple cameras simultaneously, will consist of static images of household interiors as
well as moving images of landscape. Interior video will be shot inside households affected by oil conflicts, such as those of veterans and refugees or people affected by oil pollution. Video will be taken within a single room, synchronizing the space of the room with the car projection. Landscape video will be taken from a car driving through oil-affected environments and will be synchronized to the windows of the car.

Car Dreams will reverse familiar visual experience. Interior walls become exterior surfaces and surrounding space will be turned inside out, capturing the full horizon of the landscape as an image confined within a car. The visual experience of the roadway landscape passing by on the window surfaces will create an unnerving effect of travel within a parked car, and the random
movements of people within household interiors will create a sense of exposure, emphasizing a private space within a public setting.

Car Dreams explores the car as an intermediary between realms: spaces of personal and private experience become accessible and public; remote lives become immediate; and the connection between our personal dependence on oil and our detachment from its global and environmental effect becomes more visible.

This project was funded by Forecast Public Art with support from the McKnight Foundation. Additional support was received from St. Paul Neighborhood Network.

Tamsie Ringler

Tamsie Ringler is an installation and cast iron artist. She works primarily with cars, using them as vehicles for political and environmental dialogue. Her work can be seen at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota, Touhy Park and Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park in Chicago, and on the MAX Light Rail System in Portland, Oregon.

Capturing the Night

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Join the Bell Museum of Natural History at the Weisman Art Museum as we capture the night with sound, light, and art; learn stories of the stars; and call in the creatures of the night.

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Capturing Insects

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Join us on the Mississippi River road below the Weisman Art Museum as we set out spectacular glowing lights designed to draw both the people and the insects who call this river gorge home. Using large lights and bright white fabric panels, we will draw in the insects from the surrounding river and trees. Here is a chance to view these ephemeral creatures closeup, even magnified. Learn to these local insects and observe a collection of pinned insects from around the world.

Located at the Weisman Art Museum on East River Road Lawn

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Bumps in the Night

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Bumps in the Night is a visual and audio portrait of the Northern Spark festival night in Minneapolis, revealing nocturnal narratives shaped by people’s stories and the changing environment of the city. The story of the night unfolds in real time, cascading down the silos to the ground, leaving a trail of history. Five alternating dynamic streams tell different data-backed stories and create visual forms that are translated into audio for a complementary immersive sensory experience.

Data are collected from participants at Northern Spark and Eyeo via a mobile application. Festival attendees can add their stories, movements, and moments to streams with their smart phones or through Twitter and Facebook. Other data are gathered about the nighttime of Minneapolis, from nocturnal animal activity to taxicab business to people’s brain waves to the carbon exchange occurring in plants around us. These sources and stories were discovered through research and conversations with local organizations in the Minneapolis area. These historically derived quantitative flows play in time alongside the qualitative data streams.

While these streams play out visually down the length of the silos, the data are translated into audio that plays back through a series of speakers surrounding the installation area. The sound stream can also be experienced via the mobile application.

Bumps in the Night is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy is a artist, designer, and programmer. She focuses on the structures and systems of social interactions, identity, and self-representation and the potential for technology to mediate, manipulate, and evolve these interactions. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BS in computer science and a BS in art and design from MIT. Exhibitions of her art blur the boundaries between art, design, and everyday life and have been held at LACMA, the Japan Media Arts Festival, SIGGRAPH, the Conflux Festival, the File Festival, and the WIRED Store. At her current studio, Sosolimited, and formerly at Small Design Firm, she has worked on installations for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, IBM, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello in Virginia.

David Wicks

David Wicks is an artist exploring landscape systems and our relationship to the environment. He uses a combination of manual and computational techniques to produce maps, drawings, animations, and interactive applications. His work has been shown in a variety of contexts, including the Surfing Art Science and Issues Conference at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla; the Dry Immersion Symposium in Joshua Tree, California; the DUMBO art festival in Brooklyn; and a garden-themed group show in a Shanghai warehouse. His art is featured in Written Images, a generative book project initiated by Martin Fuchs. He holds an MFA from the Design Media Arts program at UCLA and an undergraduate degree in architecture from Miami University.

Body Pong

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Throw your body into this game of Pong! Using your silhouette instead of paddles in this interactive projection, you will experience the game like never before.

The research and development of Body Pong was supported by the Learning Technologies Center (LTC), a department within the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). The project came out of LTC’s work with computer games and game programming, especially related to its strong interest in software that makes programming and sensors more accessible to the public. Aaron Heidgerken, an exhibit programmer at SMM, and Asia Ward, an education program specialist for LTC, developed Body Pong with a hacked Kinect sensor and creative open-source software. Aaron was the key programmer, and Asia modified the game to enhance visitor interaction; she also exhibits and represents the game during events.

Body Pong was developed with the Xbox Kinect sensor, libfreenect, as the open-source driver, Openframeworks and Xcode as the application and programming languages, and OpenKinect as the community support and example library. All these tools make it possible for participants to have touchscreen functionality from 10 to 15 feet away and to interact with the Body Pong ball simply by moving their body. Players can pick up the ball or bump it away. It’s easy to play the game: walk within ten feet of the screen and suddenly you are in it, represented on the screen by your own silhouetted image.

Asia demonstrates Body Pong during Northern Spark to encourage participants, artists, and game designers to learn more about interactive game development and projection programming. Body Pong is an easy, fun, and entertaining way to engage in new creative game technology and programming.

Bicycle Projections

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Dazzling lights and daring tricks, performed on bikes and projected onto the Midtown Bike Center. See a collage of color and light, created by people who love bikes and art. Words, colors, and motion—projected live in the Greenway.

Between Earth and Sky: Indigenous Star Lessons from Turtle Island

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Throughout human history, cultures around the world have been applying the latest version of “cutting edge technology” to explain and explore scientific phenomena. Using the technology of the ExploraDome program, Dakota science educator Jim Rock will take us on a comprehensive journey of the night sky as the indigenous people of Minnesota see and understand it.

Located at the Weisman Art Museum in the Shepherd Room

Presented by the Bell Museum of Natural History with support from Gary Smaby. The Bell Museum is part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Northern Spark @ Open Field

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Artist interventions and activities plus select galleries are open all night with special one-night-only installations of artworks from the collection.

Exhibitions: One Night Only

8:58 pm – 5:26 am

The exhibitions Midnight Party and Absentee Landlord open for a special late-night edition, spiked with rarely seen work from the Walker collection that will be installed for one night only in conjunction with Northern Spark. Works include an appearance by Franz Marc’s Die grossen blauen Pferde (TheLarge Blue Horses), 1911.


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.

It was the burden that made us great and the part that caused us to stumble again: (the greatest).

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

An attraction unlike any other*. The Greatest examines the idea of the spectacle before the spectacle and the strangely compelling social role
that anticipation plays in adding gas to the fire of wonder.

Discovery and wonder are at the root* of this work. Often an emphasis is placed on art as entertainment and vehicle for enlightenment (aesthetic, phenomenological, and in some cases through rampant didactics). The assumption is that the artist is the creative force responsible for shaping and delivering something with both meaningful form and content. This work invites the viewer to play the role of creator as they imagine forms and concoct meaning as they wade through a series of anticipation-building moments.

What is inside?
Will I be pleased?
Is this what I wanted?

It is a call to arms for the curious.

*Other themes are explored in this project such as exclusivity, exceptionalism and the cult of superlatives.
*Influences for the work range from carnival sideshows and state fairs to Vegas reviews and theme park theatrics to major concert events and popular museum exhibitions.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

NOT TO SCALE is a performative large-scale installation that will happen during the course of the night.  We invite viewers to look up and marvel at our message to the night sky.

Art of This

Art of This is an artist-run, artist-centric organization dedicated to a direct and diverse dialogue with its audiences and community. We exhibit socially relevant, conceptual and experimental visual art, performance and music that is created by emerging and established artists. 

NOT TO SCALE is organized Jenny Bookler, Alyson Coward, and Katy Vonk