You are browsing an archived site for a previous Northern Spark event. To visit the current site click here.

You are browsing an archived site for a previous Northern Spark event. To visit the current site click here.

Buy Tickets Newsletter

We’re glad to share Northern Spark news with you, and won’t share your personal information with any other entity. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in one of our emails.

All night, wonder, wander, illuminate, together

For Immediate Use

For Immediate Release, May 12th, 2015:
Contact: Alyson Sinclair, Publicity & Marketing Director or 612.201.3867




lights up Minneapolis on

June 13, 2015

Opening Ceremony begins at the Minneapolis Convention Center with Creative City Challenge winner mini_polis at 8:30 pm
followed by special interactive production of The Lowertown Line from Twin Cities Public Television featuring Cloud Cult

Northern Spark official start & end times: 9:00 pm until 5:26 am

various locations / Minneapolis, MN / Free & Open to the Public
(*except ticketed Launch Party fundraiser at the Mill City Museum at 7:00 pm on June 13th
and The Bachelor Farmer x Al’s Breakfast Pancake Feed fundraiser at Aria at 5:30 am on June 14th)

Since 2011, tens of thousands of pedestrians and glowing cyclists have gathered for one night each June to experience what happens when artists take over a city in unexpected ways. This year marks Northern Spark’s fifth year and we’re thrilled to celebrate with you! Think: giant projections on buildings, surprising encounters with artists and performers, and countless new ways to experience a city you may or may not believe you already know well. With our commissioned artists and creative partners we will transform the sense of what’s possible in public space by presenting interactive, technology-focused, site-specific art. Join us!

2015 HIGHLIGHTS include:

Begin the mill city requiem experience by logging into on your mobile device. Then plunge into a virtual “media orchestra” to receive sine waves, pulsed images, vector sketches, and sounds based on your distance from a live musician—artist- programmer Kathy McTavish. She is playing her “instrument,” something that calls to mind a distant organ grinder, somewhere, but where? As you approach her location, you spy three dynamic projections, constantly shifting, depending upon who else is listening in and where they are located.

mini_polis by Niko Kubota, Jon Reynolds, and Micah Roth (this year’s Creative City Challenge winner) is a scale model of Minneapolis built in collaboration with community participants in a series of “build workshops.” The mini_polis team will collect place-based hopes and memories at the workshops and create a multimedia interface within the finished city model to share these stories. The completed mini_polis will be a landscape of lighted plywood buildings laid out to approximate the Minneapolis downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. A multimedia interactive map station will allow visitors to peek into the experiences and hopes of a particular place within their city.

A giant light sculpture, an interactive media piece, and a multilayered architectural projection montage all in one, Luke Savisky’s E/x MN puts you into the artwork on a monumental scale. Within pulsing layers of color and motion imagery, audience members participate in a live projection event as their projected faces and bodies move through and interact with the shapes of the enormous silos of the Gold Medal flour mill. Accompanied by a soundscape composed by Savisky’s long-time collaborators and ambient masters Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride of Stars of the Lid, the resulting experience will create a haunting, otherworldly scene against the Minneapolis skyline. We’re bringing this back since the thunderstorm cancelled this project in 2014!

Visit Marketopia, a flea market unlike any other designed by Roger Nieboer and lesser mortals. Part financial counseling session, part walk-through board game, part hands-on micro-economics lesson, and part flea market from another planet, Marketopia challenges audiences to re-examine and confront preconceptions of their own material needs and desires. No cash, checks, bitcoins, or credit cards accepted.

Eddo Stern presents Vietnam Romance an interactive work for screen, stage, and audience that uses public video gaming for direct engagement with the sublimated consequences of America’s “first televised war.”

Dream Window is a 4-poster bed sculpture installed among the girders of the Mill City Museum ruins. Suspended high above the courtyard, like some surreal animation from a dreamscape, it is a sight for wonder and a site of remembering in the middle of your all-night, Northern Spark reverie. Throughout the night the artist Rebecca Krinke and her team will create pages of their dream memories—and yours—and sew them together into a single, community dream book.

Northern Spark partners Mizna and Osama Esid’s S t i l l / L i fe / S y r i a presents unexpected portraits of Syrian refugees set against Minneapolis ruins to evoke Syria’s present-day conditions under the Assad regime and other forces. Who are the individuals behind the powerfully amassing term “refugee”? What sort of lens do we need to encounter them with more personal, perhaps transformative, depth? While mainstream media flattens Syria and the Arab world into zones of pervasive violence, and their people into victims or victimizers, Esid’s work brings us face to face with complex, self-aware personalities cast in rich color and light.

 NS2015 Commissioned and Presented ARTISTS also include:

* Body Cartography’s C l o s e r: A series of one-on-one performances and conversations that reflect on movement, behavior, and transformation.
* Eric William Carroll’s Golden Hour: Short films of dusk and dawn viewable at specific Festival locations with your smartphone in collaboration with Leav.
* UCLA’s GameLab presents a number of interactive projects in the Northern Spark Arcade: a hybrid lounge / gaming space.

* John Kim & Ben Moren’s Game Grid: A multiple player social video game played on a 3 screen installation in the round.
* Richard Mueller & Stefon Taylor’s You are Hear: GPS-located audio tracks, visualizations, and giant glowing balloons that the audience experiences together.
* Franziska Pierwoss & Siska’s KINO Holly*ood, a temporary movie theater screening resident-made films and videos about Minneapolis and her inhabitants. Curated by Sandra Teitge.
* Miko Simmons’s Atavism II: A 3D submersive projected environmental multimedia performance that transports the audience into connection with the lives lived and stories told through diverse cultural and historical ethos.
* Andy Sturdevant’s Footpaths ’92: A Spiritual Health and Physic Wellness Expo: A nationally touring seminar helps attendees achieve their dreams of material wealth and spiritual fulfillment, and meet the challenges of 1992 and beyond.

Northern Spark 2015 PARTNERS include:

Walker Art Center * Minneapolis College of Art and Design * Minneapolis Institute of Arts * Weisman Art Museum * The Bell Museum of Natural History * Leav * Northern Clay Center * Northrop Auditorium * University of Minnesota School of Architecture in collaboration with Minn_Lab * Mill City Museum * Minnesota Orchestra * tpt Twin Cities Public Television * Mizna * FD13 * Juxtaposition Arts * Revolver * Hennepin County Library * St. Cloud State University Art Department * Can Can Wonderland * Northern Voices Festival * UCLA GameLab * Minneapolis Convention Center * Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis

Northern Spark 2015 LOCATIONS include:

Minneapolis Convention Center
West River Parkway & Mill City Museum
Peavey Plaza

Walker Art Center
Minneapolis College of Art and Design & Minneapolis Institute of Arts
University of Minnesota (Weisman Art Museum, The Bell Museum of Natural History, & Northrop Auditorium)

Northern Spark is presented by Northern, a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space. Northern Spark is one night, but Northern shines throughout the year with projects such as Creative City Challenge at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Giant Sing-A-Long at the Minnesota State Fair, and Saint Paul Union Depot’s public art program. For additional information, visit

Northern Spark would like to thank our Major SPONSORS:


Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 8.55.38 PM