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04 Jun 2011

Northern Spark: nuit blanche

Imagining Northern Spark, maquette and photography by Rasun Mehringer.
Design: Matthew Rezac

Northern Spark


Northern Spark: from sunset to sunrise
June 4-5, 2011
100 projects at 34 venues in Saint Paul and Minneapolis
8:55 pm Opening fanfare, Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis
8:55 Opening fanfare, Upper Landing, Saint Paul



2751 Hennepin Ave. South #231
Minneapolis, MN 55408-1002

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The inaugural Northern Spark nuit blanche is a free, all-night festival of public art and performances taking place outdoors and indoors in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul from sundown to sunrise.

There is magic in the night, when the familiar, like the city skyline, becomes majestic, and a starry sky can transport the imagination. One's senses are heightened, attuned to the slightest noise or even the smell of the nearby river in a way that seems not so common in daylight. One's regular bus ride or walking over the threshold of a building visited hundreds of times before becomes exotic and otherworldly at 3 am.

It is in this context that more than 200 artists are presenting 100 installations and performances for Northern Spark from the top of the Foshay Tower to boat rides along the Mississippi to light sculptures and projections to performances galore, including car horn and brass band fanfares, color guards, river dancing, sewer pipe organs, lullabies, and storytelling. Perusing the website ( will introduce you to the rich variety of offerings that will bloom for one night only. It is not our goal to take over the night like some giant big top tent, but to join it. We meet the city halfway. As you walk or ride a bike or take the free bus from one venue to another, see and appreciate your surroundings with new eyes and ears. Celebrate one of the great rivers of the world through two magnificent cities and enjoy the next artistic intervention you come across. It's an adventure. You make your own journey.

Commissioned artists include: Artifact Shore, Christopher Baker, Philip Blackburn, The BodyCartography Project, Bart Buch, Jim Campbell, Barbara Claussen, Daniel Dean, Alex Dyba, Aaron Dysart, Chris Farstad, Ben Garthus, Grace Minnesota, Mike Hallenbeck, Wing Young Huie, JoJo of Murals by Eros, Chris Kallmyer, John Kamp, Mero Cocinero Karimi, Leslie Kelman, Osman Khan, John Kim, Suzanne Kosmalski, Aaron Marx, Megan Mayer, Peter McLarnan, Megan Mertaugh, Debora Miller, MAW, Ali Momeni, Ben Moren, Michael Murnane, The Notion Collective, Mark O'Brien, Angela Olson, Panelectric Cinema, Peyton of House of Daskarone, Janaki Ranpura, Red76, Rigo 23, James Rojas, ROLU, Andrew Saboe, Jenny Schmid, Skewed Visions, Andrea Stanislav, Andy Sturdevant, Piotr Szyhalski, Anthony Tran, Vasily Trubetskoy, Roman Verostko, Diane Willow, Works Progress, Liu Xuguang, Marcus Young.

Steve Dietz
Artistic Director, Northern Spark
President and Artistic Director, Northern

Northern ( is a roving, collaborative, interactive media-oriented arts agency from the Twin Cities for the world. It presents innovative art in the public sphere, both physical and virtual, focusing on artists creatively using technology, both old and new, to engender new relations between audience and artwork and more broadly between citizenry and their built environment.