Guide to Northern Spark 2014

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 6/11/2014

The fourth annual, all-night Northern Spark lights up Minneapolis.

Chris Larson’s “Celebration/Love/Loss” installation at Northern Spark 2013.
Kyndell Harkness

After spending 2013 in St. Paul, the all-night Northern Spark art fest makes a bold return to Minneapolis this year, from 9:01 p.m. Saturday to 5:26 a.m. Sunday. Expect more than 125 projects by more than 250 emerging and renowned artists from Minnesota and far beyond, spread out among 37 city locations. Read on for highlights at the main hubs, or head to the Northern Spark website ( to plan your night.


Opening events: The launch party includes live music from Dosh and food and drink from Travail, Marin, Black Sheep Pizza and Indeed Brewing (7-9 p.m., Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.). It’s followed by an opening ceremony hosted by the Current’s Mark Wheat and Mayor Betsy Hodges with live music from Mu Daiko and Grrrl Prty (8:30-9:45 p.m. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.).


Walker Art Center: Interactive installations inside and outside the museum, including Christian Marclay’s 24-hour-long film “The Clock” (see sidebar). Also: the opening of the exhibition “Art Expanded, 1958-1978,” and“Graffiti Angel in Sophronia/A Netprov,” featuring improvised stories based on audience suggestions. And: Drawing Nightclub, an avant-garde accordionist, games and food trucks. (1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)


Minneapolis Institute of Arts & Minneapolis College of Art and Design: Indoor and outdoor installations, with highlights including VidTiger’s “FutureKave,” a virtual moonscape that lets the audience create an interactive moon sculpture; Abinadi Meza’s “The Sky Opens Twice,” a site-specific aural “film”; a projection of “The Magic Hand of Chance,” an algorithmic computer program by digital pioneer Roman Verostko; and a reinstallation of Keetra Dean Dixon’s “Swing Hall, Swing All” project from Northern Spark 2012. (MIA: 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. MCAD: 2501 Stevens Av. S., Mpls.)


Weisman Art Museum: The metallic Frank Gehry-designed landmark will feature Sean Connaughty’s “The Ark of the Anthropocene,” an immersive environment consisting of a sustainable ecosystem set in a huge stone “egg.” Other events include conversant portraits with artist Anne Labovitz; “Gossip Orchestra,” which lets the audience become the conductor of 20 musicians; and the opening of the “[email protected]: MN” exhibition. (333 East River Pkwy., Mpls.)


Northrop: Visual art, music, dance, film and performance, including “Circumstances for We,” an all-night, spontaneous performance featuring theater troupe SuperGroup, local band Brute Heart, artist Liz Miller and interdisciplinary performer Rachel Jendrzejewski. (84 SE. Church St., Mpls.)


Midtown Greenway: The Green­way will double as transportation route and event hub, with roving bike-centric sights like a giant bear-puppet bike powered by 10 riders (“Pedal Bear”); a hand-cranked and sketched TV show (“Talking Head”) and pedal-powered bike trailers with layers of video reflecting the Greenway (“Interactive Image Craft”). (Greenway from Chowen Av. to West River Pkwy., Mpls.)


West River Parkway: The bike-friendly parkway along the Mississippi is the site of activities and projections, including a poetic exploration of the transient nature of organisms and architecture via large-scale projections (“Hotel Hotel”); an installation by Hottea on the 3rd Avenue Bridge (“La Maroma”); Juxtaposition Arts’ fleet of bike-powered carts emitting sound and light projections; Revolver magazine’s “Write Fight 2” literary tourney, and video projections layered over the Gold Medal Flour silos by artist Luke Savisky (“E/x MN”) of Austin, Texas. (Downtown Minneapolis.)


“Oculus”: Modern dance, live music, projected visuals and art installations. Highlights include live performances by Venus DeMars and Mach Fox, hand-drawn visual projections by Emily Kaplan and Brian Matthew Hart, a multimedia installation by Robin Schwartzman, a modern dance performance by Jaime Carrera under the light of Karl Unnasch’s “Glassicles” sculpture, busking performances by Mike Gunther and Black Audience, and Playatta’s interactive “Pan-dimensional Face Transmuter.” (National Camera Exchange parking lot, 10th St. & Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)