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May 31, 2011

Northern Spark: a nuit blanche

Filed under: Arts — Alison Aten @ 1:59 pm

Northern Spark


This is just cool.

Northern Spark is a Twin Cities based dusk to dawn participatory art event along the Mississippi River and surrounding areas on the evening of Saturday June 4th from sunset at 8:55 to sunrise on Sunday June 5 at 5:28 am.

The concept of “nuit blanche”, meaning “white night” or “sleepless night” originated in St. Petersburg, Russia and Berlin, Germany in the mid 1990s. These art filled all-night festivals have subsequently spread to cities throughout the world.

More info from the Northern Spark website:

“Northern Spark will include a diversity of art forms and projects including multi-story projections, audio environments with vistas, floating works on barges, houseboats and paddleboats, headphone concerts, and the use of everything from bioluminescent algae and sewer pipes for organs to more traditional media such as banjos and puppets.

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 this site 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 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.”

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