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Northern Spark is a free, dusk-to-dawn arts festival. "Explore a constellation of urban arts and discover the city in a new light."
Northern Spark is a free, dusk-to-dawn arts festival. "Explore a constellation of urban arts and discover the city in a new light."
266 backers pledged $10,145 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Explore a constellation of urban arts and discover the city in a new light.

Northern Spark is a free, dusk to dawn, participatory arts festival that presents visual arts, performance, films, and interactive media indoors and outdoors in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 2011, during the course of one night, there were 50,000 visits to 100 projects by more than 200 artists at 34 venues in collaboration with 60 partner organizations and sponsors. 

At its core, Northern Spark is about supporting artists to reinterpret the city through art and creative interventions.

We need your help to support the artists who make Northern Spark happen.

Funding from our Kickstarter campaign will go to support artist projects from our Open Calls.

Here are just a few of the comments by participants last year.

"How often do you get a chance to be on a bridge with 10,000 people to see an experimental community band, draw under the stars and wander through a gallery at 3 am all in the same night."

"The best part was that so many people were out and experienced NS. Some people lived in the Twin Cities, some came in from the suburbs; some came specifically for the event, some just happened upon it in the course of their evening. There was a great cross-section of the population out exploring the Cities."

"It was amazing to see so many people out in so many different locations and so early into the morning! It was magical to be immersed within Jim Campbell’s Scattered Light and to see the moving images from a distance. Like orchestrated fireflies!"

"Aside from all of the fabulous works of art (there were so many, I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite nor could I have seen everything that was going on) and creative opportunities to explore the Twin Cities, what stands out in my mind as being the most memorable part of the event is the variety of people that turned up to experience Northern Spark. A friend of mine commented that she expected to see the “usual art-nerd” suspects out and about. We realized together that there were many people out who may have never participated in a community art event before. What a great way to expose the entire community to the arts! "

"I would say the entire night had its amazing moments that are impossible to choose between — the utter chaos of capture the flag at Loring Park, catching the sunrise at the Foshay Tower, running into a bunch of friends at Stone Arch Bridge, the entire night was a blast! "

"Art is everywhere. The night of Northern Spark transforms your consciousness. Yes, you read the brochure and move from installation to installation, but you’re also always on the lookout for what might be new or different. Suddenly, everything becomes art: the lights under the 35W bridge; couples stealing a kiss under an archway; even the spaces themselves which you had previously never considered as anything other than no-man’s-land. The next morning, the sensation continues, and your senses are heightened for hours."

All arts. All night. All people.

Links

2012 website

2012 kickstarter

2011 website

2011 report pdf

2011 trailer

2011 documentary

2011 flickr

Rewards

The majority of our rewards are artworks created by Northern Spark artists, related to their projects for the Festival. Be an art collector, support Northern Spark! 

David Rueter, Kuramoto Model (1,000 Fireflies), custom, auto-synchronizing LED bike light. (Pictured: prototype LED bike lights). /The devices are outfitted with simple electronics that allow them to synchronize with others, so that all nearby devices automatically and mutually engage in an observable process of synchronization. These devices, in isolation, will appear to be no different from conventional LED cycling safety lights, but in groups will exhibit an immediately noticeable and striking phenomenon. The aim of the project is to activate and transform the social networks and urban dynamics associated with cycling by fusing this system with one biased towards synchronization -- an outward display of unity through cooperative display, perception and adjustment. $10; available only at Northern Spark or with additional shipping fee.


Red76Follow the Light. Let the Light Be Your Guidebroadsheet $10

Matthew Rezacmemo #1 (War Is Forever); $10 set of 4


Piotr Szyhalski, IF/THENset of leaflets $10



Amanda LoveleeCall and Answer Project booklets; $10 each, $25 set

Piotr SzyhalskiWe Are Working All the Time!  poster $20 (Teddy Bear not included)


Northern Spark 2011 Volunteer t-shirt; $15

Ben Moren and Daniel Dean, Experimental Mobile Cinema logotype; $20

Northern Spark 2012 supporter t-shirt


Wing Young Huie, "Wing's Ping Pong Retrospective, West Bank, Minneapolis, 2011." 8 x 10 color photograph. $30

Vince Leo, "Becaused," from the Typos series. 8 x 10" pigmented inkjet print. $30

Gary Smaby choice of 8" x 10" print from "Shooting Stars."  $35

"We All Do Better When We All Do Better." Signed/numbered edition of 30 posters, designed and printed by Jenni Undis of Lunalux. $40

Open Field Drawing Club, original drawing (random selection), $50


Northern Spark banner; $60


Joe Madrigal and Amberg Ginsberg, terracota FLO(we){u}R bomb ($75) or mould for making them ($100).

Neal Cuthbert,  iPad case constructed from recycled and reclaimed materials; $150

Jim Campbell, working light bulb from Scattered Light; $250

Robin Schwartzman, 20" letter with Valentine's message of your choice. $250


ROLU, + chair, x chair; $675 each


Ali MomeniBefore I Die... $1,000

Robin Schwartzman, illuminated letter from THINK AND WONDER; $1,000

"I wanna be sedated" by  Andréa Stanislav. 2009, glitter, vinyl, resin, board24”x24”x1"; $1,500


Rasun Mehringer, cardboard maquette Imagining Northern Spark; $1,500


Wil NatzelNight Bloom flower; $5,000

Pramila Vasudevan, personal "Habitus" choreographed; $5,000

Guggenheim award-winning artist Marina Zurkow to offer an evening of alien gustatory delights in a home cooked and homegrown version of Marina's earlier "Not an Artichoke, Nor from Jerusalem" culinary performance at The Artist's Institute in New York City.

FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Were you one of the thousands of people who enjoyed Northern Spark last year? Are you planning to join us this year? Everyone who supports Northern Spark will have their name posted on a monumental "backer wall" projection at a key venue. Even $5 helps show your support.

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    What do we mean by prophetic texts?That is the question asked by Red76's "Follow the Light, Let the Light be Your Guide." broadsheet from NS 2011

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    Amanda Lovelee, Choose 1 of 4 books by Amanda Lovelee: "Honor your Partner Honor your Neighbor," "Walking Side by Side," ""Home you are and Home you be," All Jump Up and Never Come Down" ; handmade books from the Call and Answer project.

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    Paper the town with Matthew Rezac's "memo #1 (WAR IS FOREVER)" set of 4 risograph printed posters.

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    Piotr Szyhalski's IF/THEN set of leaflets reverse engineers American PSYOPS in Iraq.

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    Custom, auto-synchronizing bike light. The devices are outfitted with simple electronics that allow them to synchronize with others, so that all nearby devices automatically and mutually engage in an observable process of synchronization. These devices, in isolation, will appear to be no different from conventional LED cycling safety lights, but in groups will exhibit an immediately noticeable and striking phenomenon.
    For pick up at Northern Spark ($10 extra to be shipped).

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    Do you know that 10 times as many people claim to have attended Woodstock than could have? Get a jumpstart on history and retrofit your Northern Spark t-shirt collection with this 2011 edition.

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    Piotr Szyhalski "We Are Working All the Time!" Need we say more? Poster #2, printed as part of Empty Words (so that we can do our living) at the 2011 Northern Spark.

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    Who doesn't want their own Mobile Experiential Cinema logo? Laser cut in wood or acrylic by co-creators Ben Moren and Daniel Dean.

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    Amanda Lovelee, set of 4: "Honor your Partner Honor your Neighbor," "Walking Side by Side," ""Home you are and Home you be," All Jump Up and Never Come Down" ; handmade books from the Call and Answer project.

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    BE the SPARK. Show your support for Northern Spark by wearing this Mathew Rezac designed Northern Spark 2012 t-shirt, which can be picked up the night of the festival.

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    Wing Young Huie, "Wing's Ping Pong Retrospective, West Bank, Minneapolis, 2011." 8 x 10 color photograph. "The event started at 9 pm and we didn’t have an open table until 2:30 am and the last players finally left at 6:30 am!"

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    In the age of Siri, do you ever feel like you're all thumbs with your smart phone? Vince Leo captures the found poetry of his cell stenography in this 8 x 10" pigmented inkjet print.

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    Signed 8" x 10" print of your choice of dozens of rock legends from Johnny Cash to Cher to Mick Jagger to Bonnie Raitt. See http://bit.ly/NS-Smaby

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    "We All Do Better When We All Do Better." Signed/numbered edition of 30 posters, designed and printed by Jenni Undis of Lunalux

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    Original drawing by members of the Open Field Drawing Club. (Selection random.)

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    Make a joyful noise! Take home one of the handmade instruments from the opening processional for GLOW-a-BOUT. http://bit.ly/yhFGNF

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Show your support and fly the flag for Northern Spark.

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    Ticket to Northern Spark VIP launch party with Artistic Director and special guests, featuring mouth-watering fare by Red Stag Supperclub, open bar, great views, and a few surprises.

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    Amber Ginsburg and Joseph Madrigal, FLO(we){u}R - terra cotta "bombs" for seed bombing using a custom flour and seed mix to mark and grow the landsape.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Amber Ginsburg and Joseph Madrigal, FLO(we){u}R - the molds used to make terra cotta "bombs" for seed bombing using a custom flour and seed mix to mark and grow the landsape.

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    Personal tour by Elizabeth Armstrong, curator of "More Real" exhibition opening March 2013 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Ticket for exclusive curator-guided Northern Spark bus tour. Sit back and let us do the driving. Visit festival venues and hear stories from NS insiders. 9-midnight.

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    Neal Cuthbert's hand built, artisan-made iPad case constructed from recycled and reclaimed materials: Paper Mache, cardboard, and bike tires.

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    Light up the night, every night. Take home a light bulb plucked from Jim Campbell's beloved work "Scattered Light." Each bulb is a self-contained working pixel that blinks according to its pixel location in the original installation.

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    Valentine special. Robin Schwartzman will create a special Valentine's illustration on the 20" inch letter of your choice with a personal message by you painted on the back.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Valentine special. Robin Schwartzman will create a special Valentine's illustration on the 20" inch letter of your choice with a personal message by you painted on the back.

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    Pledge $675 or more About $675

    The design/art studio ROLU began making furniture in 2010. The "x chair" & the "+ chair" are from their first line "Field Recordings Made Of Wood."

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    Ali Momeni, "Before I Die." The sculpture visualizes Kaaba, the most sacred site of Islam in Mecca, and its surrounding terrain. A green bow-tied piece of yarn, alluding to the symbol of the opposition to the 2010 Iranian Presidential elections, marks the exact location of Kaaba.

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    Robin Schwartzman, 8' high, illuminated letters from "THINK AND WONDER, WONDER AND THINK." Check to see if the letter you'd like is still available.

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    In the words of creator Carissa Samaniego, "I will make one pretty badass costume for a lucky participant of GLOW-a-BOUT."

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    Rasun Mehringer, "Imagining Northern Spark," maquette. This cardboard rendering of Mpls and St. Paul complete with a Grain Belt bottle cap, with some Photoshop magic, became the iconic image of Northern Spark 2011.

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    A unique artwork by Andréa Stanislav, "I wanna be sedated," 2009. glitter, vinyl, resin, board, 24”x24”x1".

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    Andrea Stanislav work.

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    Pramila Vasudevan, Personalized “habitus” choreographed by the artist.

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    Wil Natzel, full-size "Night Bloom," 15-20' tall.

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    A dinner party for 6-10 people of gourmet "home style" foraged, invasive, and exotic species that redefine the local. By artist Marina Zurkow and friends. Will include limited edition art work, wine, and information. Local only.

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Funding period

- (55 days)