Northern Spark 2012

Northern Spark is a one-night celebration of art, technology, and community. More than thirty artists from the MCAD community are participating in exhibitions throughout the city. The festival begins at sunset on June 9 and ends at sunrise on June 10.

Events that Include Work by MCAD Students, Alumni, and Faculty:

Celebration of Life, Energy, and Power: Views of Our World

Ta-coumba Aiken ’74 and the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center

Main Street
8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

Explore sustainability through art via science and technology. Stop by and check out the product of this collaboration.


Door to the River

Ryan Hughes ’12 and Matt Reimers ’12

8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

This collage of improvised sound, light, and motion is an experiment in spontaneity inspired by abstract expressionist painters.


Fire Works

Jennifer Danos

8:58 p.m.–3:00 a.m.
Walker Art Center

Seven Minnesota artists will each sculpt a three-dimensional wooden object, which will be exhibited in the Cargill Lounge of the Walker Art Center. In the spirit of Allan Kaprow, the art objects will not be accumulated by the institution but rather liberated by a sacrificial act of burning on the Open Field campfire.


Greenway Glow

Arlene Birt ’02

Midtown Greenway
8:00–10:00 p.m.


In Habit: Living Partners

Piotr Szyhalski and Pramila Vasudevan ’04

Main Street
8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

An outdoor dance performance that explores the collectively learned habits and practices that emerge from the everyday, critiquing the acts of power that are reinforced by these patterns. Participating artists include Caleb Coppock ’07, John Keston ’13, and Ben Reed ’08, MFA.


Letting Go

Eric Rieger ’07, HOTTEA

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

An installation of yarn and recycled materials that will add colorful warmth to Target Park. Stand back to see it all, or move up close and get lost in the details.


Light Fall

Peng Wu ’13, MFA, and Jack Pavlik ’12, MFA

8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

Stand in a space surrounded by hundreds of glow-in-the-dark bouncing Superballs, or take a seat on the stationary bicycle that propels the balls up a conveyor belt and down into the structure.


Midnight Mario

Peng Wu ’13, MFA, Jack Pavlik ’12, MFA, and Matthew Szklarz ’12

8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

In this interactive installation, a robotic arm turns the rope as the participant jumps into a projected Super Mario Bros. backdrop, where the only objective is to hit the brick and make the golden coins rain down.


Minnesota-Made Short Film Program

Tom DeBiaso, Christopher Jopp ’10, and Christopher Peck ’12

St. Anthony Main Theater
8:58 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.

The Well—A detached young outsider has trouble interacting with anybody, instead preferring to simply observe. When he follows his fellow classmate into the woods, he discovers a secret of hers involving an old well, and he decides to investigate further. Directed by Christopher Jopp ’10, 10 minutes

Little Wolf—While trying to escape from two deadly hillbillies, Lowell and baby Samantha seek refuge in the most unusual place, ultimately being pinned against humanity, empathy, and faith. Directed by Christopher Peck ’12, 6 minutes


Night Walk

Leslie Kelman

Throughout the Northern Spark Festival Hubs
8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

Traveling through the night carrying a lantern on a harness, I will arrive on the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Main, where my raft will be tethered. The raft is composed of found lumber and debris, and it has a bed. Viewers may not recognize that I am a performance artist and will not know for certain if I am eccentric. This ambiguity allows viewers to react sincerely rather than with a conditioned response to art, as in a gallery.


THE Northern Spark

David Goldes and Jonathan Bruce Williams ’08

Main Street
8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

An iconic electrical spark generator installation near the St. Anthony Falls hydroelectric plant. Electricity will jump across a spark gap to approximately one hundred terminals along a twelve-foot-diameter steel circle.


Spark in the Park

Christopher Alday ’13 and Kate Thomas ’13

8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

On one side, go to the zine workshop. On the other side, play glow-in-the-dark frisbee and badminton with LED-lit birdies. On the hour, a dance party will bring the two sides, like two halves of the brain, together.



Stephen Sugarman ’86

7:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

An exhibition and mini symposium that explores the world of digital sculpture, created using virtual tools such as rapid prototype machines, CNC milling machines, and laser routers. Exhibiting artists will include Andrew Vomhof ’10, Dan Tesene ’05, and Brad Jirka ’76.


Swing Hall, Swing All

Keetra Dean Dixon ’99

8:58 p.m.–5:26 a.m.

The solitary sensation of swinging takes on a new dimension in this collective, high-in-the-sky swing installation in the skywalk on the MCAD campus. For a full swing, all swingers must be in sync.


Where the Chill Came From

Nathan Lewis ’08, MFA

Walker Art Center, Inside the Sky Pesher
Midnight–1:00 a.m.

Minnesota is a hotbed for paranormal activity. From the Stillwater Bigfoot to the ghosts of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, nearly every town in our state plays host to a supernatural guest. Hear local stories of the strange and unexplained as well as share your own tales with Nathan Lewis, a paranormal investigator with the Twin Cities Paranormal Society for nearly half a decade.