Northern Spark festival turns city into stageby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS -- At dusk on Saturday, organizers of the second Northern Spark festival plan to turn Minneapolis into a stage for dozens of interactive art exhibits.
The free event includes more than 120 art installations, spanning an area from the Stone Arch Bridge in the north to Lake Street in the south.
Northern Spark is a dusk-to-dawn participatory public art event put together by nearly 50 partner organizations. This year's event includes projects by more than 200 artists. One will transform the Stone Arch Bridge into a psychedelic art corridor with LEDs and black lights.
Last summer about 20,000 people attended the event.
The festival's artistic director, Steve Dietz, says videos will be projected onto the Gold Medal and Pillsbury silos. One will feature an artist cooking.
"And the other is taking live feeds of data from the city," Dietz says. "We also have an outdoor video -- actually two outdoor video games that you play on a large, 8-foot screen, and also with your body -- a game of body-pong."
In body pong, participants use their silhouettes as virtual paddles.
Dietz says the nighttime atmosphere adds to the experience.
"It really makes you look at your everyday surroundings in a completely very different way," he says. "Sharing and laughing and arguing. And it's a very social event that's kind of like the art version of the State Fair."
The attractions are divided into five zones, and organizers are encouraging people to bike among them.