Art & Events
Join astronaut spirit academy fantasy space camp! Blast off with intergalactic training and take an imaginary joy ride with twelve artist designed rockets.
Celebrating generosity, vegetables and friendship, Farmers Market Review presents a series of musical, homiletical and graphic works under the shelter of the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market Shelter.
Dance of A Thousand Water Dreams, inspired by the imagination of water in indigenous cosmologies, is an interactive processional performance.
The AZ Gallery sets the night ablaze with a projected artwork, light and sound production.
Tour the cosmos and view migrations of birds and other animals from a global perspective in the ExploraDome Immersive Planetarium.
Up close, an owl feather is much more than just a specimen—it’s an amazing work of art! In action, it’s a soft and silent tool. We’re diving into the world of the wings of the ultimate night creatures—owls! Examine their feathers under microscopes or craft your own owl feather!
Empire Builder is a new music-theater piece about Sky, a Native man called back home by his dying grandfather. Look for five-minute performances around the Union Depot from 9:30 pm until 10:45 pm.
Create travel-themed posters with local artists at a working print shop. Personalize arrows on evolving signposts and receive handmade souvenir prints.
Step into a virtual time-traveling device, located in the state’s largest TV studio. Vintage footage appears on translucent panels while motion-sensitive cameras overlay live footage of onlookers.
The Black Dog will host an eclectic mix of food, drink, and music all night long, peaking at 2 am with an electronic disco party.
When the trains run to Cuba, this soundscape is at the end of the track. Philip Blackburn’s soundwalk through Havana lets your ears do the walking.
Contribute to a living 3-D metal work of art, influenced by your “Exquisite Corpse” drawings.
Participate in Strange Attractor, a six-foot long wall of glowing mass that reacts to outside attractors. Bring your flashlights.
The Northern Warehouse will become a palette for shifting colors and patterns through the use of LED technology. Come see the effect and try your hand at additive color mixing.
A structure spanning between two real-time images. A participatory artwork for an urban scale. Come play in the overlap of real and projected space, meet your neighbor, and let the sparks fly.
Experience a culturally inspired runway show featuring a fusion of traditional Hmong and contemporary designs.
An arrangement of glass vessels inspired by the collection of the American Swedish Institute investigates the power of language as a container of emotions.
Gossip Orchestra is an interactive music performance that allows spectators to assume the role of conductor as they direct a twenty-piece orchestra using a variation of lighting cues.
Secret City is a mobile experiential cinema cellphone excursion for 2 people in which a mysterious noir story unfolds throughout Lowertown.
A giant bat soars above the street, shining its bright eyes down on the crowds. Jump aboard the pedal-powered creation and bring it to life!
“Give me a setting sun” is a rumination on nighttime conveyances, and on the relationship between waiting, restlessness, and daydreaming.
Patrick Gantert creates a new site-specific performance at the Union Depot, blending history with fictional narratives from 1917 through today.
After a long night of festival roaming, greet the dawn with yoga by the river. All ages and abilities are welcome.
Acappella gospel music… please join in!
Created in collaboration with Molly Reichert, Nicholas Knouf, Jonathan Zorn, and Nona Marie Invie, “Can you listen to the same river twice?” is a listening station that invites viewers to bring their ear close to the river, settle down alongside the rushing water, and see what’s passing by and what has been here all along.
The Foshaybuchet will hurl illuminated projectiles across the night sky to create an illumined wall of participatory art.
The Big Wall of Thanks brings to light the generosity that surrounds us at Northern Spark.
Roll dice. Hop, twirl, squawk, recite, wiggle. Make up rules, build it bigger.
A guy lives in a plastic house in the middle of Union Depot, dumped there as if by Dorothy’s tornado.
Seven artists and architects re-imagine a derelict parking lot to create three distinct yet overlapping interactive projects.
Originally created as a live event for the Performa 07 Biennial, this video features hula hoop routines performed on rooftops. Join in with hula hoops on the train deck.
Share your food stories with Seitu Jones, sit at Amanda Lovelee and Colin Harris’ Big Table, and sample urban-farmed fruit sauce made at Emily Stover’s CooKit.
Union Table is a multi-use ping-pong table that acts as a place for entertainment, a tool for creating conversations, and an interactive musical instrument for exploration and expression.
Spark your imagination! Add your “spark” to our flight of imagination. Join the musicians of Xibaba as we wend our way through the night!
Improvising musicians respond to real-time sound and video broadcast into the performance space from a remote camera operator exploring the festival.
See a full-size replica of the historic Saint Paul Marcel Breuer house before it goes up in flames. Historic documentation about the house, including letters from Breuer, are on display in the Waiting Room.
Peripatetic is a roving alternative space on wheels that is at once a model – a scaled down representation of a gallery – and an actual cultural institution with a full schedule of exhibitions.
LBS is hosting a secure bicycle parking lot and bicycle “first aid” station. Come lock up or stop by for any quick fixes or adjustments before your ride home!
Walking the ancient path of a labyrinth can have a healing effect on the walker. Test it for yourself.
Make fly masks and wings and “get wrapped” in a cocoon by PASPider’s minions. You will be able to pose as if caught in an on-site woven web.
Join a sunrise detour of the upside-down river. From The Last City of the East to The Center of the Earth, see what might have been, what allegedly is, and what could be next – if you want it.
Start your night with Mayor Chris Coleman, followed by the pop funk sounds of Mayda. Rock the train platform as the sun goes down!
Go Fish! Contribute your own unique addition to the fun and fishy collaborative creation of the Minnesota Children’s Museum.
Sing from a shape-note tunebook in use since 1844. We are not a choir, and this is not a performance, so come sing! Join us for a singing lesson and for Gospel after Dark in the Waiting Room (see schedule) or at any time throughout the night.
All-night screening of MN Original episodes, many featuring Northern Spark artists.
Analog Cave combines the tactile intimacy of a handwritten letter with the fleeting immediacy of social media.
MNKINO38: Arrivals & Departures is a video screening that invites participants to share personal stories about coming and going. Submit your film at www.mnkino.com
Minnesota Historical Society makes a film about train travel in an era before Daylight Savings Time existed: Arriving/Departing in Central Standard Time.
The Traveling Art Emporium is a pop-up art station with a carnival vibe. Visit the Emporium for take-home art activities, collaborative projects and demonstrations by local artists!
Come learn how to make cyanotypes (blueprints), which will be collaged together throughout the night to create our very own Mississippi River.
Existentia… a personalized travel agency… linking you to your dreams. Free consults. (Side effects may include wanderlust, inertia, and philosophical disorientation.)
Enter the world of Mexican masked wrestler traditions. Create your own epic names and bombastic personas while asking “Who is that masked stranger?”
The ladies of the PFLC will serenade festival goers from above with harmonic lullabies.
Experience a Victorian séance and use spirit communication tools. Marvel as you manifest the voices from beyond, and take home a ghostly remnant!
Write Fight is a single-elimination literary tournament in which eight premiere writers go head-to-head for the title King of Words.
Messier 4 is an interactive piece inspired by falling dreams and the manipulation of constellations. Think virtual ball pit—but more fun.
Hello, who’s there? It’s video telephone! Step into our mobile TV studio to create a continuous story, dreamed up by you and other attendees.
Exchange one item of clothing for another. Enjoy secondhand and custom printed designs. Learn to mend, donate, and reuse.
Inside the tent, we share and grow. Stay and play! And bring a photo to share.
Wander into an underpass of the Arab Spring. Grab a spray can, an Arabic stencil: re-inscribe here potent global expressions of resistance and change.
Bedlam will be a hub of info, food, drink and conviviality! Deep in the night, we’ll clear the floor and invite you to come kick off the dance party…
Join us as we explore the rich & often overlooked intersection between science & art.
Find SPOTC biking and pulling prints all over Northern Spark on the Mobile Unit. Stop by, get inky and pull a print yourself!
Forever Young will bring its Uptown dance party to Northern Spark. You can dance to the music of the 90s and 2000s, just like in your friend’s parent’s basement years ago. Bring headphones.
suddenly Petunia Pig wasn’t a thing: a movie installation by VidTiger + Chris Strouth. Like Rear Window but creepier and without Jimmy Stewart. Presented by VidTiger, supported by CoCo coworking and collaborative space.
After we imagined a better world, an old man and his machines dream until time runs out. A shadow piece in the spirit of R. Buckminster Fuller.
Performances will begin in the dome at 8:58 pm, 10 pm, 11 pm, and 12 midnight.
Students for Design Activism illuminates our relationship to the Mississippi River. What’s upstream flows downstream.
StudioSendero presents The Women of The Dark Carnival. Mystery, intrigue, and beauty in movement. Look for 20-minute performances at 9:45 pm, 11:45 pm, and 12:30 am!
In this acidic send-up of Guitar Hero, beat a war drum and have your digital soldiers fall into rank behind you. How large an army can you amass?
“Permanent Labor” is a participatory multimedia event based on ideas described in Maurizio Lazzarato’s 1996 essay “Immaterial Labor.”
Come hear and see demos of a harpsichord and fortepiano. Bring your own music or use ours and tickle the ivories at Gate C. Half-hour concerts by professional musicians at 10:30 pm and 5:15 am.
Reminiscent of its Summer Dance Series, the Ordway hosts a 50s-style sock hop with professional dance instruction and a live, local 50s rock band!
The three String | Felt | Theory artists will lead art-making projects based on their installations for all-night outdoor interventions on Fourth Street, between Robert and Sibley Streets.
A not-to-be-missed exhibition at Saint Paul’s only art museum that will open at sundown on June 8 and be on view through July 28, 2013. The museum is open all night during Northern Spark!
Request a love letter, to whomever you wish. It will be typed for you on a Smith-Corona Classic 12 while you wait or while you go to see other exhibits at Northern Spark.
Zeitgeist presents Studio Z in Flux, featuring a host of community sound artists realizing pieces from the Fluxus tradition.