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Artist Interview: Introducing “The World is Rated X”

The World is Rated X, by Jennifer Newsom Carruthers and Tom Carruthers, allows us to experience this already awesome festival from a different perspective. It brings in new perspectives regarding public space and where we position ourselves in our own respected arenas/daily lives. Come be stimulated by projections and see the city from an angle you wouldn’t expect! Get excited about it…
  • What inspired this project and what is the purpose behind it?
      • The World Is Rated X is a structure that spans between two images, and a mechanism for viewing the nighttime spectacle of Northern Spark. We are interested in how video and projection can be used to create new realities, zones in which perception is challenged and space takes on new boundaries. This project ties in with our work exploring infrastructure, public space, and the constructions of image.
  • What can festival goers expect from The World is Rated-X?
      • We hope festival-goers are intrigued by the projections and inspired to communicate with their neighbors in new ways. The hammock at the center of the piece will be a playscape for climbing, loving, rolling, and reveling. We hope sparks will fly.
  • What is the most important aspect of public, interactive art, to you, versus that of interactive museum work?
      • The people! We are excited to exhibit a project that can reach vast numbers quickly, in a kind of 8-hr flash mob for art. Our piece is activated by having people around it – those outside the structure, those projected onto the screens, and those occupying its center. You can have a gallery show up for a month that reaches only a fraction of Northern Spark’s projected audience.
  • Your project is interactive in a sense that it also brings together both the outside world and the internal world (viewers can watch what is going on from camera projections). Why is this so important to your project?
      • Our project heightens people’s perception of the world around them. The work’s title comes from a song by Marvin Gaye of the same name. One of the lines that resonates with us is, “Not only in the movie shows. . . Take a look outside it’s where the truth is really told.” The world is a fantastic reality that we take for granted; a world in which wars are fought, children play, people love, and ideas are created and destroyed daily. Our piece asks you to stop and linger and observe for a while.
  • Why do you believe the Lowertown/Twin Cities community(ies) needs a festival like Northern Spark?
    • We believe that exposure to art and the opportunity to engage in a critical dialogue about it should have no social or economic boundaries. But that kind of access isn’t often the norm. So it is important to have free, public art festivals that brings high-quality, dynamic, and engaging art and design to large numbers of people. Art on the street can revitalize public space and help people see their environment in a new and exciting way. 
    • Regarding St. Paul specifically, the festival is a big ol’ debutante ball for Union Depot and Lowertown. Minnesotans can show themselves to each other.
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Company bio:
DREAM THE COMBINE
Dream The Combine is a design studio focused on the production of art, architecture, and objects. We are inspired by the possibilities of what can happen when we work collaboratively, and our name celebrates this process. We are not limited by discipline – instead we investigate and problem solve across boundaries.
 
Jennifer Newsom Carruthers and Tom Carruthers formed Dream The Combine in Minneapolis, MN, after 15 years of schooling and work in Connecticut and New York. Both licensed architects and artists, we make public and private work. Come see our latest collaboration, The World Is Rated X, at this year’s Northern Spark in St. Paul on June 8th.
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