With more than 60 Minnesota artists contributing work and just as many local organizational partners, Northern Lights.mn‘s upcoming “nuit blanche” is going to be a barn-burner. As mentioned here last week, we’ll be introducing you to a sampling of creative folks behind some of the events in the Northern Spark Festival this week and next. See below for thumbnail portraits of projects by three festival notables: Andrea Stanislav, Piotr Szyhalski, and Wing Young Huie.
Artist: Andréa Stanislav
Project description: This is a public video work that creates the illusion of a white horse galloping on the Mississippi, at night, in slow motion. The horse uses the river as a metaphorical race track creating a spectacular illusion, produced by towing a video screen placed on barge at night. This project goes along the Mississippi River from North Mississippi Park, Minneapolis to Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, in south St. Paul.
Early Bird or Night Owl?: Night Owl
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: Credit card
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? Working
Favorite after-hours breakfast joint: Dupar’s, West Hollywood
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? Joseph Stalin
Soundtrack for a midnight ramble?
Artist: Piotr Szyhalski/Labor Camp Project Orchestra and collaborators
Project: Empty Words (so that we can do our living)
Project description: Empty Words is a nine-hour, participatory, multimedia event—part poetry reading, part dance, parade, and concert—constructed around the collective reading of “Empty Words” by John Cage. This elegant and powerful, yet poetic and playful text attempts to “demilitarize language,” carrying an important message: awakening poetry while making it impossible for people to “control one another.” Empty Words includes spoken word, live musical performances of Vexations by Erik Satie, projections, art objects, and other actions. It’s a dusk-’til-dawn collective contemplation of surrender as an opening up to a hopeful future, a spontaneous blend of community festival and a theatrical performance tempered by an attitude of thoughtful expectation, a transformation of darkness into the light, of words into music. The event aims to celebrate these ideas, “so that we can do our living…”
Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl, hands down
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: Coffee, “But it is likely that I will be so consumed by the multiple aspects of the all night performance, that adrenaline will sustain me just fine through the night.”
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? I was working in my studio! I have things set up in my space that are conducive of working on several projects at the same time. There is a table on which I work with tactile materials, my audio station, and a place to do some non-audio screen based work. On any given night I find myself moving from place to place several times.
What is your go-to cure for insomnia? Work. I am not sure if this is a “cure” but it helps me forget about sleep. I wish I didn’t have to sleep. Ever. The day after, I know that a great, warm meal helps me and my body to regain some sort of balance
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (a.k.a. Witkacy)
Soundtrack for a midnight ramble? This varies. Probably the strangest for me was the discovery of how much I enjoyed listening to some Morbid Angel around 4/5am… this is not my usual musical fare, but at that hour, listened to very loud, it seems oddly resonant.
Artist: Wing Young Huie
Project: A Ping Pong Retrospective: 1500 Photographs by Wing Young Huie
Project description: Ping with Wing! See 1500 photos that span 35 years by photographer Wing Young Huie—all in one night while batting glow-in-the-dark balls with friends and strangers. This re-imagines your old-fashioned slide show in the living room coupled with basement-style ping-pong, except the living room-basement is an outdoor lot in the West Bank near the University of Minnesota, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. This unique retrospective is a culmination of more than a dozen projects that document the dizzying everyday socioeconomic and cultural realities of our changing cultural landscape, including the well-known public installations: Frogtown (1995), Lake Street USA (2000) and The University Avenue Project (2010), all of which transformed major urban areas into photographic galleries.
Early Bird or Night Owl? There was a time when I was a night owl, but now usually in bed by midnight.
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: It might be my first can of Red Bull.
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? I was in a fabulous hotel room in Beijing (for a traveling retrospective exhibit) taking a bubble bath trying to alleviate jet lag.
Favorite after-hours breakfast: Back in the day it was a fried egg sandwich at Mickey’s Diner.
What is your go-to cure for insomnia? Reading my backlog of New Yorkers.
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? Henry Miller (he was a ping pong player)
Soundtrack for a midnight ramble?
Are you planning to stay up and explore the nocturnal spectacles of Northern Spark? If so, what’s on your must-see list?