Get all the details about Northern Lights.mn‘s upcoming “nuit blanche” and the night-long assortment of projects, art installations, and performances across the Twin Cities June 4 & 5 on the website for the Northern Spark Festival. See below for more of our virtual meet-and-greet with the festival’s artists.
In the meantime, read on for information about the Bicycle Synthesizer, MURMUR, and a project that combines grassroots urban planning with all the kidly fun of playing with your nephew’s train set, Twin Cities Re-imagined.
Artists: Chris Farstad (Food Pyramid) and Alex Dyba
Project: Bicycle Synthesizer Ride
Project description: The Bicycle Synthesizer Ride will be a totally new way to interact with an everyday machine. Utilizing circuit bending and home-made synthesizer modules, participants will have the opportunity to ride a custom group of modified Nice Ride bicycles at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This project will be a fun and interactive way for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with bicycles and their communities.
Night owl or an early bird? We align with the sun and the moon according to the dictates of the tides and the electromagnetic impulses of Russian spy satellites and/or iPhones.
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: A TASCAM digital field recorder, with omni-directional variable microphones.
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? Disassembling the innards of cheap boom boxes for use in sound modules.
What’s your favorite after-hours breakfast joint? Hard Times Cafe in West Bank
What are your go-to cures for insomnia? The understanding that “the glass is already broken” i.e. the pursuit of perfection is an endless downward cycle into a calcified sense of space and time.
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? THREE WAY TIE: Fela Kuti / Nikola Tesla / Daphne Oram
Soundtrack for a midnight ramble?
Artist: Debora Miller
Project description: The river both divides and unifies the environment of the city. Being near this quiet dark mass heightens awareness of the other side. The tension created by the inability to cross, the need to navigate to bridges, and the observable but separate activity that occurs on the water, combine with the natural beauty and historic utilitarian interest of the place to make the landscape and details more present and memorable. MURMUR is a participatory outdoor projection experience queued by the audience via a web site available at a computer station on the north end of the Stone Arch Bridge and over the internet. Select photographs for projection onto the Gold Medal Flour silos. Participate via murmur-project.com and, in person, at the Stone Arch Bridge. The photographs include natural and industrial imagery, both abstract and descriptive, photographed by the artist along the Mississippi River and its environs.
Night owl or early bird? I used to be definitely a night owl, but these days I’m becoming an early bird. I chalk this up to parenting, life with a dog around, living in a house under full renovation, and ever growing respect for my body rhythms.
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: A small folding chair, nuts, water, and a thermos of mashers. Oh, and a smartphone.
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? The last time I stayed up for fun was over ten years ago in New York City when we killed time waiting for a sunrise photo shoot by Spencer Tunick. We were ready to participate fully, but the police had another idea, so we ended up being in a rare clothed photo by him. Since then, when I’m up, it’s probably because I’m peeing, trying to remember where I packed something, or reading a book I can’t put down.
What are your go-to cures for insomnia? Exercise and walking the dog. Reading only works if it’s technical writing.
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? Well, two people come immediately to mind…and they were both there the last time I stayed up all night for art in New York, too. My husband Andy McQuigg has been working hard creating the custom interface for MURMUR, so he makes the list for sure, and my twin sister Rebecca is flying in for Northern Spark from New York. That makes for a perfect time.
Organization: Prairieform (respondent: John Kamp)
Project: Twin Cities Re-imagined
Project description: Twin Cities Re-Imagined will invite the public to reflect upon and participate in a physical evolution of the Twin Cities. The project will consist of an interactive model of the Twin Cities constructed out of found objects. The model will interpret and represent the key geographical features, street patterns, sweeping landscapes, and cultural landmarks. Placed on the model will be a hundreds of small one-inch-scale buildings, as well as swaths of miniature plant materials (grasses, shrubs, trees). By touching and moving the small buildings and plant materials on the model, the public will be allowed to investigate various urban forms that typify the Twin Cities, and to project their own ideas onto the model about the physical nature of the city. In this way, the viewer becomes an active participant in the creation and evolution of the work.
Night owl or early bird? I’ve never been an early bird, however much I would like to and to come across as “disciplined” by waking up at 5:30 every morning. I’m at my best – creatively, socially, etc. – after dinner and on into the night/early morning.
All-nighter survival kit secret weapon: I might need to bring a blanket, but just for bundling up. I swear I won’t lie down and go to sleep.
What were you doing last time you were up at 3 a.m.? Am I supposed to divulge this across the world-wide web? In that case: only wholesome things!
What’s your favorite after-hours breakfast joint? BCD Tofu House at 3575 Wilshire Boulevard in LA. Curry soon tofu and your best friends = complete contentment.
If you could choose anyone to stay up all night talking with, who would it be? Hmm, with someone I’m in love with probably – platonically or not.
Soundtrack for a midnight ramble?