Had a great time at Northern Spark this year; here are some art installations and events for next time around (June 9-10, 2012!):
1. Hee Haw: The Interactive Experience
Visitors have a chance to perform their own jokes in The Cornfield, sit on The Haystack and discuss love problems and get drunk on moonshine in The Honky Tonk. Also: a mini golf course featuring the Hee Haw Donkey braying at you each time you miss a shot.
2. Synthesizing Cats
A large group of cats move about a glassed-in enclosure in which the floor is actually a giant Kaossilator. Each time a cat moves, another groovy sound or effect is produced for spectators. Inside the enclosure it is sound-proof, of course, so that the cats are not afraid. The “cat songs” are recorded all night and the finished album goes online the next day for download.
3. The Pee Experiment
My answer to the Walker Art Center’s “The Lullaby Experiement,” this takes place in a room outfitted with urinals and toilets in which selected participants pee. Observers are allowed to come into the room but can’t interact with the peeing participants, who must sit quietly and sip water while not urinating.
4. Ear Worm Karaoke Bus Boarding
Take a tour of Minneapolis while sipping purple drank and listening to fellow riders karaoke the best of the worst earworms the world has to offer: “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” “Night Moves,” “We Will Rock You,” “Tainted Love,” etc., etc.
5. River of Baked Goods
Visitors to the banks of the Mighty Mississippi will take turns pulling plastic deli containers filled with chocolate cake, blueberry pie, caramel rolls and chocolate chip cookies out of a special whirlpool of water with fishing poles.
6. Hi, My Name is Phil Collins
Wander through a maze populated with Phil Collins look-a-likes. Why? Well, it could be to achieve a greater understanding for the world that existed when Phil Collins had cultural significance or it could just be to freak you out.
7. Ray Stevens Laser Light Show
We’ve all had quite enough of Pink Floyd “The Wall” laser shows but have we seen enough of Stevens’ “Ahab The Arab,” or “The Streak?” I think not. Just think of the fun graphics for “Osama-Yo’ Mama!” Making art accessible for rednecks.
8. Flame Throwing Tribuchet
Positioned at Weisman Art Museum to throw flaming anything – garbage, watermelons, shit – at other buildings at the U.
9. How To Cure Insomnia
Volunteer insomniacs are put into various rooms in which a different book is read aloud to try to lull them to sleep. Visitors can judge just how sleepy they look. Suggested reading includes: Dombey & Son by Dickens, Middlemarch by George Elliot, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.
10. No Regrets Bonfire
Everyone is urged to bring something to toss in the fire as a way of unburdening themselves of the past – whether an old journal, school picture, love letter, fax machine, pair of undies, resume or copy of James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces. You won’t regret it.