Projection and puppetry under the bridge

On Monday night, Oct. 13 (and Oct. 14 + 19), Andrea Steudel, one of our Art(ists) On the Verge grantees, along with Kyle Loven and Elise Langer put on a short, outdoor projection/puppetry performance with support from Minneapolis Art on Wheels and Ali Momeni. Bring a blanket and your curiosity.

Under the 3rd Avenue bridge

Under the 3rd Avenue bridge


Under the 3rd Avenue Bridge, St. Anthony Main, East Bank
100 Main St. SE
Minneapolis, MN


Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
8:00pm – 8:30pm

Data Meaning: The Art of Making Data Beautiful

Steve Dietz in conversation with R. Luke DuBois

Join Steve Dietz and R. Luke DuBois in a discussion examining DuBois’s artistic work as a composer, performer, video artist, and programmer. Hear more about DuBois’s project Hindsight is Always 20/20, which utilizes an algorithmic data mining process to analyze and re-present cultural content as poetry and metaphor. Steve Dietz is the founding director of Northern Lights, a new Twin Cities-based contemporary art agency, and artistic director of the 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, California.


2:00 pm, October 12, 2008


Shepherd Room, Weisman Art Museum



How long is permanent?

Lin Utzon tile mural, San Jose Convention Center

Scot Herhold wrote a pitch-perfect, elegaic question mark about the possible demise of the mural on the facade of the San Jose Convention Center.

“The reason? The convention center is planning an expansion that would add roughly a third to its overall square footage. And the Utzon mural is in the way.

“‘We know to make the expansion work, it’s smack dab where that piece stands,’ said Bill Ekern, the redevelopment project manager.

“‘We can’t save it as it is, or cut holes in it. You’d end up cutting so much of it off that what you’d have left would be marginal at best.’

“Is this an outrage that art lovers should band together to protest? When I ask people about it, I get a shrug. Even sadder, I shrug myself.

“That says two things. First, it’s tribute to our short memory span. It cost a million bucks 20 years ago? Well, that was then, and who remembers?

“Second, for all its joyous color, the Utzon mural never had much to do with San Jose. It could have been art designed by extraterrestrials landing on San Carlos Street.”


In praise of the temporary

A recent article about Frank Gehry’s Serptentine Gallery Pavillion reminded me of a somewhat magical rainy afternoon last summer wandering around Olufar Eliason’s 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavillion with Kjetil Thorsen.

Constitutional rights violated karaoke style

Finishing School, Executive Order Karaoke
If you are in LA tonight and want to add a little public to your Palin-Biden debate watching, try your hand at Finishing School’s Executive Order Karaoke.

Featuring special guest host Tammy Tomahawk, Executive Order Karaoke is a public action in which participants are invited to sing their favorite mixes of George W. Bush’s executive orders to popular music. Finishing School will award a cash prize for the best act. Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.

THURSDAY, OCT 2, 7–10pm
MOCA Grand Avenue
Sculpture Plaza

Symposium: Experimenting with art in public places

Experimenting with Art in Public Places is a symposium free and open to the public, which will explore ways to support and present experimental art practices in public places, including in the virtual realm, outside the traditional white cubes and black boxes of cultural institutions. It brings together local and out-of-town artists, curators, producers, and presenters for a collaborative conversation about the public sphere as a site for works of art and art practices that spark the imagination but also challenge perceptions – artistic, cultural, social, political.

Full schedule here.

Friday evening, there will be a keynote presentation by Seattle phenoms SuttonBeersCuller. Saturday will be a day of Pecha Kucha presentations and panel discussions. Saturday evening, registered symposium attendees can attend the hearSIGHTED party for R. Luke DuBois’ Hindsight Is 20/20 exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum for half price.


Experimenting with Art in Public Places is free, but seating is limited for the symposium, which takes place at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. To register and reserve a space, email

Keynote: SuttonBeresCuller

Friday, October 10
MCAD Auditorium
6:30 pm: reception
7:00 pm: Keynote

On Friday evening, SuttonBeresCuller (John Sutton, Ben Beres, Zac Culler), a 3-person collaborative from Seattle will give a keynote talk about their experimental art practice in the public sphere. Their work deals in the realms of experimentation and discovery through site-specific installation, performance and sculpture. The work is meant to be accessible, and it actively involves and challenges the viewer, discouraging passive viewing. It’s meant to create an ephemeral circumstance, caught perhaps in a fleeting glimpse, which removes the viewer from a daily routine and leaves them with a sense of bewilderment.

Saturday, October 11, MCAD Student Center, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

8:30 am
Coffee and refreshments

9:15 am
Welcome and Introduction: Steve Dietz, Executive Director, Northern Lights

9:30 am

Pecha Kucha: Art(ists) On the Verge

Northern Lights recently awarded grants to 6 emerging artists “working experimentally at the intersection and technology, with a focus on practices that are social, collaborative and/or participatory.” In part, Experimenting with Art in Public Places is an opportunity for these artists to “boot up” their practice, and, Pecha Kucha style, Avye Alexandres, Kevin Obsatz, Andrea Steudel, Pramila Vasudevan, and Krista Kelley Walsh will each have 6 minutes – 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide – to answer 3 questions:

  • What is the intersection with technology in their work?
  • How is their practice experimental and social/participatory?
  • What are they planning to do?

10:15 am

Julie Lazar, A History and Future of Experimental Art Practice

Julie Lazar is a trail blazer in the support and presentation of experimental art. She was a founding Curator then Director of Experimental Programs for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1981-2000). As a curator, Lazar specializes in commissioning new art works in all media.

11:30 am

Panel: Playing in Public

Moderator: Jack Becker, Executive Director, Forecast Public Art
This panel will look at a range of projects that have played with our expectations for art in public spaces.

R. Luke DuBois’s
Wing Young Huie’s
Piotr Szyhalski
Marcus Young

A buffet lunch wil be available in the MCAD cafeteria, next to the Student Center, for $7.50.

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Breakout Session: Forecast Public Art
This grant-writing workshop will discuss Forecast’s annual grant program, provide an overview of recent innovative public art projects, provide time for artists to brainstorm and discuss their own project ideas and hear about the experiences of past grantees. More information here. To reserve a space in the grant-writing workshop, email Forecast.


Panel: Technologies of Engagement

Moderator: Carl DiSalvo, Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia.

New technologies have clearly enabled new means of engagement with an audience, whether through networks of delivery or interactive and partciipatory installations or both. Technologies does not always mean “Computers! or Internet! or iPhone!”, however, and this panel will explore a more nuanced idea of the technologies of engagement, from the recent past into the near future.

Chuck Olsen
John Schott
Scott Stulen
Diane Willow


Panel: Building an Audience / Community for the Experimental

Moderator: Diane Mullin is Associate Curator at the Weisman Art Museum.

If “build it and they will come” was part of the first generation of technology-enabled community-building projects, experience has shown that building a true community for experimental public art that goes beyond the memorial or the plop is not an easy matter. This panel will explore successful strategies for building a committed audience for experimental art practice over the long term.

Tom Borrup
Doryun Chong
Carl DiSalvo
Doug Geers
Peter Haakon Thompson

7:00 pm – late

Performance: hearSIGHTED AT THE Weisman Art Museum

hearSIGHTED is an evening of music, dancing, food and drink at the Weisman Art Museum, presented in celebration of the exhibition Hindsight is Always 20/20 by R. Luke DuBois. See the exhibition and hear performances by University of Minnesota electronic music students in the galleries. Catch a special musical performance by DuBois at 9:30 p.m. Following the performance, kick up your heels to electronic grooves spun by Minneapolis-based DJ ETones.


Experimenting with Art in Public Places is free, but seating is limited for the symposium, which takes place at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. To register and reserve a space, email


Experimenting with Art in Public Places is a public progoram presented by Northern Lights October 10-11, 2008, with the support of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Jerome Foundation, through its support of the Art(ists) On the Verge grant program. Northern Lights is supported by the McKnight Foundation.

Full schedule here.

AOV grantees announced

Northern Lights is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2008 Art(ists) on the Verge grants for Minnesota-based, emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection and technology, with a focus on practices that are social, collaborative and/or participatory have been selected.

AOV Fellows

Christopher Baker, Participation Overload – Reconsidering Participative Art Practices

The core goal of the proposed project is to create an artistic installation that engages and questions the state of technologically mediated participation, both in larger democratic contexts and within interactive new media art contexts. I seek to provide an immersive installation environment wherein participants discover opportunities – through conversation and personal contemplation – to consider the ways that new communication technologies both constrain and enable their participation in democratic and social processes.

Andrea Steudel, Mobile Shadow Projection Theater

This project’s key concept is the simultaneous building of a tool, collaborative relationship, and mode of working that effectively bridges an old approach with new technology in the public sphere. I will expand the ancient techniques of silhouette cutouts and shadow puppetry by using video projection technology on urban landscape.

AOV Mentor Program

Avye Alexandres

I propose to build a motion-activated, interactive installation that visually and aurally presents a collage of a home. The aim is to create a space that functions as memory might, shifting and momentary, referencing images of a domestic interior with audio recordings relative to its component memories.

Kevin Obsatz, Video Cyclorama

A four-wall immersive real-time video projection with both live and pre-recorded sourcing from different environments and scenes. The video feed will be created with four small HD cameras shooting simultaneously on a specially built tripod mount, with a 360-degree field of vision.

Pramila Vasudevan, Dowsing the Mirage II

with Jennifer Jurgens, Mark Fox, Michael Westerlund

Aniccha Arts proposes to engage the Twin Cities community with online discussions and workshops that lead up to a three – day performance that illustrates the contention of humans playing god by taking control of the weather.

Krista Kelley Walsh, (Public access WebCam installation/ performance series)

I propose to make site-specific installations and performances for public access webcam locations for public and internet viewing. This project seeks to create 2-4 site specific public web cam projects, while it explores the technology available to expand audience access, extended life of the projects and effective documentation.


The jury for the 2008 Art(ists) On the Verge Fellowships and Mentor Program consisted of:

Supported by

Art(ists) On the Verge grant program is run by Northern Lights, a new Twin Cities-based arts agency, with support by the Jerome Foundation with fiscal sponsor Forecast Public Art.

Call for Art Exploring Real-Time Connectedness

Call for Proposals: “Live Bits”

Ars Electronica invites artists and scientists to submit proposals for new and novel ways to connect, in real time, people to people and people to environments in different physical locations. The goal is to expand and explore meaningful exchanges between remote groups of people.

The one essential requirement for all proposals is “live bits:” real-time digital information via any network, of any viable quantity, and in any modality. In addition to symmetrical two-way communication, asymmetrical two-way communication and even one-way communication will be considered as long as a live component is present. “Fresh” and “canned” bits, as well as physically transported objects, may also be incorporated.

We will award up to 20 commissions of 10,000 EUR each. But you must act quickly and we will reciprocate.

Deadline for submission is 31 October 2008

Notification of recipients will be 30 November 2008.

The commissions must be completed by June 2009, for inclusion in “80+1: A Journey Around the World,” an 80(+1) day event in the Linz Main Square and the Ars Electronica Centre, 18 June – 6 September 2009, for Linz09, European Capital of Culture.

Full details here.

Site-specific, public animation

Blu has recently “vandalized the facade of Tate Modern,” as it is written in Blu’s sketch note-book, and it would be amazing to see, I’ve no doubt. I’m particularly intrigued, however, by Blu’s wall-painted animations, such as Muto, a fantastic and fantastical “ambiguous animation painted on public walls made in Buenos Aires and Baden.”

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

We normally think of animation as having the ability to transport us into a fantastical space often not possible in the “real” world, but this work raises the possibility of a “site-specific animation”; one that knowingly uses the 3D world to metaphorically animate the meaning of the animation.

On one level, Blu is literally animating the public sphere, although beyond the process itself, the result is screen-based playback. Would it be differently meaningful to see the animation projected back onto the walls used in the animation?

And what would it mean if all the “urban screens” popping up around the globe were blu(e) screen studios in the physical world for locals’ creativity not, primarily, a black hole through which to deliver globalized commodity advertising into a local context?

via jugaad

Listen to the public art

Corporate Head, 1990, by Terry Allen and poet Philip Levine was a response to the $500 billion Savings & Loan bailout. According to Michael Several,

“As ethics took an extended holiday during the 1980s, fiscal irresponsibility at the highest level was joined by a pervasive nation-wide moral bankruptcy. . . . By taking aim at the values and ethics of the foot soldiers and icons of the Reagan-Bush years, Corporate Head instantly became one of the most popular works of public art in Los Angeles. Though small in size, it raises large issues with its critique of the greed and the lack of moral direction that define corporate mentality.”

Corporate Head, Terry Allen + Philip Levine

Corporate Head is located near a Washington Mutual JPMorgan Chase & Co. branch office.

via [view] from a loft

Next time you’re in London

Check out Drift 08, a new annual art exhibition in public space in London.

Drift, London

According to co-organizer Carline Jones

“‘We found that by putting art in unusual places, the general public were more likely to come and have a look – they weren’t as threatened as they can be by the White Cube Gallery space,’ says Illuminate’s co-founder Caroline Jones. ‘Then we went one step further and thought: Why not take the artwork straight out there to the public?'”

The six artists featured in Drift 08 include Craig Walsh, whose Incursion 37:20:15.71” N – 121: 53:09.51” W I commissioned for the San Jose City Hall as part of the 2nd 01SJ Biennial. His hour-long, 12-channel projection on the interior of the Richard Meier-designed city hall was transfixing, and if the other work at Drift is of a similar quality – and I’m sure it is – it will be well worth the trip.

It’s also interesting to note how the ambitions of the 2012 Olympiics may be at work in the culture scene in the UK:

“Drift 08 has been organised with the Corporation of London and British Waterways and there are plans to double it in scale each year, eventually moving up the Lea Valley towards the Olympics site in time for 2012.”


Welcome to Public Address

Forecast Public Art

The mission of Forecast is “to strengthen and advance the field of public art locally, nationally, and internationally by expanding participation, supporting artists, informing audiences and assisting communities.” Forecast also publishes the Public Art Review.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a “roving, collaborative, interactive media-oriented, arts agency from the Twin Cities for the world. It presents innovative art in the public sphere, both physical and virtual, focusing on artists creatively using technology, both old and new, to engender new relations between audience and artwork and more broadly between citizenry and their built environment.”

Public Address

Public Address is a new blog jointly presented by Forecast and Northern Lights. Its goal is to be a forum for wide-ranging discussion of innovative artists, projects, and practices in the public realm.

Forecast recently celebrated its 30 year anniversary as a leader in the field of public art. Northern Lights, while new as an organization, has over a decade of experience as a leader in the field of interactive art.

Contemporary art is increasingly “untethered” and moves from the white cube of the gallery to any site — including the virtual — to engage the public in its own realm. Public art is an ever-expanding field of inquiry, with artists of all stripes exploring the public realm. Beyond murals, monuments, memorials (and the occasional mime) public art has become a vibrant and engaging practice. From the spectacular to the quotidian, permanent to ephemeral, sited to virtual, material to performative, conceptual to cinematic, we believe there are unprecedented opportunities for new art practices in our shared environment. This is the critical focus of Public Address.

Jack Becker
Executive Director, Forecast Public Art

Steve “mediachef” Dietz
Executive Director, Northern Lights