Giant Sing Along – vote by July 1

Mouna Andraos + Melissa Mongiat, Giant Sing Along, Minnesota State Fair, 2011. Concept sketch courtesy the artists.

In order to have the best summer song list ever, we need your help! Submit tunes you love, can’t resist, need to share, or bring back memories. It could be a song that gives you that lovin’ feelin’, a dedication to a few of your favorite things, a traditional folk song, your choir’s best song, or something that makes you wanna rock and roll all night.

Vote now here by July 1.

Music Machine, Group Karaoke, DIY Choir, Electric Campfire

There is a new kind of “machine” coming to Machinery Hill at the Minnesota State Fair this August. It’s a “music machine,” and everyone is invited to take your vocal chords for a spin. With your friends. With your family. With your church choir. With total strangers. Step up to the field of microphones and belt out the words on the giant LED screen. Don’t worry, the 36 microphones are specially designed to “auto tune” voices – or add disguising reverb and other effects.

Giant Sing Along by Montreal-based artists Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat is a giant sing along that puts the “together” in The Great Minnesota Get Together. It’s a machine that combines disparate voices to make common song. It’s group singing around the electric LED campfire karaoke style. It’s a make-your-own-choir opportunity. And yes, it’s song at the end of a stick – a field of stick-microphones inviting you to participate. Or watch as long as you can till you can’t resist participating.

Whether at a stadium, around a campfire, on a dance floor, as part of a choir, or as a family holiday tradition, there is something powerful in the act of singing together – beyond beautiful voices, it’s about the collective shared experience. That collective shared experience is the heart and soul of both the Minnesota State Fair and Giant Sing Along.

Giant Sing Along will be located on Murphy Avenue, across from the Pet Center. It’s free and open to all guests each day of the 2011 Minnesota State Fair.

Giant Sing Along

Giant Sing Along field of microphones. Concept sketch courtesy the artists.

A field of 36 microphones offer an open invitation for anyone to reminisce both the historical and popular American music repertoire.

A giant screen features lyrics of recent, old and very old songs, from chorals, country music and any other musical background relevant to Minnesotans through a voting process. Songs that no one can resist.

Beyond the initial reference to karaoke, Giant Sing Along is actually a proper sing along since karaoke is really about one person performing in front of an audience. Here the goal is not to reproduce a song performance, but to live a communal experience. Jay Livingston, Montclair University, explains it well: “In a sing along, our goal, our motivation, is to do something together – in this case, sing the same song – and our pleasure comes from doing it together. Sing along is less about performance, more about group activity, and we wind up sounding like, well, us.”

The system will integrate different sound technologies to stimulate participation. A sound processing system will auto—tune the voices, lightly adjusting the pitch and reverb so that anyone, even the ones less familiar with singing, can sound good, and feel comfortable taking part.

Giant Sing Along will also increase the impact of each participant’s voice: The more people sing, the more voices will come out – 1 person sounding as if 2 people were singing, 2 persons as if they were 4, 3 as 6, up to 36 voice which in turn will sound like almost 100 people are singing together. And if more than one person sings in each microphone, the sing along will truly sound giant!

Andraos and Mongiat

Andraos and Mongiat come from the fields of interaction design and narrative environments, and research new ways to tell stories. Regarding the fair’s Giant Sing Along, Andros and Mongiat write, “Building on the contagious, positive energy of the fair, participants will connect with one another by sharing in a collective and moving musical experience. This uplifting activity is accessible to all and designed with the goal of inspiring guests to do something in unison.” The two design large-­scale projects that impact cities down to tiny ones that fit inside a pocket, bringing art to everyday life and inviting the public to become active contributors. More of their work can be found at

Presented by Bremer Bank

Presented by Bremer Bank, Giant Sing Along is a co-production of the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, and Northern

Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, Giant Sing Along

Northern Spark nuit blanche

Northern Spark

Northern Spark homepage

For one night only, more than 60 regional and national artists together with the Twin Cities’ arts community will display new art installations at public places and unexpected locations throughout the city. Directed and produced by Northern, Northern Spark takes place this summer from sunset on June 4 (8:55 p.m.) until the morning of June 5, 2011 (sunrise 5:28 a.m.).

The Northern Spark event will include a wide diversity of art forms and projects including multi-story projections, audio environments with vistas, installations traveling down the Mississippi on barges, houseboats and paddleboats, headphone concerts, and the use of everything from bioluminescent algae and sewer pipes for organs to more traditional media such as banjos and puppets.

The event is a collaboration of more than 40 partners, each of which will sponsor one or more projects for the duration of the night. The goal is to showcase the urban splendor of the Twin Cities in a unique way, introducing a broad and diverse audience to innovative local and national talent in an inspiring journey through the night.

Participating artists

Participating artists involved in the nuit blanche include Christopher Baker, Phillip Blackburn, The BodyCartography Project, Bart Buch, Jim Campbell, Barbara Claussen, Wing Young Huie, John Kim, Suzanne Kosmalski, Debora Miller, MAW, Ali Momeni, Janaki Ranpura, Red76, Rigo 23, rolu, Jenny Schmid, Andrea Stanislav, Piotr Szyhalski, Roman Verostko, Diane Willow, Works ProgressMarcus Young, and others.

Participating organizations

Northern Spark participating organizations include: 1419 Artists in Residence, All My Relations Art, American Composer’s Forum, The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Art Shanty Projects, Beijing Film Academy, Black Dog Cafe + Wine Bar, Burnet Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, College of Visual Arts, The Film Society Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Forecast Public Art, Franklin Art Works, The Friends of Saint Paul Public Library, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Intermedia Arts, Kulture Klub Collaborative, Landmark Center, Macalester College, MAW, McNally Smith College of Music, Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Museum of American Art, mn original,, Mpls Photo Center, Northern, Northrop Concerts and Lectures, Public Art Saint Paul, Rain Taxi Review of Books, Regis Center for Art, Saint Paul Public Library, Schubert Club, Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory,  Science Museum of Minnesota, Soap Factory, SooVac, W Minneapolis-The Foshay, Walker Art Center

Supported by

Northern Spark is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Connect to Northern Spark




Thousand Print Summer becomes the Big Print

“The Big Print” is comprised of art from 1180 kids and adults and an overall design inspired by historic Norwegian knitting patterns.

The Big Print is based on public art events around steamroller printing  during the 2008 “Thousand Print Summer,” including Northern Lights’ The UnConvention during the Republican National Convention. The resulting prints by 1180 kids and adults are now installed at St. Olaf in NorthField, MN. Congratulations ArtOrg! Join the celebrations at the Big Print Block Party 2 to 4 pm, Sunday, November 21, 2010, in Buntrock Commons, St. Olaf College.

Thousand Print Summer venues

ArtOrg started printing for kids and adults with steamrollers in the fall of 2006. The first small steamroller event for kids was at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts that September, and that was followed by a large steamroller printing event in October for a Day of the Dead celebration in Northfield. Dave from ArtOrg then successfully applied for an artist grant from Forecast Public Art to build an ongoing public art event around steamroller printing which we call the “Thousand Print Summer”. The Big Print is comprised of 1180 works of art from the 2008 Thousand Print Summer. The art was created at during ten different events: Walker Art Center, Anderson Center in Red Wing (twice), Owatonna, Stillwater, St. Cloud, Rochester, Northfield Crazy Days, Northfield Just Food Co-op, and “The Unconvention” on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis”

Relational architect

 image:  Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Vectorial Elevation (2010) English Bay, Vancouver, Canada, Winter Olympics 2010 Photo by Doug Farmer (

Image: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Vectorial Elevation (2010) English Bay, Vancouver, Canada, Winter Olympics 2010 Photo by Doug Farmer (

Rafael has created remarkable “platforms for participation” around the world, with only one major U.S. public project to date, Pulse Park, at Madison Square Park in New York City. Great opportunity for those in Philadelphia area to hear him speak.