Northern Spark 2016 and the Walker Art Center Will Feature “Virtual Reality: The New Frontier”

Beginning on June 11 at the Northern Spark festival and continuing at the Walker Art Center until June 16, 2016, roam with bison in the wild, swim with whales in the deep ocean or explore a mysterious asteroid by stepping into a new immersive medium. Virtual Reality: The New Frontier, is an international selection of virtual reality works that represents some of the most compelling narrative and documentary VR storytelling being independently created today. This outstanding and unique series is presented in collaboration with Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Program, the Walker Art Center, and Northern

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Sundance Institute’s New Frontier program provides the highest level of curation in this emerging field by incorporating fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid projects to showcase innovations in storytelling as it intersects with technology, performance, film, art, and music. The works presented at this exhibition include immersive documentaries such as Chris Milk and Gabo Arora’s Waves of Grace, a portrait of a community rebuilding after the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Lynette Wallworth’s Collisions, a live action/animated documentary about the Martu tribe in western Australia. The works featured in Virtual Reality: The New Frontier will be available for viewing at Northern Spark on June 11 and at the Walker Art Center until Thursday, June 16, and for download at Sundance.

Three unique experiences from Minnesota artists have been specially selected for presentation this year:

simRVR by Bill Gorcica, Mark Gill, Matt Julius, Kristian Twombly invites you to witness the growing toxicity of a river, and how the smallest changes impact the farthest reaches of our food web.

Black Lives Matter MPLS by Chuck Olsen will allow you to experience one peaceful night at the Black Lives Matter protest in North Minneapolis this past winter.

Let’s Go Crazy, also by Chuck Olsen, witness Dem Atlas perform a tribute to Prince in front of thousands of fans who gathered in front of First Avenue after his death.

The complete list of 18 different experiences can be seen here.

There will be a limited number of Samsung phones and Gear VR with experiences ready to view on-site at Northern Spark and at the Walker Art Center. Visitors will also be given an official Sundance Institute New Frontier 10th Anniversary limited artist edition Google cardboard VR viewer which allows users to experience VR on their own smartphones. In preparation for mobile VR viewing at Northern Spark or at the Walker, participants are encouraged to download apps for Android or iOS smartphones from Sundance.

Technical support for the Walker Art Center and Northern Spark’s presentation of the Sundance Institute’s Virtual Reality: The New Frontier provided by Samsung.

Northern Spark official start & end times: 9:00 pm until 5:26 am

Mill City neighborhood / Minneapolis, MN / Free* & Open to the Public (*except ticketed Launch Party)

Walker Art Center Schedule

Loring Park Neighborhood/ Minneapolis, MN/ Free with gallery admission

Sunday, June 12, 2-4 pm, Art Lab

Tuesday, June 14, 3-5 pm, Art Lab

Wednesday, June 15, 2-4 pm, Art Lab

Thursday, June 16, 5-8 pm, Garden Terrace Room (Target Free Thursday Night)


What is Northern Spark?

Northern Spark is a free, annual, dusk-to-dawn, multidisciplinary arts festival that takes place on the second Saturday of June and draws tens of thousands of Minnesotans each year. For the 2016 and 2017 festivals, the theme Climate Chaos/Climate Rising will explore the interconnected, evolving, long-term consequences from climate change, giving local and national artists’ a platform to help turn a sense of overwhelming inaction into concrete actions anchored in a realistic and hopeful map for the future.

For more information on the festival, visit Northern Spark .

For more information on the theme Climate Chaos | Climate Rising, visit their website.

Northern Spark by the numbers, 2011-2015:

Northern Spark is made possible by Northern, a nonprofit arts organization whose vision is to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space.  Northern Spark is only one night, but Northern Lights features projects throughout the year that encourages public participation and artistic innovation, from the Giant-Sing-Along at the Minnesota State Fair to a permanent storytelling platform at Union Depot, to their annual year-long, intensive, mentor-based fellowship for emerging artists, Art(ists) on the Verge.

For more information visit Northern Lights.

The venue, The Walker Art Center is a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. Focusing on the visual, performing, and media arts of our time, the Walker takes a global, multidisciplinary, and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art. Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities.

For more information visit The Walker Art Center.

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