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Surviving 25 hours of travel

I’m currently in Singapore jet lagged and exhausted.  On Wednesday, Despi and I will be presenting at the International Symposium of Electronic Art – ISEA 2008 where we will discuss Nature Holds My Camera: The Video Art of Sam Easterson.  If anyone recalls, this is an exhibition we organized last summer and it turned out really well.  If you attended, I would love to hear your thoughts.

It took 3 flights, about 19 hours of flying time and 6 hours of airport mulling to make it here.  How does someone that works in new media stay occupied, engaged and sane on a trip like this?  The glamour of economy class, cheap wine and tasteless food can only go so far.  I’m talking about other options – but with a new media twist.  So here goes –

Think about the next big thing.  Think about nothing.  Or, think about Flickr.  I always opt for the window seat.  It allows uninterrupted moments of thought and a great view.  I love clouds and the landscape below, so in between naps, reading or thinking of the next IMA project, I take photos, lots of them.  With that in mind, check out one of my favorite flickr groups, From the Airplane Window.  You might even see some of my snaps and you’ll think about flying differently the next time you take a flight.  And speaking of flickr, have you checked out IMA’s latest set of images?  You should, because they’re kind of cool.

I love planes and am happy to discuss my favorites or least favorites.  But hands down, the only plane for me is the Boeing 747.  It’s a beautiful piece of design – massive but elegant, stylish and timeless.  Which of course leads me to mention IMA’s blog – specifically our first guest blogger, Patrick Smith, who submitted a superb post on the 747, Pan Am, the Concorde, and the Jetliner as Art.  So – if you’re stuck in an airport with your laptop and looking for something to do (other than check work e-mail), read his post, then impress the person sitting next to you on your next flight, with your new knowledge of aircraft design.

If you’re not the chatty type, recline your seat, turn on your iPod and watch or listen to Indianapolis Museum of Art content.  Yes, you better believe it.  The IMA has its own iTunes page where you can check out some of our latest audio and video content.  And unlike airline food/drinks, our stuff is free, educational, engaging and sometimes funny.  Anyone remember the I love the A.D.’s webisode from the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibition?  It’s on our iTunes page.  Just click, here (make sure you have iTunes installed on your machine).

The NES practically raised me as a kid, so I still hold a special place in my heart for video games.  Recently, I’ve given more and more thought to the role that new handheld devices can assist our visitors in a more meaningful experience.  For instance, when our Art and Nature Park opens next year, should we provide visitors with handhelds such as iPhones, PSP’s or PDA’s?  I don’t know the answer to that…yet, but staff at the IMA are already thinking about the next innovative visitor experience.  Flying 35,000 in the air, I messed around with the Sony PSP as a possible device.  I watched our latest video with Jim Irsay and of course, played some video games – Lego Star Wars II being my favorite (who doesn’t love R2D2?).  It’s unlikely the IMA will partner with Rockstar Games to create an Art Museum Curator game, but we might just create content that will live on your PSP, iPhone/iTouch, or the next popular device.  We’re crafty that way.

It’s now 8:30am Monday morning (8:30pm Sunday night in Indy) and I’m off to some conference sessions.  I would love to hear your thoughts on how to use technology when traveling.  I’m sure I missed something.

Filed under: New Media, Travel

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