Like so many of you, my friend Pete Baldes and I wanted to take a road trip together this summer, but he lives in Richmond, VA and I live in LA. We tried and tried to make our dreams of the classic American cross-country journey come true, but because of finances, schedule conflicts, and time constraints, we just couldn’t make it work. You know how it is. But then we had an idea: What about a virtual road trip that exploits the wonderful technologies of Google Maps and ustream. We could definitely make that happen.
So on August 10th, 2009, at 3pm PST, we’ll leave my house in LA and drive together to Pete’s place in Richmond. We’ll “virtual drive” across the country by continuously pressing the Google Maps arrow keys eastward, and we’ll broadcast the entire experience live on http://www.googlemapsroadtrip.com . This means you’ll be able to not only see and hear us as we travel, but also join us in a real-time chat room. Just think of it as an invitation to hop in the backseat and ride along with us for any part of our adventure that you like. We’ll take your suggestions on what to see and where to go as we trek this great nation, and ideally we’ll all get to know each other a little better.
We’ll stop for a shake at McDonalds in Flagstaff, get dinner at Olive Garden in Roanoke, play mix tapes, get in the inevitable argument, visit historical sites and old friends, stop at crummy motels for the night, etc… Just remember: This is real-time, so when we stop to eat, we’ll actually eat, and when we stop to sleep, we’ll actually go to bed, and if you’d like us to visit you, we’ll actually call you as we near your house, and you can virtually take us around your hood.
This is everything that we’d do on a real road trip, except we don’t have to leave the house, pay for gas, or worry about getting speeding tickets.
If you have suggestions on what we should see along the way — or if you would like us to stop and visit you — please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to spending some quality time with YOU on our road trip! Can’t wait!
Marc & Pete
p.s. The chronicles of this epic road trip will also be available at http://www.thefastertimes.com/travel
It has begun! After five hours of intense driving on Google Maps, Pete and I have finally arrived at the famed Bellagio Hotel in Vegas. Got a fancy room and are lying low for the evening. I’m beat. Driving on Google Maps has turned out to be almost as hard as driving IRL.
We’ll be back up tomorrow at 9:30am PST for some Bloody Marys and fun around Vegas. Tune in here or at http://www.googlemapsroadtrip.com .
and we got shout outs from:
Pete and I finished the first-ever virtual live-streaming broadcast cross-country road trip on August 18th. It took us 9 days and 40+ hours of driving on Google Maps to complete the trek. I got food poisoning from Burger King and Pete almost lost his mind, but we persevered and made it to Richmond, VA from LA.
Fancy us; we were interviewed by NPR Weekend edition for our “vacation.” For the NPR audio interview go to http://bit.ly/GMRTNPRA. And for the NPR article see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111921898.
We’ll be back up this Friday, August 21st at 2pm PST to take a tour of Richmond, and we’re slated to take a trip up to Maine soon. Stay tuned.
This week, lostinasupermarket.com is going to do an interview piece on me. That’s very nice of them. The editor said he didn’t want a regular photo portrait of me for the piece, and I don’t blame him. He asked me to come up with a few ideas for a photo shoot, and below is what I came up with. Let me know which one you like best, and the one with the most votes will get produced for the magazine. To vote, just put the # of the idea in the comment section. Thanks for your help! Let the voting begin.
1. Run in place in a wind tunnel in really oversized clothing.
2. A photo of me sneezing milk on someone else.
3. A photo of me sneezing milk with blue food coloring onto paper to make drawings.
4. Photo series of alternative sleeping spaces in LA – find strange but somewhat appropriate places to sleep, demonstrate.
5. Sky gazing – lay down face up in various places in LA. Wide shots.
6. Photos of me yelling at inanimate objects.
7. Photo series of me yelling at plants.
8. Photo series of me getting in the back of people’s cars that I just met.
9. Hire a make-up/ special effects artist to make me super fat. I would then go to various doughnut shops and grocery stores with narrow aisles.
10. Hitchhike down sunset blvd from my house in Echo Park to the beach. Have the photographer follow me for the day.
11. Enroll in a motivation course and have the photographer follow me for the day.
12. Combine office work and yard work – for example, leaf blow 3 large stacks of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper entirely around an LA block.
13. Run for the CEO of Arby’s – pass out buttons and propaganda dressed in a suit at the original Arby’s on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.
14. Water ski entirely wrapped in bacon in an attempt to get over my fear of fish and lake water.
15. Attempt to make a painting in the back of a pickup truck as it is going up a really rough road.
16. Hold a junk food conference at the Radisson. Have the photographer pretend he works for Frito-Lay’s web division.
17. Dress up in clothes that very closely resemble the environment so I nearly blend in.
18. Try to eat a five-course meal hanging up side down at a restaurant.
If you have any ideas that you don’t see up there, please let me know what you want to see, and I can add it to the list.
I’ll be in NYC from September 16th through the 23rd for the awesome http://confluxfestival.org/ . Please come out and participate, at least for my stuff. I’ll be doing two projects and a lecture for the festival at NYU’s art department @ 34 Stuyvesant Street 10003.
2) September 19th (right after the lecture) 2:30 – 3:45 – Google Maps Road Trip NYC – Peter Baldes and Marc Horowitz will perform a live virtual trip of NYC, in the vain of their recent cross-county Google Maps Road Trip project. They will take suggestions from the audience on what to visit and do on this journey. They will utilize google maps to navigate around, ustream.tv to broadcast the event live on the internet, youtube to see various NYC videos, and flickr to explore still images of the city.
2) September 18th 12:00pm – 6:00pm (at noon gather at Rosenberg gallery and we’ll leave from there) – NYCommercial – Marc Horowitz will lead a workshop that focuses on making a commercial for New York City. Marc and the group (you) will begin in the morning by brainstorming various ideas for the best commercial for NYC. The group will then shoot the commercial; later that day, edit it, and finally post it to several video sites and the conflux website.
You can go to the facebook invites at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=122607937337 & http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=129456455799
This is one of the more interesting and potentially lucrative spams I’ve received today. Curious, I replied and they responded almost immediately in very broken English:“Corner broome renwick 11 tonowt. NYcety. Only Cash. Bring self only. We watch on you. Lies no. heartfelt to thanks. Leu.” Since I don’t live in NYC, I asked my friend Eric if he wouldn’t mind going in my place. He agreed. I guess it’s only a matter of time until I have some great handmade military ribbons. I could probably attach them to gifts, my shoes, maybe make magnets out of them. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of uses once I actually get them. Thanks Eric!! I owe you one man!