Dec 22, 2021 - Things to Do

A new public art installation takes off at the Austin airport

An imaginary boarding pass.

This boarding pass is part of a public art installation at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Photo courtesy AUS.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport just added 120 make-believe destinations, including one to the land of Oz.

Driving the news: A new art installation in a Barbara Jordan Terminal gate area prepares travelers for departures to the fantastical.

Where to find it: "Interimaginary Departures," an immersive and interactive piece, is located at Gate ∞ [infinity symbol], between Gates 12 and 14.

Inspired by the novel "The City and The City," about two places existing within the same space, the reimagined gate area by artist Janet Zweig also draws inspiration from science-fiction and fantasy.

  • The piece features two screens displaying rotating flight information for hundreds of fictional destinations, from the "Wizard of Oz's" Emerald City to Gallifrey, the world of "Doctor Who's" Time Lords. Every few minutes, an overhead loudspeaker provides amusing boarding information about the otherworldly locations.
  • Travelers can also visit a touch-screen kiosk, where a brief survey asks them multiple-choice questions such as: "Are more things smaller than you or larger than you?" before printing out a souvenir boarding pass for their next interimaginary destination.

💭 Asher's thought bubble: I fondly remember an airport terminal game my mother played with me as a child. To kill time before a flight and keep her kid happy, she would find a departures board, and we'd imagine which of the destinations most appealed.


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