Through June 30, passengers traveling from LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) can visit the Landing Pages kiosk for a story. Each of these compact tales is written by Lexie Smith and Gideon Jacobs over the length of a traveler’s flight, and delivered to their phone upon landing.
“To drop a story in someone’s inbox that could potentially remove the reader from the anxiety of travel for a moment is part of the motivation behind writing them,” Smith told Hyperallergic. “The airport is also just a ripe ecosystem for observing the human experience. It’s the crossroads for people who might otherwise never be in the same space.”
Landing Pages is the first project from the ArtPort Residency, a new program of the Queens Council on the Arts in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The initiative, as covered by Claire Voon for Hyperallergic, invites Queens-based artists to create three-month-long public art projects in the rotunda of the Marine Air Terminal. The Art Deco terminal, with its massive WPA-era mural by James Brooks, is New York City’s most beautiful place for an airline departure, and its artistic history as well as the daily foot traffic inspired the ArtPort projects. Following Smith and Jacobs, Sandra Lopez-Monsalve will launch a sonic exploration in July that incorporates traveler interviews. Then in October, Sherwin Banfield will begin his studies of the historic airport and its stream of visitors for sculpted murals. Finally in January, Brian Soliwoda will take over with the building of a Clipper sailing ship from plant materials and papier-mâché, a reference to the original use of the terminal for seaplanes.
Smith and Jacobs began Landing Pages in May, and you can read their archived stories on the project’s website. These are available to take away in hard copy at the kiosk which doubles as their workspace. Passengers can pick up a deli-style ticket and include their number or email for delivery. Not surprisingly, many of their stories, which take the form of fiction, poetry, and illustration, involve travel in their narratives, whether physical or emotional. In one for a Delta Airlines passenger, a meditative scene follows a woman as she sits on her front porch and watches an airplane pass overhead; in another for an Alaska Airlines passenger, a kid on the first day of spring has an adventure that takes him to the top of a telephone pole. The duration of a flight influences the word count of a piece, as every story needs to be ready by the time the person lands and takes their phone out of airplane mode.
“Forcing yourself to write something out of nothing can induce a state of creative vigilance,” Jacobs said. “With a blank page in front of you and a deadline looming, you end up watching your mind for the slightest movement, for any tiny opening that will likely take you absolutely nowhere, but also just might take you to somewhere you want to go.”
The structural adaptability of fiction, and its reflection of the act of traveling in its narrative structures, made it a harmonious medium for their project. “Every trip on an airplane embodies a traditional form of storytelling,” Smith stated. It has a beginning, middle, and end at landing. She added that “airline travel is stressful, hurried, and rarely are the surprises welcome ones.” The ArtPort initiative aims to offer some unexpected joy to travelers as they navigate these journeys.
Landing Pages is at the Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) of LaGuardia Airport in Queens through June 30.
Coasting the Topography of South Asian Futurisms
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Sadaf Padder presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
I’m a Florida Drag Queen and I’m Scared
I’m truly at a loss for what to do for work and what kind of life I can expect to live.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
An Artist’s Hopeful Vision of the Ocean
Indonesian artist Mulyana crafts a tactile, mystical world in which fish, whales, and coral reefs coexist with sea monsters.
An Introduction to “Afrogallonism”
Serge Attukwei Clottey explores Ghanaian culture and identity through discarded jerrycans and other found materials.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
A Ride With Liz Cohen
Nothing in the artist’s personal biography could predict that she’d one day become a car builder and bikini model.
LA’s Hammer Museum Wants to Be Seen
After two decades of renovations, the museum that calls itself a “well-kept secret” reopens with a mission to be more visible.
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
AI-Generated “Dope Francis” Fools the Internet
Many thought the picture of Pope Francis in a puffer jacket, created using Midjourney, was the real deal.
1,400-Year-Old Mural of Two-Faced Man Found in Peru
Historians hypothesize that the Moche paintings could represent artists’ attempts to experiment with portraying movement or narrative.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Louvre Shutters as Pension Plan Protests Intensify
President Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 has sparked widespread demonstrations across the country.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.