SXSWblog Wed/th — Bacon, VR for causes, Museums and the Flatstock

Austin impressed in so many ways — even the grocery stores were impressive. I mean come on, they have a bar where you can leave with a growler and outside they have a stage for bands. And an amazing bacon selection.

I really wish our grocery stores were like this.

Yeah… this is in the Grocery Store.
Look at bacon selection…
better interior shot
They had a stage for the grocery store. Is that Loll Inc. furniture.
Finally had sun while I waited for our 8:00 am team meetup.

Back to SXSW

Hit up the tradeshow some more…I love tradeshows.

last Day of tradeshow

I could easily see Duluth having a booth some year…probably should.

Done with tradeshow pose.
Lunch at Iron something…cab driver was right..overrated.
Looks good in photo -not good in person

While in Texas — You must visit Minnesota!

Of course we had to go and say hi to our fellow Minnesotans. Good setup MPR.

I took a pair of sunglasses.

Honestly…we just kinda of walked through it and left. We had sessions to attend to.

So… I don’t have any photos, but one of the top sessions I was able to attend on VR/AR was on using VR for causes. Since Glensheen is a cause it only made sense I try and attend the session.

This is the video they opened with…keep in mind…at this point I miss my kids and wife pretty bad. So this video was far more gut turning than normal for me.

Wow. Video is a powerful force.

Now imagine this video in VR where you are surrounded by this experience. There would be no way not to be effected by it. I had not really thought about this angle in depth. Now I was.

At Glensheen we have multiple causes from historic preservation to civic engagement to providing fresh produce to the food shelf. This is a new platform to tell those stories.

Imagine being alongside me as I walk you through Glensheen, then I have you join a school group of 2nd graders. These 2nd graders are just in awe. An awe that will not get in a standard brick building.

You can watch as it inspires.

Imagine being in the middle of our vegetable garden alongside our gardener Emily as she talks about the U of M experimental plants which are created for northern climates. You watch as she pulls out of the ground a purple carrot. Then it transitions to the Emily putting the carrots into a plastic bin and then loaded onto a truck. Your now on the the truck as it pulls into the warehouse for Second Harvest Food Bank. The the video transitions to the Damiano’s Kids Cafe where they give the purple carrot to homeless kids who rarely get fresh produce. Turns out…Glensheen is one of the largest givers of fresh produce in the region.

This was a transformative moment for me and VR.

VR has real positive social implications. My political brain was on fire.

But I was also tired.

I meet up with Jane…she was also tired.

Jane is spent.

I just laid on the ground — it was perfect.

Afterwards we headed to the Austin Museum SXSW gathering at the Black Star Co-op brewery. It was great to have some time with other museum professionals who were partaking in SXSW. We had museums from Brooklyn to San Francisco to Elizabeth Merritt who spoke earlier in the day. Always good to get us museum people together.

Afterwards…Jane and I decided to be lame. We know — it is SXSW and the music part has now kicked into high gear. But after six straight days of sessions followed by miles of walking each day, we were both mentally and physically exhausted. I know lame. But we needed a refresh if we were going to do all the museums we wanted to do on our last day.

The Last Day.

Because we were flying out this day. We knew were going to have a limited schedule — so we dedicated a large portion to the museums of Austin. As great as any conference is, I generally learn a great deal by visiting other museums whether that be a zoo or a house museum. We checked out the LBJ presidential library, Blanton Art Museum and then the Bullock Texas History Museum.

Always enjoy seeing a little Minnesota connection.
Blanton History Museum
Still Blanton
Family tree made up of advertising characters (Aunt Jemina, Uncle as examples)
Standard art museum photo
The Bullock Texas History Museum
Rock Festival Exhibit
One of La Salle’s ships — historically amazing.

So afterwards we headed back to the SXSW conference for the last main thing I wanted to see.

The SXSW Flatstock festival

The tradeshow is now gone and half of that space is now this large display of some of the best artist in the country displaying their artist skills through posters. As a fan of creative expression — I figured this might inspire some design things in my head, plus I always think it is good to be aware of the new popular artistic expressions around the country.

This easily turned out to be one of my favorite parts of SXSW.

One of my favorite is the ski lift.
I also really like the mtn drive one.

Then this happened. As I looked at some of the pieces. I really thought some reminded me of my old good friend from High School — Jessica. She and our friend Bri are still two of the greatest artists I know — especially when it comes to truly creative art. In high school both left early to attend MCAD.

I texted her to see if any of the art was hers. Nearly right after the text…I actually ran into at the show. Life gets busy and I have seen her probably for five years. So it was awesome to run into her.

Ran into an old Crosby friend Jessica.

She did have art there.

She is still doing awesome stuff.

Sadly after this we ran back to the hotel, grabbed our bags and went to the airport. SXSW was officially over. It was a great experience. One that further expanded my knowledge base on multiple fronts. In my last blog of this series, I will finish with my top ten takeaways from SXSW. It is coming next.

The airport security folks couldn’t figure what was in my carryon. The book wasn’t the problem.



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Dan Hartman

Dan Hartman


Love the outdoors, good museums, good movies and oh yeah...good public policy.