Going mobile

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with the incomparable Henry Jenkins about the difficulty of knowing what media to bring when traveling, especially when one is cut off from the cloud. In my case, the cloud is local to my home — the wireless ecosystem that knits together the media content stored on several terabytes of external hard drives and my iPad, which is also, thanks to the Air Video app and an HDMI dongle, my flatscreen, high-def TV. For the next few days, while I’m in Michigan, I will be forced to function more or less nomadically, which means preloading content.

So here’s what I’m bringing with me: grading. Course prep for next week — two movies: Color Adjustment and Catfish, the former on DVD, the latter a digital file — and a PDF excerpt of Ken Hillis’s Online A Lot of the Time. The first season of Bob’s Burgers, also digital. The movie Valhalla Rising and two episodes of the BBC’s Sherlock. Two print books: Ina Rae Hark’s recent short monograph on Star Trek, and Matt Hills’s Triumph of a Time Lord, on Doctor Who.

Will I get through it all? Certainly not, especially given the family business I am on, which is likely to occupy most of my time. But in my traveling bubble of media, what Raymond Williams would call my mobile privatization, I want to preserve at least a trace of the freedom of choice my home hotspot would otherwise provide.