20 June 2017 – Kigali – On this day, the world marked World Refugee Day, joining to recognize the lives of refugees from all around the world. In Kigali, Shared Studios, an American NGO, partnered with the Rwandan NGO Kurema, Kureba, Kwiga to host a Portal™ event at the Impact Hub. Portals are spaces equipped with immersive audiovisual technology which brings people from connecting locations face-to-face. These spaces facilitate cross-cultural communication and understanding.
MISSION, Texas - Just a few miles away from the Mexican border in Mission, Texas, the Center for Education and Economic Development houses a golden shipping container waiting to transport visitors across the globe.
Europafeindliche Kräfte scheinen auf dem Rückzug. Nach dem Wahlsieg von Emmanuel Macron, hoffen Proeuropäer, dass Deutschland und Frankreich nun gemeinsam Reformen voranbringen. Die EU steht 2017 vor elementaren Herausforderungen, wie etwa in der …
Un container installé sur l’esplanade du Parlement européen permet d’entrer en contact avec les habitants de camps de réfugiés à travers le monde. Une façon d’établir des contacts, et d’aider à vaincre les peurs irrationnelles.
One second you’re in Detroit, the next you’re in a country half a world away. It could be Afghanistan, Gaza, Mexico, Germany or even Myanmar — the Detroit Portal has literally taken people across the all across the globe in a matter of days.
During my week in Miami for Art Basel, I encountered a portal called Shared Studios. Sandwiched between two luxurious hotels and resembling a steel shipping container painted in gold, it stopped me with a peculiar interest.
A gold-painted shipping container equipped with an immersive audiovisual studio rests on Jack Poole Plaza outside TED Talks in Vancouver, ready to link whoever goes inside for a face-to-face conversation with someone somewhere else on the planet.
After a few moments in the waiting area, Jason Mangold was instructed to enter a gold painted, shipping container-like device. The business developer had traveled from Chicago to Mission but decided to make a visit to a new attraction at Mission’s Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) Building. After closing the curtains behind him. Mangold stood in front of an 8 by 10 foot video screen, and waited. On a chilly evening 7,000 miles away, Omar Al Shafai walked from the Migration Hub Network in downtown Berlin, Germany to a similar shipping container in front of the migration center.
Amar Bakshi is an artist and the creator of Shared_Studios, a multidisciplinary art collective that connects people across all forms of distance. In 2014, the studio launched Portals, which uses custom spaces, usually gold shipping containers, equipped with audio-visual technology to allow participants to converse with others in identical spaces around the world. Since launching, more than 25,000 people have spoken to one another through Portals spread across twenty countries, including participants such as Barack Obama and artist Tania Bruguera. Amar is a graduate of Harvard University and also holds degrees from Johns Hopkins and Yale Law School.
According to Shared Studios’ founder Amar Bakshi, “the idea is to create a global network of these publicly accessible one-on-one booths”. Imagine that! Once facing your opposite number, you can more or less do what you want – aided by a curator/translator staffing each Portal, you can talk about your day, the weather, your childhood, or if you like just sit there in silence … the beauty of Portals is that the interactions are essentially pressure-less. There is no agenda other than to spend time with each other. To exchange ideas. To learn from a stranger precisely because of everything you don’t know about them. And, best of all, to genuinely engage with somebody in a way that most other social networks – for all the vastness of their reach – actively discourage.
"The context of art is critical to Portals. The contemporary gallery absolutely is not. Portals is a global public artwork that can exist only because there is a common global understanding of at least one definition of art that positions art as de-instrumentalized, without purpose, without objective measure of its worth. This vision has been nurtured by museums, galleries, art schools, collectors, fairs, public art institutions, and others. Now, because of their work, Portals can exist as art outside the art world institutions as long as participants understand it as such."
Developed in 2014 by Shared_Studios, there are now more than 20 Portals located around the world. They provide participants with an opportunity to meet individuals from entirely different backgrounds and cultures. The immersive technology and enclosed setting transcends popular video technologies. When President Obama experienced the Portal at the 2016 Entrepreneurship Summit he said, “It seems like you’re standing right in front of me.”
We’re taught from a young age to not talk to strangers, a lesson that’s been reinforced by the Taken franchise and most episodes of CSI. But Amar Bakshi, founder of the multidisciplinary collective Shared Studios, has come up with an exception to that rule. Bakshi is the creator of Portals, a global art project that could be described as the 21st century’s answer to a pen pal. The idea is to provide a space—in this case a gold-painted shipping container outfitted with a giant video screen—where two strangers can have a face-to-face conversation despite being half a world apart. One such portal is stationed in Grand Park from April 10 through 23.
The 92nd Street Y's annual 7 Days of Genius festival wants to dismantle the idea that "genius" comes from hubs like Silicon Valley, and show that it really happens when people work together. At the end of the long hallway that bisects New Lab—a tech and manufacturing coworking space that opened in an old industrial building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard last September—a crowd gathers outside a gold shipping container, waiting for their turn to walk inside.
On a blustery Friday morning, Carolyn Rapkievian wrapped herself in a coat and gauzy scarf and walked a mile from her office to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She climbed to the second floor, stepped into a 16-foot-long, gold-painted shipping container, and settled onto a short wooden stool. It was the day after her 60th birthday.
Whenever Brooklyn and Berlin appear in the same sentence, the word “hipster” always lurks nearby like a smug intruder. True, both places are littered with hipster bait, with store after store peddling expensive coffee and fixed-gear bikes. But there’s far more to Brooklyn and Berlin, of course. Right now the communities are working together to create something many hipsters don’t seem to care that much about: jobs. The idea is to drive growth and innovation by connecting the two emerging tech startup scenes.
It’s a unique way to connect with people around the world, and it’s now here in Baltimore. The Downtown Partnership debuts the city’s first portal as a chance to interact with someone face-to-face in real time, even if they’re in another country.
WASHINGTON, DC - Despite the horrific visuals coming out of Syria's civil war on a daily basis, it's easy to feel as if the conflict, and the associated refugee crisis, is a world away. But new technology is helping to connect Americans to Syrian refugees, in a way that puts people face-to-face, despite the distance.
Just before lunchtime, as foot traffic outside of Lexington Market reaches its peak, regulars are raising their eyebrows—stopping to stare at a massive gold shipping container that has been positioned outside of the main entrance.
A Myrna y Osama no hay nada que les guste más que ir al colegio. Durante meses, las atrocidades de Estado Islámico y las bombas impidieron que cogiesen los libros pero ahora, poco a poco, sus vidas vuelven a la normalidad. Lo hace en medio de la nada. En uno de los 23 campo de refugiados que las organizaciones internacionales han habilitado para los desplazados de la guerra en Mosul. Están a solo 60 kilómetros de distancia, pero allí, la vida vuelve a tomar forma, lejos de las atrocidades de los bárbaros.
Ethiopia's Ayele Abshero, the fastest man on the start-line (2:04:23) along with Dinknesh Mekash, a two-time winner in Mumbai, will lead the elite field at the 14thedition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) on January 15. Joining the best in the world will be top Indian athletes —Olympian Kheta Ram, MD Yunusand Elam Singh as well as Jyoti Gawate, Monica Raut and Monica Athare — who will take centre stage and vie for a prize money of USD 384,000.
Mumbai will host the 14th edition of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM), an event that sparked the running revolution in India. The streets of the maximum city will be graced by some of the finest long distance athletes from across the world with strides firmly set to achieve their personal best.
Portals exist all over the world, right from New York City to refugee sites in Berlin and Iraq to a tech incubator in Gaza, Palestine. They have been used by Barrack Obama, Ban Ki Moon, Morgan Spurlock, Ewan McGreggor, John Kerry and 20,000 other individuals. It is for the first time that a portal is being set up in Mumbai, India.
On World Refugee Day, a golden shipping container was brought on to the grounds of the United Nations General Assembly hall in New York. Inside, cutting-edge audiovisual technology allowed delegates to converse via live video chat with children inside Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp, as though they were standing in the same room.
My two new college-aged friends -- at least I think we're friends, we just met -- love to hang out with their friends, shop and hit the beach when it's not too crowded. One of them loves horror movies, the other is really into action films. They've both gearing up for exams coming up in their studies of English and French literature
Visitors can also watch curated portal experiences focusing on particular interests or activities. For example, a high school world history class will connect with teenagers in Gaza City Monday; on Wednesday, Chicago-based hip-hop artist Ric Wilson will perform for a crowd in Mexico City before artists there perform; and musicians Eddie Taylor Jr. and Harmonica Hinds will perform a blues concert for an audience in Kigali, Rwanda Saturday.
A stream of some 10 fourth-grade girls poured out of a metallic gold shipping container into the bright sunshine at Greenwich Academy. "Oh my gosh, that was so fun," several said, smiles on their faces. Inside, the students had been speaking with students in Honduras through a live stream, full-body video connection. They talked about their favorite parts of school and what they like to do for fun with the help of a translator.
“Chicago Ideas Week is all about connecting people to inspire action,” Sona Jones, marketing director for Chicago Ideas Week, told Time Out Chicago. “It’s so remarkable to walk into a box and be connected with someone so intimately across the world.
Last week, members of the US House of Representatives met with displaced students from Erbil, Iraq, to highlight the magnitude of humanitarian crises in the world. The event was co-hosted by Global Citizen, Global Campaign for Education-US; Jesuit Refugee Service/USA; U.S. Fund for UNICEF; and A World at School.
Going into the Portal, I did not entirely know what to expect. I mean, I was about to go into this golden shipping crate that was supposed to connect me with someone across the globe. What was I going to say? what kind of questions would they ask me? Would I be awkward? My mind went into this experience loaded with questions. However, as I propelled myself into an eye-opening conversation, I soon learned that the selfish questions wandering through my mind were unnecessary
Omar, an articulate, polite and outwardly jovial 15-year-old from near Mosul, Iraq, is a typical teenager in many ways. He enjoys hanging out with friends, is close to his family and hopes one-day to become a journalist. But he is missing an essential part of growing up – attending school.
If you see a golden shipping container, step inside and be instantly transported to another part of the world. It sounds like science fiction or fantasy, but these portals exist. No, they haven’t actually invented teleportation; however, this may just be the most innovative use of shipping containers yet. And it’s such a simple idea. All it really takes is a shipping container, a camera, a microphone, and an internet connection. Oh yeah, and some gold paint.
It might not be a magical armoire from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or Doctor Who’s time-traveling TARDIS, but “Portals” from artist collective Shared Studios certainly has its own story to tell.
Spearheaded by Yale Law School-educated artist and journalist Amar Bakshi and multimedia journalist Michelle Moghtader, the international exhibit takes gold spray-painted shipping containers and outfits them with immersive audio-visual technology to allow strangers to converse with one another from across the globe. The latest “Portal” was unveiled at the United Nations on World Refugees Day on June 20, 2016, as part of the U.N.’s free “Refugees” exhibit that runs until September 2016.
Recently, groups of residents from Milwaukee and Newark, New Jersey met to share ideas and strategies they use to reduce violence in their respective communities. The conversation gave the groups — both from low-income, mostly black neighborhoods — an opportunity to delve into some weighty topics like prisoner re-entry, and share a few laughs in a face-to-face setting, all while remaining more than 700 miles apart.
Asked what subjects would be profitably debated, two speakers at The Aspen Ideas Festival, co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, focused on reason. Evan Thomas, the journalist and author of Being Nixon, wrote:
Shining brightly on the Aspen Institute campus this week is a portal to another space. It’s a project of Shared Studios LLC. It’s a temporary set up, mirroring the gold-painted shipping containers placed in public areas all over the world that provide audio and video connection to other portals. Or, more accurately, provide human connection.
It looks like a shipping container, but it's so much more. This gold painted portal is allowing people in Milwaukee to connect with portals in 29 countries. On Friday, thoughts on crime prevention were exchanged. Conversations in the Milwaukee portal are being recorded. The dialogue will be shared with researchers at Yale University, who are trying to better understand the public perception of police.
Ms Moghtader was at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday to unveil the newest Portal, currently located inside the UN. She's been speaking with Janie Cangelosi and began by explaining exactly what Portals are.
"Hello, how are you?" came the slightly distorted voice of a 17-year-old girl wearing a white headscarf and gray jeans. Her name is Zab, and she lives among more than 79,000 other displaced Syrians at Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
A formal opening ceremony for the exhibition entitled “Refugees” will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, 20 June, in the Visitors’ Lobby at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibit is organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the UN SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] Action Campaign, and the Department of Public Information.
One of the most celebrated aspects of this year’s GES is Shared Studios’ Portals, which comes to London for the first time on June 22nd. Don’t miss our exclusive interview with co-founder Michelle Moghtader, as well as our own visit to London’s portal next week.
What do Newark, New Jersey, and Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood have in common? They’re both high-crime, high-homicide and highly policed, and right now, a public park in each is hosting a gold-painted shipping container designed to facilitate conversations between the two cities about criminal justice and incarceration.
NEWARK — It's the one shipping container that can travel across the world without leaving New Jersey.
The "portal," a repurposed container that was installed as a temporary exhibit in Newark's Military Park last month, is part of a global artist initiative to connect strangers around the world. The container is equipped with technology that allows users to video chat with people in similar portals that have been placed in other cities around the world.
While celebrating May Day in Kigali this year, University of Rwanda student INNOCENT UDAHEMUKA stopped by Stanford for a visit – well, almost.
Stepping into a gold-painted, soundproofed shipping container, Udahemuka stood in just the right spot for the mic to pick him up, the cameras to provide a full-body projection and the 4G connection to deliver him to a similar container in front of Crothers Hall on the Stanford campus. Udahemuka was in Rwanda.
Travel between Milwaukee and New Jersey is about to get cheap and fast.
Milwaukeeans will have a chance to step inside a shipping container, painted a lustrous gold and tricked out with cutting-edge audiovisual technology, in order to have one-on-one encounters with strangers in Newark, N.J.
As you swing open the heavy door at one end of the container, you’re in New Haven. But once you step inside, you’re whisked to another part of the world — a Syrian refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq, for instance, or a university in Herat, Afghanistan
This week, a golden shipping container will be standing in front of Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library. It’s an installation called a Shared Studio Portal, and it’s one of several around the world that connect strangers for 20-minute video chats.
Art Basel in Miami Beach brought the world to Miami, but there was only one artwork in the city that brought Miami to the world: Amar Bakshi'sPortals exhibition, a golden shipping container that allows people from disparate locations across the globe to converse as if they are in the same room
One night outside the Sagamore Hotel on Miami Beach's famed Collins Avenue, I notice a shipping container covered in gold. The next morning, the doors to that container were open, and inside a handful of people were asking a girl in Bolivia how she celebrates Christmas.
“How’s the weather there?” “What is something beautiful for you?” and “How would you make peace with a friend?” are just a few of the questions that international strangers asked each other during Miami Art Week.
Two young trombone players are performing a duet inside a shipping container in a emptied lot in Hayes Valley. The musicians, Harry Gonzalez and Brett Wyatt, are from the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and they address their audience through the screen in front of them.
“What is beautiful to you?” It's the question that curators will ask participants around the world when they step inside a large gold shipping container for a project titled Portals that seeks to interface with the global art world. The initiative, part of Art Basel Miami Beach, is taking place this week outside of the Sagamore Hotel in Miami with real-time connections to counterparts in Afghanistan, Cuba, Honduras, Iran, Mexico, and Zimbabwe.
The Sagamore is known as the Art Hotel because of its permanent and changing exhibitions. But this year’s highlight, The Portal, is designed to foster understanding in ways far beyond the visual. For 20 minutes at a time, visitors can step inside a gold, internet-enabled shipping container and talk with an individual in Afghanistan, Cuba or Iran. The year-old project was founded by Amar Bakshi, a former journalist who wanted others to experience the kind of meaningful interactions with strangers he had while traveling. “We’re creating a space where people encounter one another with no particular purpose” — a kind of global public square. Language won’t be an issue; each portal is staffed with both a translator and a local curator.
Iman, Dania and Marwa are talking about their lives in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East and home to more than 82,000 Syrians. Iman wants to be a journalist, Dania is focused on improving her English, and Marwa misses her three children, who live with their father in Syria.
The future of communication has arrived in the Bay Area — and it looks an awful lot like a shipping container. A shipping container someone spray-painted gold. The container in question was perched behind a chain-link fence near San Francisco’s Hayes Green, next to other shipping containers that had retired from hauling stuff and were now home to shops selling clothes, coffee and ice cream.
Es un época complicada para conocer gente cara a cara; cada vez hay más alternativas digitales que le quitan lo personal a los encuentros, magníficas herramientas para socializar, pero no siempre para conocerse.
Portales es justamente una alternativa digital a lo impersonal, es una forma casi mágica de conocer gente de otros países mediante una ‘tecnología audiovisual inmersiva’ en la que sientes que prácticamente puedes tocar a tu contraparte.
During the United Nations' 70th General Assembly last week, the U.N. attempted to bridge the gap between world leaders and Syrian refugees with a mix of virtual reality, documentary-style videos and good, old-fashioned conversation. It's an example of modern storytelling on one of the world's biggest stages that tech-minded marketers could learn from
The mysterious gilded box first arrived on campus last Wednesday. Several students stared with curiosity as workers installed the golden shipping container on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons lawn. Inside this box is the Vanderbilt Portal to Mexico City.
There's a new tenant in Hayes Valley's Proxy space, sandwiched between the Smitten ice cream stand and the lager-slinging Biergarten. This time, though, the addition isn't another hipster-approved juice bar or gluten-free bakery: This is a wormhole to another country hosted by Shared Studios, a global public art project.
Iman, Dania and Marwa are talking about their lives in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East and home to more than 82,000 Syrians. Iman wants to be a journalist, Dania is focused on improving her English, and Marwa misses her three children, who live with their father in Syria.
All three stress the need to bring better education, including a university, to the camp, which is located in western Jordan near the Syrian border. All three want to go home someday.
On their way to this month’s 70th United Nation’s General Assembly, the organization’s annual high-level meeting in New York, diplomats and world leaders will pass by a makeshift glass structure—both a glossy multi-media hub, and a gateway to an entirely different world.
San Francisco will soon be home to the latest gateway in the Portals Project, a public art project curated by Shared_Studios that uses design and technology to connect strangers and artists across the globe. So what exactly is a portal? A portal is a retrofitted shipping container painted gold and immersed with audio and visual technology inside.
The large gold shipping container seems out of place in a courtyard of the University of Maryland’s performing arts center. But when it comes to art, expect the unexpected - this container is actually a portal, an entryway for a visitor to be teleported. Here you can have a conversation with a stranger in a far-off place who appears to be standing right in front of you.
Imagine stepping inside a shipping container and coming face-to-face with a live feed of a stranger inside another container in Tehran. Thanks to audio-visual technology, that’s exactly what you can experience September 10 through 15 during the NextNOW Fest at the Clarice. These so-called “Portals” operate like wormholes, connecting people in Washington to people in cities like Herat, Afghanistan or El Progreso, Honduras. A translator stands on the opposite end, enabling a 20-minute conversation between two people who live in completely different parts of the world. Inside these gold-painted containers, though, they might feel like they’re in the same room.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: an art project attempting to build individual connections across the globe.
It’s called Portals, and is the brainchild of artist and former television news producer Amar Bakshi, who told us that, in his former profession, the most meaningful conversations often came once the cameras were turned off.
A global art project recently came to D.C., bringing visitors face-to-face with strangers in Afghanistan, Iran and Cuba. Hundreds of people signed up online to book 20-minute-long one-on-one conversations in the Portal, a shipping container outfitted with video, audio and Internet.
Scientists haven’t quite nailed teleportation yet, but one artist has gotten very close. Artist Amar Bakshi’s public art project Portals allows viewers to “teleport” to select locations around the world virtually, and converse with strangers face-to-face.
Step inside a gold-painted shipping container in downtown Washington, midway between the White House and the Capitol, and, for 20 minutes, you can make a new friend in Afghanistan, Cuba or Iran.
"What would make today a good day for you?" is the ice-breaking question that visitors to the Portals project are invited to use to strike up a transnational conversation via a sometimes shaky Internet video link.
Amar Bakshi was imprisoned in Zimbabwe on espionage charges when he was studying as a senior at Harvard University. He was a special assistant to Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, when Barack Obama came into office, and he is a Truman Scholar and Soros Fellow.
He has also spent the last year and a half re-purposing train cars by painting them gold and, with the help of architects and engineers, equipping them with audio-visual technology so that when participants step inside, they are face to face with someone who is likely thousands of miles away.
As students rushed to and from their classes in the Edmund A. Walsh Memorial building this week, they passed by a nondescript gold shipping container on N Street — unaware that, inside, unprecedented conversations were taking place.
Participants who stepped into the box, titled the “Portal to Afghanistan,” were digitally transported thousands of miles away to have a full-body video chat with a complete stranger in Herat, Afghanistan.
Inside Yale University Art Gallery there is an exhibit of James Whistler’s etchings from the 1800s; outside, there is an installation of a large golden box with writing engraved on it some 200 years later, inviting people to interconnect between Teheran and New Haven, Connecticut. The bolted door reads, “Strangers in Tehran are encouraged to consider the prompt, what would make it a good day for you?”
In December of 2014, New York’s Lu Magnus Gallery hosted what appeared to be a gold-plated shipping container — or, rather, a “Portal.” Conceived by Shared__Studios founder Amar Bakshi, the container was equipped with AV equipment live-streaming to an identical site in Tehran, allowing visitors at each location to speak one-on-one with each other for 10 to 15 minutes. “Think ‘Being John Malkovich,'” reads a description on the Portals Kickstarter page — though the actual effect appears to be more akin to your basic “Star Trek”-ian full-body hologram, a Skype session inside the Void.
I walked by the Yale Art Gallery last week on my usual trek to class, head bowed down to shield my face from the onslaught of snow. Fixated only on my increasingly numb toes, I glanced up just in time to avoid running headfirst into the large, golden box planted on the sidewalk in front of me. Curious, I stepped closer, peering at the words carved on its shimmering exterior: “A Portal Between Tehran and New Haven.” First thought: had I missed humanity’s leap into teleportation? I decided to investigate further.
For dozens, perhaps hundreds of people in New Haven, the metallic, gold-painted shipping container deposited on the broad walkway outside the Yale University Art Gallery last week until Mar. 1, will be a gateway to Iran.
We recently stood at a door in New York. We walked through that door and faced a person inside Iran. That was the concept of an art installation which started in New York and whose creators hope to take it elsewhere. They invited us to try. Walk into a common steel shipping container painted gold.
“What is your favorite book?” asked the woman. "I don't know, maybe Catcher in the Rye," said the man. The woman is inside a golden shipping container in the Lu Magnus Gallery in the Lower East Side. The man is in an artist's studio in Tehran, Iran. And they have never met before.
Artist Amar Bakshi speaks to Ayman Mohyeldin about his new art installation titled "The Portal Between Tehran and New York City" which enables participants in both cities to garner face time with each other.
When I went to Tehran in 2011 to interview then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, relations with the U.S. were at a low, and distrust between the two nations was at a high. So it was unsurprising that Iran's leader played to type perfectly, spouting nasty rhetoric when he sat down with me.
On Friday morning, a portal opened between New York City and Tehran. For the next two weeks, people in either city can walk into a scale-replica of a shipping container outfitted with an AV connection to the other city and have a live, impromptu chat with a stranger partway around the globe. The project is called A Portal Between Tehran and NYC.
When the Harvard- and Yale Law-educated artist and journalist Amar Bakshi, born and raised in Washington D.C., was traveling the globe seven years ago for his How the World Sees America interview series, he realized something: People often kept letters from American pen pals dating back to the 1980s, before the Internet made other modes of international correspondence possible.