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You've probably seen it, the big golden box sitting out in front of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum downtown. Well, it's called a portal and was put there by the folks at Imagination Celebration ahead of this year's What If Festival.
As the shipping container door closed, blocking out the sunlight and whipping wind of a San Francisco summer afternoon, I was instantly transported to Mexico City.
New Elon Musk-designed teleportation device? Nope. This is public art. Specifically, the return of Portals, a project by the local art and design collective Shared_Studios. Portals acts as a virtual bridge to Afghanistan, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Germany, Rwanda, and Mexico, where identical shipping containers have been furnished with a simple screen and black soundproof padding on the walls, allowing inhabitants to connect and communicate with people on the other side of the world. San Franciscans will be able to enter these gold-painted containers starting July 20 and—with a little help from some immersive audiovisual technology, the National Parks Service, and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy—be transported to another place.
Bay Area residents will soon have a new way to see the likes of Mexico City and Kabul – in a shipping container.
While modest from the outside, those who enter the stranded crate in Crissy Field will immediately be connected to participants in another country. The live broadcast will allow each party to engage and interact for 20 minutes, something that is usually impossible without a plane ticket. Language barriers will also be torn down by an interpreter.
Tracy Brandi looked at an 8-foot-tall projector screen in San Francisco’s Crissy Field on Thursday morning. Half a world away, three students at Catholic University in Nairobi, Kenya, looked back.
The screen, which sits inside a gold-painted shipping container, connects people around the world through video chats. For three years, a New York company has set up the screens they call “portals” to connect people who would otherwise never meet — and now there’s one in San Francisco.
I walked into a shipping trailer parked on the ground outside a museum and stepped into an immersive audio visual technology. It looked like I stepped into a room with half a dozen young people, only they were half a world away in Gaza City, Palestine. The magic of Shared Studio portals.
Family ReEntry, a nonprofit leader that assists families affected by the criminal justice system, and Shared Studios, a design technology company, will be presenting the new Prison Portal Project during the Connecticut Governor’s Reimagining Justice Conference in Hartford, June 14-15.
An upcoming art installation at San Francisco's Crissy Field will feature a meet and greet with strangers thousands of miles away.
The "Portal" exhibit, created by Shared_Studios and made possible by partnerships with Luminalt, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the National Park Service, brings a "gold-painted shipping container filled with immersive audiovisual equipment" to the park. The container will allow up to eight people at a time in San Francisco to enter and meet people at one of 20 other portals around the world, including Honduras, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, and elsewhere. Language interpretation assistance, of course, will be provided.
The San Francisco Portal created by the group Shared Studios originally made a brief appearance in Hayes Valley in the fall of 2015, as you can see in the Instagram post below. At the time, KALW wrote about the project, begun in 2014 by artist Amar Bakshi, placing gold shipping containers in cities across the world, connected by Skype.
Während einer Informationsreise für Journalist/innen zum EU-Parlament entdeckte ich dieses „Portal“, über das man sich live mit Flüchtlingen im Irak unterhalten konnte.
Multidisciplinary arts, design and technology collective Shared Studios is creating portals in cities around the world, spanning from Detroit to Kabul, to connect people and create a new global community.
El Partido Verde Europeo instaló hoy en la puerta del Parlamento Europeo (PE) un portal que permite hablar a tiempo real con refugiados y desplazados que se encuentran en Alemania, Jordania, Ruanda, Afganistán o Palestina.
For the first time since the gold shipping container appeared outside of the Pioneers Museum, its owners have given a glimpse of its purpose.
On Saturday afternoon, the inside of the container served as a concert venue for members of the band Mo' Mungus - Ed "Archtop Eddy" Parsons, Gerard Mali and Claude Petersen. Their audience was not their regular Colorado Springs crowd, though. Instead, the band played in live time for Norma and Herardo, a pair of friends dancing in an identical space in Mexico City.
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.
The Detroit Portal at Capitol Park is a gold-colored shipping container equipped with audio-visual technology entering visitors into live, face-to-face, full-body interactions with participants in an identical container in a different part of the world
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.
Dos académicos están usando tecnología inmersiva para permitir conexiones entre comunidades de minorías en vecindarios de bajos ingresos de distintas ciudades de EEUU
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.
From Iraq to California and Iran to New York.
It's an ordinary shipping container painted gold, but it's also kind of a teleportation machine ... a box that allows you to enter a new reality.
Miley Cyrus was the first common denominator among University of Colorado Boulder students and young men living in an Iraqi refugee camp.
Two Yale professors are using immersive technology to enable connections between communities of color in low-income neighborhoods across four U.S. cities.
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.
Thousands of commuters buzz by it; dozens more see it from the Starbucks line less than 100 feet away. But only a few enter this gold box in the middle of downtown Los Angeles' Grand Park.
"That was amazing," Bernadine Harris said as she stepped out of the shipping container covered in gold paint.
Moments before, she was speaking live to an Iraqi refugee standing in front of her — on a large video screen.
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.”
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.
On a warm September afternoon, three Greenwich Academy seniors emerged with broad smiles from a gold painted shipping container parked outside their school.
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.
In Harsham Camp on the outskirts of Erbil, there’s a window on the world — and it’s painted bright gold.
The displacement camp is home to a Portal – a space where immersive audio visual technology allows people from all over the world to virtually meet and share ideas.
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.
The truck-size metal container sitting in a downtown park here isn't meant to raise awareness about the global shipping industry, though it may nudge some people's curiosity in that direction.
A TV piece on the Newark_Portal, engaged in Criminal Justice Dialogues.
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.
This spring, Yale will host its second annual AFRICA SALON, a weeklong celebration of contemporary African arts and culture.
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.
Chris Wallace visits a Portal in College Park at the University of Maryland and speaks to a stranger in Mexico City.
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.
Four months ago, inside a gold-painted shipping container on the Georgetown University campus, Beth Flores stood face-to-face with someone 7,000 miles away.
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.
Earlier this month, in a square in the middle of Washington, D.C., there was a box. ... And what was in it? The world. Or at least, it was pretty close
It's a deeply romantic prospect, but what exactly would I say to him or her? And why in the world was I vaguely nervous about the whole thing?
In Amar Bakshi's 'Portals' people step inside a golden shipping container and the project brings them "face-to-face" with someone on the other side of the world.
What if you could meet a stranger in Iran, Afghanistan or Cuba without ever leaving your home country? A large gold shipping container is the key.
Nick Meeker made a new Facebook friend last week.
Her name is Mahsa Biglow, and she is a 25-year-old Iranian graduate student in photography at the University of Tehran. They met on the Internet — but not in any of the usual ways.
Imagínate poder hablar con alguien en otro país como si estuviera en el mismo cuarto contigo. Eso es lo que permite hacer unos portales que son parte de un proyecto de arte internacional.
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.
In a shipping container on Chapel Street, New Haven residents can now virtually transport themselves to the capital of Iran.
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.
BBC Persian reports in Farsi on the Tehran-NYC Portal.
“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.