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.
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.
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.