‘Portal’ opens up between Dublin and New York…

We are remarkably blasé about new technology. Thirty years ago, being able to make video calls anywhere worldwide would have been considered science fiction; now, we carry the ability around in our pockets. Strangely, we don’t make video calls that often, and we don’t even make audio calls much anymore, as most people prefer to text.

Still, some artistic folks have come up with creative ways to put this technology to good use.

A new art installation has placed a ‘portal’ in Dublin and one in New York. It shows a live stream from ‘the other side’.

From the Irish Times:

It’s 11am in Dublin and about 30 people on North Earl Street are vigorously waving at a man on an escooter in New York, who stares back at them with a look on his face that suggests he’s not entirely sure what’s going on.

The two cities have just been linked up via a 24-hour live stream as part of the Portals art project. The large circular screen in the middle of the north Dublin street provides a window to the Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway (and vice versa) and will remain in place until the autumn.

“They can see us, and we can see what’s going on there,” said one passerby to her friend on Thursday morning.

The Portal is the idea of Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys and is a collaboration between several bodies, including Dublin City Council and the EU Capital of Smart Tourism. The project will feature scheduled programming, including cultural performances at each city’s Portal. These will start in mid-May, with a visual program to celebrate New York Design Week Festival.

The Irish Times watched for about an hour on Thursday and in that time, viewers on the Dublin side waved at the New Yorkers, blew them kisses and tried to entice them into dance-offs. The New Yorkers repeated the gestures back; one guy in a blue baseball cap also rolled up his sleeve and flexed his bicep for the camera, another man performed cartwheels.

It took at least half an hour before a guy in a flannel top on the New York side gave the middle finger to the Dubliners, who repeated the gesture back at him enthusiastically.

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