In December 2014, Shared Studios launched a global public art project enabling conversations between people in galleries in Tehran and NYC. Spacesmith collaborated with Shared Studios Founder, Amar Bakshi, to realize his vision of creating reusable, transportable spaces as a vehicle for these conversations. These “portals” are demountable shipping containers providing a space for communication between everyday people in disparate cultures.
The portals are gold modules with immersive audio and video technology inside. When you enter one, you come face-to-face with someone in the other container, full-body, and the two of you converse live as if in the same room.
Open for Conversation: Individuals in Tehran and NYC spoke to one another directly through two Portals, one in the Lu Magnus Gallery in the Lower East Side and the other at M | 40 Art Studios in Tehran. Future portals will be set in outdoor public spaces in Haiti, Cuba, Detroit and Dubai. In just two weeks, more than 650 people from Tehran and NYC participated in 15-minute discussions about “What would make today a good day for you?" They came out giddy, weeping, and everything in between.
This is an amazing experience. Really works as art but as cultural diplomacy as well. Bravo!
- Fareed Zakaria, Host of CNN's GPS
Can you please install these ALL OVER THE WORLD! The longer I stayed inside, the more I realized the power of communication especially between people we're told we shouldn't communicate with! Art can change the world- and this project is an epic first step. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.