Portals are gold shipping containers 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 converse live as if in the same room. By conversing through a Portal, participants step out of their daily routines and their comfort zones. Away from the distraction of cell phones and their peers, people swiftly connect across distances, real and imagined. They share a quiet moment. In these encounters, people learn about the “other” and about their own values, beliefs, and assumptions.
In just a few weeks, over a thousand people in both countries entered the Portals one-at-a-time. They met a stranger in the other country and spent 20 private, personal minutes together discussing daily life — food, family, love and loss. Musicians collaborated, composed and performed together. An Iranian American dancer performed live for his family in Tehran, for the first time. Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gave advice to an Iranian documentary film-making student. 6th graders in the U.S. asked university students in Tehran about what their sixth grade was like.
SHARED_STUDIOS, founded by artist and journalist Amar Bakshi, is a multidisciplinary arts, design and technology collective focused on carving wormholes throughout the world. SHARED_STUDIOS grounds the connective potential of new technology in physical spaces to create more accessible, secure, and sacred encounters between diverse populations.
December 5 – December 19, 2014 – 4-10 PM (Tehran)