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How The New York-Dublin Portal was Bamboozled by its Audience


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How The New York-Dublin Portal was Bamboozled by its Audience

A live-feed portal between New York and Dublin had a brief viral stint in late May, but for all the wrong reasons. The portal is actually an art installation by Benediktas Gylys. Built after the success of a similar portal between Lithuania and Portland, the New-York Dublin portal was built with high hopes too. But some rather obscene events led to a temporary shutdown of the portal, which the project will never be able to get rid of from public memory.

The portal only allows camera feed, and no audio could be heard by people interacting on either side of the installation. This led to people using signs to communicate with each other, and nothing was shied away from while doing this. An OnlyFans member flashed her chest at the Dublin side of the portal, while those from the Irish capital mocked New York by showing a video of the 9/11 attacks. Irish users have also been reported to display the swastika in front of the portal, after which the makers hurriedly shut things down to keep such vile acts in check.

Portal’s intention was in the right place, but was bested by human nature

The message behind the project is an inspirational one. The portals are meant to keep people “in the collective consciousness.” Gylys firmly believes in the idea of mankind as an interconnected phenomenon. He stresses on the need to look beyond the idea of borders, and to experience the planet “as it really is: united and one.” Gylys said it was “unbearable” for him to continue looking at the planet with a “lens full of narratives and filters.” To fight this, the artist then stresses his compulsion to “counter polarising ideas,” by focusing on spreading the idea that the only way to do that is “together.”

The portal did manage to affect human nature, but not in the intended way. The freedom to interact with the portal gave both good and bad aspects of human behavior a free reign. Sadly, it was the latter that seemed to take precedence, and ultimately led to the portal’s access becoming controlled.

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The portal is currently guarded by security, and has updated features that cause visuals to be blurred if something is displayed too close to the screen. The Dublin City Council, upon the portal’s reopening, laid down fixed hours for its operation. This means that no more 24/7 video streaming would be possible through the portal. The portal is situated near the Flatiron building in New York, and on O’Connell Street in Dublin. It is expected to stay there until the fall of this year, and hopefully no one would have the intention to upset viewers on either end of the portal anymore.

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