In less than a week after the introduction of two public sculptures that included a broadcast between Dublin, Ireland, and New York City, there has been a temporary closure due to “inappropriate behavior” in real-time exchanges between individuals in the two cities.

The two spherical, lens-shaped artworks known as “The Portals” are connected to a live video feed around-the-clock so that people from the two cities may communicate with one another. Videos on social media have appeared of people flashing bodily parts to those across from them. There is no audio in the installation. According to a statement from Dublin City Council, the sculptures’ makers are currently “investigating possible technical solutions to inappropriate behavior by a small minority of people in front of the Portal.”

The Dublin City Council stated late on Tuesday that while they had wanted to have a solution in place today, they were disappointed that the chosen approach—which would have involved blurring—was not sufficient. The folks at Portals.org, who created the sculptures, are considering their options.

The City Council stated that Portals.org anticipated being able to reactivate the live feed later this week. The live stream was scheduled to end at 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Since the portal’s introduction last week, “we are delighted by how many people have been enjoying it,” the statement read. “It is significant to highlight that the vast majority of individuals utilizing the Dublin Portal have behaved appropriately. It has become a global phenomenon.”

Additionally, organizers in New York emphasized that a “very small minority” of tourists have been responsible for the unacceptable behavior.

A statement from Flatiron NoMad Partnership, one of the project’s organizers in New York, said “we have had a set of protocols in place in New York since the Portal’s launch, including 24/7 on-site security and barriers to prevent people from stepping onto the Portal.”

As per the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, the New York Portal will be unavailable for a few days starting at 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday, as the founders and their partners in both cities are working on “additional solutions to limit such behavior appearing on the livestream.”

The entrance is situated on the Dublin side, facing O’Connell Street, the major thoroughfare in the city. The gateway sculpture is situated at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street on the Flatiron South Public Plaza in New York.

Benediktas Gylys, an artist from Lithuania, is the creator of The Portals.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Daithí de Róiste, stated that the project aimed to increase international ties. “One of my key aims as Lord Mayor is to make the City more inclusive. The Portals project embodies this, bringing together technology, engineering and art to bring communities from across the world closer together and to allow people to meet and connect outside of their social circles and cultures, de Róiste said in a news release on May 8.

According to de Róiste’s announcement, Dublin plans to connect to locations in Poland, Brazil, and Lithuania in July.

In a statement released on May 8, de Róiste said, “I would encourage Dubliners and visitors to the city to come and interact with the sculpture and extend an Irish welcome and kindness to cities all over the world.”

According to De Róiste, there are activities planned in conjunction with Dublin’s designation as the EU Capital of Smart Tourism for 2024, including the Portals project.

There are more real-time bridges between cities using similar sculptures besides the one between Dublin and New York.

The organization’s website states that the first Portals connected Vilnius, Lithuania, Lublin, and Poland, in 2021.

(CNN, 2024)

Recommended for you