The video and overall presentation comes across as though the backers have definitively cured cancer, but this community art project coming out of Lithuania is nonetheless kind of interesting.
Called Portal, it is essentially a public webcam that connects people on the street with each other, even though they are cities and countries apart. The first one has a round screen straight out of Stargate on the streets of Vilnius and a duplicate on the streets of Lublin, Poland, about 600 kms (375 miles) away.
When someone walks in front of one, they see people in front of the other. I don’t know if there is audio, but don’t think so.
Says the lofty description:
Surrounding ourselves with only those who are near and speak the same language gives us comfort and a sense of stability. It also limits the world perspective to the narrow inner circle of ours. Slowly it becomes a perfect space to awaken insecurities towards those outside it and a perfect excuse to be careless about the world that belongs to them.
Every day there is less room left for dialogue, empathy, and compassion, for feeling and being united in our home – a tiny spaceship Earth rapidly decaying due to too many of them, and too little of us.
It is so easy to believe we are each a wave and forget we are also the ocean.
Let‘s transcend this sense of separation and be the pioneers of unity.
Ummmm, OK … so if we put one in Tel Aviv and one in Gaza City, that will sort that mess out.
I assume the display is LED because of the size and shape, but have no technical details. But this would not be all that hard to do, and could be fun.
I also assume that while it would be wonderful if this fostered global harmony, it is far, far more likely you will have people goofing off in front of these things and doing things like shuffle dance-offs.
The website suggests two more cities will soon be coming online, including London, UK. The photo suggests ClearChannel is active with this project, as well.