The Portal Project has already been setup in downtown Tempe, and it will remain there until at least the end of this month. Portals are a global public art initiative conceived by Shared_Studios. According to its website, when people enter a Portal, they feel as though they are sharing the same space as someone in an identical Portal, somewhere else on Earth.
Portals like the one in Tempe are staffed with curators like Brandon Ferderer to help facilitate dialogue, provide live language interpretation, and connects their community to the world. “When you step inside, you are in a full-body face-to-face conversation with someone in a similar container in [one of] over 13 countries around the world,” Ferderer explained.
Portals are quickly spreading across North America, Europe, Africa and even the Middle East in hopes of connecting people from across the world with those that they might not otherwise ever get a chance to meet. Desiree Daniels visited the Portal in Tempe and said, “I really enjoyed the experience. “[It was] nice to get to talk to someone from Honduras.”
The Downtown Tempe Authority opted for the shipping container that can hold up to 10 people at a time. Some of the other different types of Portals include inflatables, stages, busses and even free-standing video walls. Visitors can experience the Portal in Tempe for free between March 1 – 31. Although it’s encouraged to register online to guarantee a spot, they also accept walk ups during the following operating hours:
Monday – Thursday | 11a – 2p
Friday | 11a – 2p & 5p – 10p
Saturday – Sunday | 12p – 5p