Dublin-NYC Portal reopens

Flashers, drunks and egg throwers – it’s a modern twist on a tale of two cities

The daring Dublin-to-NYC live streaming video portal reopened last night, May 22, after a brief eight-day shut down following a slew of inappropriate behaviour from both sides of the pond.

Launched on May 8, and surviving for about a week before momentary closure on May 14, this massive two-way live streaming art installation works in participatory fashion by filming pedestrians in two cities with 3,000 miles between them. 

Embed from Getty Images

Designed by the Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys, the installation sits at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street in NYC, and on the corner of North Earl Street and O’Connell Street in Dublin. 

As Gylys explains, the installation’s initial goal was to bring people together, and encourage a sense of international empathy. Although as soon as it began, the portal became a social media sensation.

While there were cases of people exchanging sweet notes, or blowing a kiss, there was also an overwhelming desire from the public to create chaos.

According to the BBC, the Dublin City Council reported the “overwhelming majority of interactions are positive” but said “a very small minority of people” had been engaged in the “inappropriate behaviour” and that this has been “amplified through social media”. 

Incidents included flashed nudity, eggs thrown, and 9/11 memes shared over an iphone screen, ah the digital age. The portal was artwork rooted in sparking collective joy, but who’s to say hooliganism doesn’t bring spirit with it? That’s ‘rowdy behaviour’ for you Yankee’s over there. 

For better or worse, this virtual bridge has returned after a few software updates – hopefully a blurring effect- and is planning to solidify its claim as a global phenomenon.

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