Communication is often the key to reconciling our differences and recognizing our similarities. It is what connects us, giving new perspectives on different people, cultures and ideas; but, when we can’t truly be in the same space, look each other in the eyes and connect, it is more and more difficult to find common ground. That’s where Rye Arts Center is making a difference this spring. The Center will be hosting The Portal, a room inside of a gold cube, which is equipped with immersive audiovisual technology. The installation allows its participants to enter the space and come face to face, in real time, with someone who is in a portal at another location. There are more than 20 participating locations, including Germany, Iraq, Mexico, Rwanda and – beginning in April – Westchester. Each anonymous meeting opens the door for cultural exchanges, from engaging in conversation to sharing a poem or a dance. The Center will also work with schools and other organizations to increase the reach of the project. Rye Arts Center’s “portal” will be available from April through June. For more info on The Portal, visit: ryeartscenter.org.
A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.
Photo caption: The Portal (photo credit: Elizabeth Bick, Shared Studios)