Klyde Warren Park, meet the rest of the world.
Through Shared Studios’ Dallas_Portal, Dallasites in Klyde Warren Park can form connections and have discussions with people in different countries without having to leave Dallas.
The Dallas_Portal is a repurposed shipping container painted gold on the outside. The inside can hold up to 12 people at once, suitable for group discussions and lectures. The Dallas_Portal is one of over 40 across the world used to connect people via online video chat using immersive audiovisual technology.
“In Dallas, we are a very international city," says Dallas_Portal curator Constance White, “but sometimes we have our own silos, just with our phones and our day-to-day lives. The portal is a metaphor for accessing other places in the world.”
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Since Shared Studios launched the Portal project in 2015, the portals have been used for a variety of things, including policy discussion, artistic collaboration, team building and bringing global audiences to brands.
When creating the Shared Studios Portal Project, founder Amar Bakshi sought to invent a way to help others embrace diversity, reject tribalism and amplify the voices of marginalized people. Through a Shared Studios Portal, an individual or a group can connect with refugees in Iraq, Honduran school children and many more.
“A few weeks ago, there was a quinceañera taking place in the park,” White says. “We were conversing with someone from Germany, and he had no idea what a quinceañera was, so we got into a really fascinating cultural exchange about traditions and rites of passage.”
The Dallas_Portal will be open in Klyde Warren Park until May 20. During the remainder of Dallas_Portal’s run, portal users will have the opportunity to speak with people from Mexico City, Lagos, Stockholm and more. There will also be a discussion on climate change taking place at the Dallas_Portal on Earth Day, April 22.