The Portal: Where New York Meets Dublin Ireland 

Press Releases

Mar 26, 2024

Public technology sculpture brings people of two iconic cities together through a groundbreaking visual bridge 

New York City, NY – March 26, 2024 – A groundbreaking public technology sculpture known as “The Portal” is set to form a visual bridge between New York City and Dublin, Ireland, launching this spring. Conceived as a testament to the power of art to transcend physical barriers, “The Portal” offers the public a real-time, visual live stream that connects these two iconic cities.

The Portal in New York City will be installed on the Flatiron South Public Plaza at Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street, next to the famed Flatiron Building, and will be presented by the Flatiron NoMad Partnership in collaboration with the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (NYC DOT Art) and the Simons Foundation.

In Dublin, the Portal will be installed facing the capital’s main street, O’Connell Street and will capture the iconic vista of both Dublin’s famous GPO building and the Spire together. Dublin City Council have delivered the sculpture as part of its designation as the European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024.

Founded by Lithuanian artist and entrepreneur Benediktas Gylys, Portals are an invitation to meet fellow humans above borders and differences and to experience our world as it really is – united and one. The livestream of Portals provides a window between distant locations, allowing people to meet outside of their social circles and cultures.

“We are honored to host the Portal’s North American debut on the Flatiron Public Plazas, at one of New York City’s most dynamic intersections,” said James Mettham, President of the Flatiron NoMad Partnership. “This real-time connection between two iconic public spaces in global cities on either side of the Atlantic will bring people together, both physically and digitally, becoming a captivating attraction for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”

The Lord Mayor of Dublin announced the partnership, highlighting its importance as Dublin embraces the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism 24. “As we celebrate our Capital designation, the PORTAL project symbolizes Dublin’s commitment to connecting not just within the EU but also with cities like New York, with which we share a deep historical and cultural bond. This project exemplifies the fusion of technology and engineering to bring communities from across the world closer together,” stated the Lord Mayor. 

“Two amazing global cities, connected in real time and space. That is something you do not see every day!” said New York City Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu. “We are so excited to have The Portal as a public interactive art installation, showcasing the vibrancy of our city streets and providing a new point for human connection between New Yorkers and Dubliners.  We thank the City of Dublin, NYC DOT Art Program, the Flatiron NoMad Partnership, and the Simons Foundation for bringing this vision to life.”

“We are thrilled to play a part in providing New Yorkers with an awe-inspiring opportunity to connect people in these 2 major cities through science and technology.” said David Spergel, President of the Simons Foundation.  

“Through NYC DOT Art, we can work to reimagine our public spaces with captivating installations like this, which connects two vibrant global cities in real time. The Portal will be an engaging experience for both New Yorkers and visitors, fostering a sense of connection across the Atlantic through a shared encounter,” said New York City DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

The “Portal” New York City and Dublin Ireland connection will be from spring 2024 through the fall of the same year.  In addition to the real-time connection, there will be scheduled programming., including cultural performances at each cities Portal that will be enjoyed by people in the other city via the livestream. Programming will kick-off in mid-May with a visual program to celebrate the NYCxDESIGN Festival.

The launch of “The Portal” marks a significant milestone in the realm of public art, as it harnesses the power of technology to redefine the way we experience and connect with people in urban spaces. “The Portal” invites viewers to transcend geographical boundaries and embrace the beauty of global interconnectedness.

“The Portal” is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Flatiron NoMad Partnership, Simons Foundation, NYC DOT Art, Dublin City Council, the EU Capital of Smart Tourism, and portals.org team.  Their support and dedication have been instrumental in bringing this visionary project to life.

About The Flatiron NoMad Partnership

The Flatiron NoMad Partnership, formed in 2006, is a non-profit organization and business improvement district that serves the businesses, people, and places that help make Flatiron and NoMad two of Manhattan’s most iconic and authentic destinations. Home to a range of retailers and employers, cultural and educational institutions, and a thriving residential community, the district is a center of activity. The Partnership serves as a dedicated steward and supporter of public life in the district by maintaining a clean and safe environment; spearheading area improvement projects; and marketing and championing the diverse business and retail options in this vibrant and historic neighborhood.
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About Simons Foundation

The Simons Foundation is a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing the frontiers of basic science through grantmaking, in-house research and public engagement. The foundation’s Science, Society & Culture division provides opportunities for all people to forge a connection to science. Through its broad portfolio of programs, the division works to inspire a feeling of awe, wonder and belonging. It supports programs that reflect the beauty of process, the importance of innovation and the transformative power of always asking “why?”

About portals.org

Portals are an invitation to meet fellow humans above borders and prejudices and to experience our home – planet Earth – as it really is: united and one. Based in Lithuania, portals.org partners with cities, governments, and private organizations to build Portals worldwide. Since their inauguration in 2021, connecting Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland, Portals have grown into a global network that serves as a bridge to a united planet.

About NYC DOT Art

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (NYC DOT Art) partners with community-based not-for-profit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections, and eye-catching sculptures. A variety of public spaces serve as canvases for temporary arts, including sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas, and pedestrianized spaces. Since 2008, NYC DOT Art has produced nearly 450 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart, @nyc_DOT, @nyc_DOTArt.

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