There is a shipping container in Monroe Park that has this written on the side, “This gold container equipped with immersive audiovisual technology is a portal. When you enter, you come face-to-face with someone in a distant portal and can converse as if in the same room. RSVP and learn more at www.sharedstudios.com.”
Step inside and you’ll be connected through video to a random person in the world. The person is random the location is not. You can see the schedule of which city you’d be talking to here. Some of the cities that will be connected include Berlin, Mexico City, and Herat (Afghanistan).
“One of the VCU Police officers stopped by and we were connected to Mexico City. He went in and I introduced him,” Manning said. “And the curators in Mexico City went out on the street — they are in a very big plaza in Mexico City — and got a police officer and he came in and they translated and [the officers] talked about policing, what it’s like to police on the VCU campus and what it’s like to be a police officer in Mexico. They loved it.”
People can learn more about the portal schedule at www.sharedstudios.com/richmond. They also can request to connect with other portals and pitch event and program ideas by emailing [email protected], Manning said.
This particular portal landed in Richmond through the efforts of Andy Stefanovich who you might recognize as the man that the first TEDxRVA conference to town in 2012. The current portal will leave Monroe park at the end of April but will make other appearances around Richmond.