Thanks to an interactive installation in the form of a Stargate, people in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Lublin, Poland, can now meet each other in the middle of their cities. This is made possible by a "Portal" baptized work of art, which was developed by the Gediminas Technical University in Vilnius. Each of them is a circular screen in a stone enclosure. In each case, what is happening in front of the other portal can be seen in real time – at a distance of more than 400 kilometers. It is intended for those who have had enough of travel restrictions and cannot wait to meet people from near and far. More portals are to follow.
"Portal"Visual connection between Vilnius and Lublin
The "portal" in front of Vilnius Central Station
Waving to another city
Every "portal" resembles a "virtual round gate" and can transmit live images from the other side via the Internet, the city of Vilnius now explains. The shape was chosen on purpose, because it is a well-known and recognizable symbol from science fiction, it says. This surely refers to the TV series Stargate, in which such gates connect planets far away from each other – but also allow travel between them. With the minimalist design, however, those responsible also wanted to help project the image of a city of the future. Work on it took five years, according to the university.
The two "portals" now stand in front of the main train station in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius and on Litewski Square (Lithuanian Square) in Lublin. Benediktas Gylys, who initiated the project with his foundation of the same name, says of the launch: "Humanity is facing many problems, be it social polarization, climate change and economic difficulties." A lack of empathy and an exclusive perception of the world, which often ends at country borders, are to blame for the fragmentation. The "crazy idea" of the portals is now an invitation to grow beyond the illusion of a division into ourselves and the others. The visual bridge of portals aims to bring together people of different cultures.
The project "portal" project is not a one-off installation, those responsible are us. Soon such "gates" connect Vilnius with Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and with the British capital London. Further such connections are to follow accordingly, the responsible persons ask for ideas. The goal is to create dozens of portal connections all over the world and, at best, a kind of public movement with social experiments, unexpected reactions and, above all, more unity between cities and their inhabitants.