Dublin to New York City Portal.

The Portal Sculptures / Dublin to New York City Portal

Updated May 17, 2024 at 03:49PM EDT by Zach.

Added May 09, 2024 at 10:55AM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

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Related Explainer: What's The 'Dublin to New York City Portal?' The Portal Project And Its Memes Explained

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The Portal" Sculptures or The Portal Project refers to a series of art installations by Lithuanian artist and entrepreneur Benediktas Gylys in which visual "portal" sculptures made of concrete surrounding a large circular screen with a camera on top are placed in two different locations on earth, allowing people from one location to see and interact with people in the other location in real time. The first portals were installed in Lithuania and Poland in 2021. The second set of portals, the Dublin to New York City Portals, were launched in May 2024, becoming the subject of media and online attention, inspiring memes.


Origins / Vilnius-Lublin Portals

According to their official website,[1] The Portal project was conceived by Lithuanian artist and entrepreneur Benediktas Gylys in 2016 on the concept of seeing a "diversity of people coming together." In 2021, Gylys provided most of the funding for the first two portals and created them with the help pf a team from ViliniusTech technology university. The first two portals launched that May, with one being erected in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and another in Lublin, Poland.[2]

On July 28th, 2023, the Wonder World YouTube[3] channel posted a video about the portals, offering a glimpse of how they're made and describing how they work, essentially describing them as large screens attached to cameras that are purposely placed in locations with heavy foot traffic to encourage interactions (shown below).

The video claims each portal weighs about 11 tons and that the circular shape was inspired by science fiction stories as a recognizable "portal shape." The video also claims that the ultimate outcome of the project is to have many portals installed around the world and have them all interconnected, with the location shown on a given portal switching throughout the day.

Dublin-New York City Portals

On May 8th, 2024, the second Portal installation was launched, with one portal being placed on O'Connell Street in front of the GPO in Dublin and the other in front of the Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City.[4] The portals, which are set to run from May until Fall 2024, gained significant media attention, with numerous videos of them going up following their erection (examples shown below).

Arrest at the Dublin Portal

On May 8th, 2024, a video of a woman standing in front of the Portal in Dublin being carried off and purportedly arrested started circulating online. For example, that day it was posted by TikToker[8] @irishdaily, garnering over 180,000 views in a day (shown below). On May 9th, Killkenny Live[9] reported on the incident, claiming that the woman was arrested for an unspecified incident.

@irishdaily A portal that connects New York and Dublin in real time just opened in Dublin and this is what happened just after a few hours. What do you think of the portal? 💚☘️💚 #portal . ‘The Portal brings people of two iconic cities together through a groundbreaking visual bridge: connecting NYC to Dublin, Ireland. The Portal offers the public a real-time, visual live stream that connects these two iconic cities. Portal is an invitation to meet fellow humans above borders and differences and to experience our world as it really is – united and one. You can wave, dance, and interact with viewers in Dublin through movements.’ #dublin #newyorkcity #ireland #oconnelstreet . 📸credit 👉 @Liza ☘️☘️☘️ #irishdaily #tiktokoftheday #irish #american ♬ sonido original – Rolitasssgood🔥

RIP Pop Smoke / 9/11 Video

On May 12th, 2024, a video of someone holding up a phone to the Portal reading "RIP Pop Smoke," followed by an image of the September 11th terrorist attack started spread on social media. That day, the @tissuelaugh TikTok[12] page posted the video, garnering over 120,000 views in a day (shown below).

@tissuelaugh #tissuelaugh #ireland #america #portal #dublin #nyc #1 #nice #dublinportal #nycportal #popsmoke ♬ original sound – TissueLaugh

Online Presence

Dublin-New York Portal Memes

Surrounding the launch of the Dublin-New York Portals on May 8th, 2024, memes about the Portals began appearing online. A day prior to its launch on May 7th, 2024, X[5] user @ellenfkenny posted several photos of the Portals to advertise them, garnering over 5,000 likes in two days. The post was quote-reposted several times over the following two days with photoshops and memes.

For example, on May 8th, X[6] user @AniGamerNX posted a photoshop of Knuckles standing in the portal, garnering over 2,600 likes in a day (shown below, left). On the same day, X[7] user @verstroll posted a meme about the portal that gained over 17,000 likes in the same span of time (shown below, right).

ale ment Opportunity and rcial Investment jll.ie 01 67 @verstroll Me standing in front of the portal: ellen @ellenfkenny - May 7 dublin's latest tourist attraction, a "portal" to new york, allows you to choose violence and bully americans in real time 1:12 AM - May 8, 2024 - 1.9M Views

That day, TikTokers[10][11] @toaenda and @emmajanesinger posted videos editing viral videos of aggressive and belligerent Irish people into the New York portal, captioning each with a variation on the phrase "what New York saw at the Dublin portal opening day," garnering over 371,000 views and 260,000 views respectively in a day (shown below, left and right).

@toaenda New York’s first day with their portal to Dublin #nyc #newyorkcity #nycart #theportal #dublin #sculpture #humanity #thingstodoinnyc #nycnews #flatiron #flatironnyc #mysecretnyc #localnews #irishtiktok ♬ original sound – toaenda

@emmajanesinger What new york saw at the dublin portal opening day😍 #theportal #ireland #nyc #fyp ♬ original sound – emmajanesinger

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