The Neighborhood Portal is a wall-sized video screen, installed in a vacant storefront in the Washington DC metropolitan area, that shows a live video of an identical setup in a different neighborhood nearby. It’s a temporary video installation, supported in part by the Washington chapter of the Awesome Foundation and exhibited at the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities festival Art All Night.
Pedestrians walk by, notice the life-size people on the video screen, and stop when they realize the people on the other side can see them too. There’s no sound. The image is of another niehgborhood in the District, but passersby may not immediately know where. The people on each side look at each other and share a “What is this thing? Can they really see me?” moment. They might smile, laugh, and pantomime to each other, or hold up signs we’ve thoughtfully provided.
The Shaw neighborhood (Northwest DC)
The Congress Heights Neighborhood (Southeast DC)
Behind the scenes: the temporary projector and screen setup
The September 2014 exhibition was a great success and featured in the Washington CityPaper’s coverage of the event.
We’d love to make this a more permanent installation. If you have storefront space or would like to support the project, here’s the project proposal.