The Portal | Art Instalation

Art Collaboration with Lee Stringle and Melissa Fisher  

The Portal

The portal was a video box inspired by the nickelodeons of the 19th century. The portal had a 4 inch peep hole that looked in on an HD video screen within the box. A thick glass lens installed in peep hole allowed the viewer to see all four corners of the video image by simply shifting their gaze. In addition, the lens also distorted the video image similar to a fun house mirror. The box was constructed by builder Melissa Fisher and decorated by painter Lee Stringle.


Conceptually, I thought it might be interesting to set up a video player that only one person could view at a time. In the past I have found that projections thrown on walls in busy venues often get ignored a few seconds after the audience sees them. The intended effect was to create scarcity and a bit of mystery, so that people in a crowd would ask each other “what’s in the box?” The idea was to install the box in galleries and rep cinemas around Toronto, and then have the Portal play various outtakes from my music videos and other strange visual experiments I was unable to sell clients on. Ultimately, the 20 pound video box proved to be too cumbersome to set up on a regular basis. With the advent of iPad I hope to redesign the box to be much lighter, and thus, allow me to use it more frequently.