Amar C. Bakshi, J.D. candidate, speaks about founding Shared Studios, an arts organization that incorporates technology into built environments to connect people across divides in geography, ideology, and identity.
Shared Studios’s first major initiative, Portals, retrofits shipping containers with specialized audio-visual communications equipment and places them in cities around the world; individuals can enter the containers to connect with a person in another location.
This December, individuals in Tehran and New York City spoke to one another directly through two Portals, one in the Lu Magnus Gallery in the Lower East Side and the other at M | 40 Art Studios in Tehran. In just two weeks, more than 650 people from Tehran and NYC participated in 15-minute discussions about “What would make today a good day for you?" They came out giddy, weeping, and everything in between.
Bakshi is joined in discussion by conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll, whose work has long utilized and interrogated existing policy regimes. Her current work extends Super-Wifi connectivity to underserved areas in and around New Orleans. Bakshi and Carroll discuss the use of law, policy, and networks as material in artistic practice, the subject of a Yale Law School symposium. More information available on the Yale University Art Gallery website.