Portal Series

2023 - (ongoing) 

research + water + light + sound + immersive installation

Portal Series examines ideas of memory-making, nature, and histories of place, using ‘the portal’ as a conceptual tool to activate water, light, and sound within site-specific environments. The fundamental question framing our work is “what is a portal?”

Portals can be conceptualized in diverse ways, from ancient understandings, to contemporary interpretations in spirituality, popular culture, and science. Starting from a basic definition of a portal, as a shortcut or an entryway into another world, we aim to ground ‘the portal’ in a plurality of definitions as it could exist here, now, on this Earth, and at our very fingertips.

Reflecting on the global climate crisis, growing political and ideological unrest, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, this world can feel particularly difficult. Given these pressures, it’s evident why a portal may appear as a tempting possibility for escape.

Interpreting the portal beyond mere escapism, we offer individuals a glimpse into another world that serves as a guide back to our own. This act of rerouting and recentering to the present moment is core to our research, which focuses on how best to craft this experience. Combining nature and technology to elicit magic and otherworldly allure Portal Series creates opportunities for empowerment, agency, and optimism through bodily activation.

In September 2023, we installed a mockup of ‘A Portal’ at a small community arts and music festival, Boheme Systeme, in Saint-Calixte, QC. This installation contained a waist-high structure covered in moss from the encompassing forest, lights, soundscapes, and glassware. A back-lit crystal bowl, filled with water, acted as ‘the portal’. This installation elucidated how the public responds to such spaces and evoked emotional responses from spectators, who felt moved to tears, to play, reflect, interact, and touch. This experience provided us with valuable insights for the project’s potential that we are eager to explore.

In collaboration with Sophie Marisol.