back to article Dublin debauchery derails Portal to NYC in six days flat

Doomed internet cesspits Omegle and Chatroulette should have been warning enough of what happens when a webcam is placed between random strangers, yet the Portal art project linking New York City to Dublin didn't last a week before being shut down. Among the examples of "inappropriate behaviour" flaunted before the Portal were …

  1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    Wake up sheep.....le!

    They can come and put one in LLanelli if they want to!

    But you'd just see sheep, and cars going past at 20mph ......... not!

    1. Bill 21

      Re: Wake up sheep.....le!

      I'd watch a 20mph sheep. Maybe.

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: Wake up sheep.....le!

        Ask Usain Bolt to chase them while wearing wellies! Then you'll see them doing 20mph!

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Wake up sheep.....le!

        Sheep can get a fair pace on, I would say 20 MPH just about possible near the top end of their speed range.

        ..Live in countryside with lots of sheep nearby & have been impressed at the pace they can reach when something spooks them (sadly it's often a moronic dog walker with dog not on lead which then runs off and harasses the sheep)

  2. RSW

    Looks like the artist is a fan of Stargate

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Could (should?) have made the design more like said movie/TV prop, but the production company would want their royalties, and many might assume it was just marketing for some upcoming SG project.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But think of the children!

    Oh gosh, boobies and butts! The abject horror!

    I mean, the swastikas are problematic, but a little nudity never hurt anybody.

    Just turn it back on and get over it.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Allo, Allo

      [Big] Boobies - check

      Swastikas - check

      Giant Knockwurst Sausages - check

      No Butts

      icon: Michelle gets her coat

  4. Chris Miller

    An obvious part of the problem is that closing time in Dublin is leaving work time in NYC, and 'closing time' (OK we know they never sleep, there) in NYC is 4-5am in Dublin, when I imagine few people are watching.

  5. Dostoevsky

    > The Register cannot confirm whether the potatoes are organic.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The days in which El Reg would have dispatched a undercover special operative to find out have long passed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't organic stuff supposed to taste better?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        I find the inorganic stuff a bit crunchy.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Now I'm confused... are these potatoes or Bulgarian airbags? Or is my copy of El Reg Weights and Measures out of date?

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Organic or otherwise, Lester would definitely have used the proper description

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


        Seems to have been banished regularly use.

        Total Inability To Summon Usual Puns

  6. Mage Silver badge

    It's stupid

    Why did anyone ever think this huge waste of money was either art or socially feasible?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's stupid

      It was suggested at a meeting of arty oriented people -or people who like to believe they were arty - with frequent use of words and phrases like "empowerment", "democratisation of art", "accessibility" and similar twaddle. If anyone questioned it, they'd have had a response along the lines of "well, you wouldn't understand because you're not an artist"**

      Plus grants, gravy trains, pork barrels and easy money.

      **This actually did happen to me once, several decades ago at a public art installation, with the words coming from the mouth of the "artist" herself when I asked her to explain the work.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: It's stupid

        I was in Saltaire a while back, looking at the Hockneys, & amongst the books noticed "Why your 5 year old could not have done that".

        Which was basically that same feeble attempt at defending some modern art works with a bit of psycho babble & implications of deep meaningful artistic significance BS beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals.

        .. Unconvincing (IMHO), but I despise BS in general, & that book was full of it.

    2. I am David Jones Silver badge

      Re: It's stupid

      I disagree, although I’m not entirely sure why. Video calls between continents are nothing new, and I wouldn’t think anything of it. Same for webcams from around the world. So rationally speaking, this is nothing special.

      And yet a big screen on the street has a very different feeling, indeed like a portal of sorts. I would like to see it, just to watch NY life pass by. I hope they get the blurring working properly, and maybe it’ll get installed in my city sometime.

    3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: It's stupid

      Art, by its nature, is experimental. That might involve a painter playing with color and perspective or a sculptor working with new materials. In this case, the experiment was in social interaction, and the artist and sponsors definitely learned something!

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: It's stupid

        Art, is not, by its nature, experimental. This is a fallacy driven by modern 'artists' to justify the incomprehensible rubbish they churn out.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: It's stupid

          Well, there's a shocker. The unofficial head (possibly official, I don't know how you guys decide these things) of El Reg's Grumpy Old Farts Brigade only likes boring, conventional art. I presume you have a particular fetish for depictions of The Grand Triumph of Brexit, The Glory of the Tories, and Great Leader Truss.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's stupid

      Because this is the second iteration of the project (as it really should be noted in the article itself). The OG "portals" are between Vilnus and Lublin, and still up and running for 3 years now. Make of that what you will.

    5. Sir Loin Of Beef

      Re: It's stupid

      The real problem isn't that it's a waste of money, its that people are immature.

    6. VonLugersButter

      Re: It's stupid

      Or that this wouldn't have been the reaction on the Irish side!

  7. Alan Bourke

    From our 'what did they think would happen' correspondent.

    If you're going to do this, do it in a large shopping centre or something, where passersby are not pissed up kids.

    1. DishonestQuill

      Re: From our 'what did they think would happen' correspondent.

      Unfortunately that is not as much of a given as we wish it was in any Dublin shopping center.

  8. This is my handle

    This is why we can't have nice things. :-(

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Exactly why. Some numpty wankers always ruin it for everyone else.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Some numpty wankers always ruin it for everyone else."

        Are you implying that some "members" (SIC) of the public were on display and might have been in the grip of some external manipulation ?

        Maybe someone can instead "hack" the portal and instead link it to a suitable OFans account where at least someone might profit from the "exposure" ;-)

  9. Mirnotoriety

    Dublin lord mayor Daithí de Róiste (Da-Hee De Roast)

    Daithí de Róiste (Da Hee De Roast). It's a tradition of the Gaelic bourgeoisie to anoint their progeny with traditional sounding Celtic names. Whilst the authentic people, the travelers (tinkers, gypsies), are shunned and marginalized from polite society.

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Dublin lord mayor Daithí de Róiste (Da-Hee De Roast)

      Ashamed to say even with an Irish name --- though not the Gaelic --- I had no idea whether this name is male or female.


      Male, it seems:

      Mayors are bad enough, but worse: He has worked in marketing and communications for over a decade

      1. Dostoevsky

        Re: Dublin lord mayor Daithí de Róiste (Da-Hee De Roast)

        Marketing & communications?

        *screams in horror*

  10. Jeremy Allison

    Douglas Adams knew.

    The "Portal" reminds me of this:

    "Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation."

  11. PinchOfSalt

    I've seen the one in Lublin in Poland and there was no rowdiness or odd behaviour around it. It's connected to Vilnius in Lithuania and was really interesting to watch.

    I do wonder whether there's a 'settling in' period where this sort of embarrassing behaviour happens, and then goes away as the shock value has gone.

    I agree with the comments above though - the time zones difference is problematic.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      "the time zones difference is problematic."

      If we could do away with "live", it's possible in theory to record on both ends and rebroadcast at the same (destination local) time later -- FIFO with a really looooong data queue.

      NYC would get Dublin's feed from ~5 hours ago; Dublin gets yesterday's (19-hour delayed) NYC vid.

      (That should be enough time for the AI to analyze and blur/black box the nastiest stuff.)

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        FIFO with a really looooong data queue.

        Reminds me of Bob Shaw's 'slow glass'.

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        If we could do away with "live", it's possible in theory to record on both ends and rebroadcast at the same (destination local) time later -- FIFO with a really looooong data queue.

        Yet if censored, and not live it's just going to be as authentic and real as a staged meeting of that fearsome old bore Mr. Biden and whomever is current Prime Minister sharing their mutual delight at being Irish and discussing trade policies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Biden is Puerto Rican, remember? Or was it black? 'Cause if you don't vote for Biden, you ain't black...

    2. Timbo


      the time zones difference is problematic


      Well, maybe...but does each portal show both the remote and local live video at the same time? and hence there is the possibility of real time interaction taking place across the pond?

      Just remove the live feed and use a time-lagged version, maybe an hour or two out of step with the live feed and that then mostly solves the issues of any interaction which may be gratuitous...

  12. Bartholomew

    Those people be crazy, are they even thinking at all!

    First they take away the Floozie in the Jacuzzi.

    Well they move her to make room to install a massive replica of a heroin needle pointing to the sky in the middle of the street.

    And now they have installed a camera, so that every morning New Yorkers can watch live, the drunken debauchery and late night shenanigans (Best viewing times are probably Thursday to Saturday nights just when all the pubs and clubs are closing, oh who am I kidding it is seven nights a week).

    The icon had to be beer, just one pint for the road. Sure since you got one, I should shout a round in as well and then we can squeeze in one in before the last call. Sounds like a plan.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Those people be crazy, are they even thinking at all!

      +1 for mentioning the Floozie in the Jacuzzi - which is what was on my mind. How about siting this portal over in Grafton St - perhaps right opposite Brown Thomas - the shoppers in that vicinity would be expected to be better behaved - then again, I could be wrong in that assumption

    2. Anonymous Custard
      Thumb Up

      Re: Those people be crazy, are they even thinking at all!

      Those statues (and most especially their local nicknames) for me really sum up the warmth and fun of Dublin and the people there.

      I'm over there quite frequently for work, and had a very nice afternoon "stroll" (about 16000 steps) to try and see as many as possible of them.

      I do have to agree that they've dumped the Floozy too far out from the centre, but it's still walkable or by the tram (she's now quite near the National Museum of Ireland, across the river from the Guinness site). Was fun finding them all, and I hear now that they've "upgraded" them via QR codes to be talking statues.

      Best one is the Phil Lynott one, who appropriately is also the only one to have a more positive nickname too.

      For more details of some of them -

  13. jake Silver badge

    6 whole DAYS? For shame, Dublin.

    I would have thought you could get the silly thing shut down much faster.

    Next on the agenda: Same on the Dublin side, with the other city being Glasgow. Should be good for a few giggles.

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: 6 whole DAYS? For shame, Dublin.

      Some enterprising ned would just steal it to watch the footie on.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: 6 whole DAYS? For shame, Dublin.

        Now there is an idea...setup a Television/Laptop/Tablet in front of it showing some subscription channel or other and wait for the screams

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: 6 whole DAYS? For shame, Dublin.

        Just redirect it to PronHub and watch the crowds grow, and ooze...

  14. Plest Silver badge

    As people we are generally a bunch of morons

    You could give away a big box of feather dusters of free and sooner or later there'll be someone posting an vid on TikTok of them sticking one up their arse!

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: As people we are generally a bunch of morons

      As the esteemed George Carlin said... Look at how dumb the average person is... and remember that 50% of the population is dumber than that!

  15. ecofeco Silver badge

    And there you have

    This is why we are not going to solve any global problems any time soon.

    Far too many people are basically arseholes and ruin it all for every one else.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: And there you have

      I have long thought that definitive proof of the inevitable failure of socialism can be seen in the tendency of the Great Unwashed to attack paramedics on call.

  16. Johannesburgel12

    There have been similar projects over the last two decades and enough of them went downhill in a similar way (e.g. Shia LeBouf's "He will not divide us"). So the fault is completely in the organisers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As already noted in another thread, the organizes have literally run a similar project, in fact, an identical one, that worked, and works. There are two of these "portals" in Vilnus and Lublin, set up in 2021, and still active. So bad news about that "it's all the stuuuuupid organizers fault"...

  17. PhilipN Silver badge

    "possible technical solutions to inappropriate behaviour by a small minority of people"

    Whoever thought of the installation had never been around a bunch of schoolkids.

    Does anyone else here remember the Schoolkids issue of Oz Magazine. Or even that there was a magazine called Oz?

    For the rest : It was an early part of the counterculture, although "culture" didn't have much to do with it.

  18. Mr Dogshit

    Been done

    "If any English, Scottish, or Welsh cities were in the running for a Portal, they should probably be struck off immediately"

    They did this in London years ago. Bit passé really.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    possible technical solutions to inappropriate behaviour

    mind boggles what exactly those solutions might involve... But they'll definitely be expensive and fail.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we cannot recall ever hearing about it before.

    the original project (Lublin-Vilnus) was civilised, but probably as a novelty. Plus, they're both relatively mild-mannered cities. RELATIVELY ;)

  21. spacecadet66

    Still a better result than if, instead of Dublin, they'd put the other portal in Boston, to name one possibility. People would have figured out how to have a fistfight via streaming video.

  22. Ken G Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Armed guards

    One aspect not elaborated on is the article is that while the Dublin end was exposed raw to the people of Ireland, the New York side had "security" which, being America, probably means armed guards. That's the kind of thing which would put the damper on NY origin craic.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just in case anyone is wondering, I was involved in trying to get one of these installed. They cost £200k+ and £50k a year.

  24. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

    Foolishly, I followed you to Dublin

    Like a ghost I walked the streets of Temple Bar

    And all the bright young things were throwing up their Guinness in the gutters

    And once I thought I saw you from afar.

    Now I'm in a nightclub in Helsinki

    And they're playing La Vida Loca, once again,

    And I can't believe I'm dancing to this crap but I'm a chance here

    And every fucking city sounds the same.

    - Every Fucking City, Paul Kelly

    (Okay, so Temple Bar's the other side of the Liffey...)

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