The Portal in New York: a circular art installation with a 24/7 livestream video between New York and Dublin.
(Spencer Platt, Getty Images)

New York-Dublin Livestream ‘Portals’ Shut Down Due to Nudity and ‘Inappropriate Behavior’

What do an OnlyFans model, 9/11, and internet porn have in common?

What do an OnlyFans model, 9/11, and internet porn have in common? They’re just a few of the reasons why The Portals, a pair of large screens that maintain a livestream between New York and Dublin, were shut down.

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Created by Lithuanian artist Benediktas Gylys, The Portals are large circular screens installed in New York and Dublin (the previous portals were set up in Lithuania and Poland), featuring a 24/7 video livestream that allows passerby to interact—soundlessly—with each other across the globe. According to Gylys’ website, The Portals “were born from a feeling that we humans have more to share than what separates us.” And share they did!

Less than a week after the May 9 opening, The Portals have been shut down in Dublin and New York due to “inappropriate behavior.” Who could have possibly foreseen the repercussions of setting up a massive public livestream with little oversight? How was Benediktas Gylys to know that what people want to share with each other is porn, boobs, and tributes to the late Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke?

The “inappropriate behavior” started almost immediately after The Portals went live, with one Instagram video showing Dublin police physically removing a woman from the portal. A commenter claiming to have filmed the video says, “basically she was there for about 20 [minutes] very drunk and was slapping and grinding against the portal,” adding, “she wasn’t arrested, just taken away.”

Another video posted to X shows the New York portal, with people in Dublin shoving their phones up to the screen to share “RIP Pop Smoke,” followed by an image of the Twin Towers on 9/11. The trend continued with another person holding their phone up to the camera to share a porn video from an adult website.

Things reached a tipping point on Tuesday, May 14, when a woman in New York approached the portal and flashed her breasts at onlookers. As it turns out, the woman in question is recurring internet main character Ava Louise, an OnlyFans model who first attracted attention for a 2019 appearance on the Dr. Phil show, where she shared that her goal in life is to be a “skinny legend,” and proclaimed she’d “rather die hot than live ugly.”

Ava Louise made headlines again in 2020 for posting a video to TikTok in which she can be seen licking a toilet seat—wait for it—in an airplane bathroom—one more!—during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being obnoxious in front of cameras is sort of her whole deal, and while I’m not down for her particular brand of clowning, I also don’t think there’s anything scandalous about naked breasts, and it’s actually pretty absurd to shut down a video art installation over some jugs.

The Portals remain deactivated—or “asleep,” per a message on the screen—in Dublin and New York, where passerby have begun leaving flowers in tribute.


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.