A little while ago we told you about “13 Portals,” the mystical, interactive public-art game taking place this summer throughout the East Village. Now, some dastardly art thief (albeit one with a highly attuned sense of irony) has made off with Portal 3 — the Portal of Movement. That’s right: it’s been stripped from its hanging-place on East 10th, between B and C.
“We think it’s pretty funny that this particular portal was stolen, because it’s the Portal of Movement,” said Nicolina Johnson, one of the project’s co-creators. “And we already moved it once because there was some issues with the landlord. And now it’s moved again.”
For the uninitiated, 13 Portals is a project by the Free Art Society, in which 13 hand-painted murals based on astrology and ancient spirituality are unveiled one-by-one on abandoned doorways throughout the neighborhood.
The murals are outfitted with a code that players can scan on their smartphones, which will take them to the project’s website, where they will be given some sort of riddle or quest that they will need to bypass in order to unlock the next portal. The sixth portal will be unveiled this Saturday at 6:47 p.m. (on the dot!) with a ceremony at Tompkins Square Park featuring live music and dancing.
If this sort of mystical live-action roleplaying game seems like it could be up your alley, have no fear: the stolen portal will be returning, albeit in re-printed form. Johnson tells us that Patrick Nash, of Avenue C’s Boxcutter Design Printshop, has agreed to print out a replacement portal.
“We knew it was part of the game,” says Nicolina, who seems pretty zen about the whole affair (this isn’t the first time a portal has been vandalized). “We put them up on to the street and they are no longer our property. They belong to the community now.”