"As above so below
what is inside is outside"
The 13 Portals is an interactive street art experience combining technology, art, urban space and community. Artists Pérola Bonfanti and Nicolina of The Free Art Society have created 13 site-specific, hand painted murals. Each mural will appear in an abandoned doorway every Saturday accompanied by a theatrical happening and a chance to score one of the 64 keys. The journey began July 13th, and will continue until October. The 13 Portals will culminate in an event with all participants invited, the keyholders experiencing a unique passage through Portal 13.
Each Portal represents a number and it’s many layered meanings. Each Portal also contains a QR Code (Quick Response Code) that opens the virtual and interactive aspect of the project. The game begins in the virtual realm and spills into the urban environment creating a self-generating community. Participants are required to complete tasks both alone and with others that unlock the knowledge of the ancients. The 13 Portals bring timeless knowledge through the channels of modern technology, merging past and present into a new and transformative reality.
The project invites open participation by all. Once the QR on each Portal is scanned, the participant is lead to the website where they meet the Oracle by submitting their email. The webpage will also provide updates of the game. The objective of the game is to pass through all 13 Portals and arrive at Portal 13 with one of only 64 Mystery Keys. With each Portal opening, there will be a chance for participants found in favor of The Oracle to crack the puzzle to be awarded a key.
The Oracle guides the game sending updates, clues and creating tasks related to each Portal with escalating complexity. Once each task is accomplished, the subsequent Portal’s location is revealed. When all 13 Portals have been completed, the shroud of mystery behind the works will be lifted and the 13 Portals' esoteric secrets will be unlocked.
Nicolina Johnson, Director
Nicolina maintains a home-base in New York City's East Village and travels often, spreading her art around world. She specializes in guerrilla street art, vibrant murals, collaborative painting projects and interactive performance-art spectacles. Hearts of the World, her ongoing international art project, brings art to underprivileged children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to express themselves creatively. She is a artist in residence at the L.E.S Girls Club of Manhattan and also the founder of the Free Art Society, an East Village based arts organization in New York City that explores the degree to which art in public spaces can transform the community that owns it.
Perola Bonfanti, Co-Director
Pérola Bonfanti, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, creates projects around the world that bring art to public spaces and connects the community. She specializes in murals, installations, urban interventions and multi-media collaborations. She is working on developing experiments involving technology, virtual and extended reality along with relational aesthetics. Pérola is currently collaborating with the L.E.S Girls Club of Manhattan, has served as assistant professor in the E.A.V - Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage in Brazil and is the co-director of the open international collective, The Free Art Society.
Dan Bratman, Project Manager
Dan Bratman is project manager of The Free Art Society as well as a writer, filmmaker and publicist. He currently appears on the masthead of numerous magazines from Qatar to Mexico and has fiction and poetry published around the world. He has graffittied in Rio de Janiero, bought paint at gunpoint in Haiti, trained Olympic level horses in Canada, was hired as a cowboy in Wyoming and interviewed transgender HIV survivors in New York City. Recently, Dan has parlayed his wide experiences into project management and making documentaries for the Free Art Society. He currently lives, writes and rides in Brooklyn, NY
Walker Fee, Game Designer
Walker strives to use his talents as an artist to engender in our society a love and practice of our innate creative gifts; both as a way of gaining respect for ourselves as unique individuals, as well as recognizing our roles as integral parts of the greater culture.
Zorrilla Monsoon, Creative Technologist
Zorrilla Monsoon, a freelance graphic designer, singer, and chronic idealist, is constantly in the act of making something beautifully functional. He has done work for Allure, Jaguar, Heineken, Charles Schwab and more. From illustration, graphics, video editing, web design, coding and web development, Zorrilla, laptop in hand, is a one-man production company. A native New Yorker, he continues to reside in the Burroughs, casting his magic to those lucky enough to find time on his schedule.
Manny Davis, Operation Manager
Manny Davis is a choreographer, contemporary dancer, visual artist and teacher. Focusing on the connection between the movement of the body and the movement of the mind, Manolo uses dance to bring awareness to dancers and movers alike. Using breathing and consciousness to deepen understanding of how everything is movement, Mr. Davis uses his experience as a professional and competitive dancer to share his knowledge with adults and children. “I don’t create art, I create emotions,” says Manny.
Noelia Fernandez, Music
Born in Montevideo Uruguay in 1984, Noelia Fernandez is a yogi, life enthusiast, crafter, earth child, singer and visionary with a very clear vision of love, art, community, peace and freedom.
Her earliest memories were of dancing, singing, drawing and acting, expressing the beauty and struggle she saw around her.
It wasn’t until Noelia came to New York, in 2003, that she was able to take an art class.
Although unable to continue studying after that one class, an inner door opened and life experiences filled her with abundant inspiration shaping Noelia into the artist she has become today.
Missing her country and her roots from afar inspires the images of her paintings and her playing of traditional Afro Uruguayan music (candombe) on the drums. Yet, becoming more of a New Yorker year after year, Noellia is inspired to create and collaborate with all of the amazing artists and visionaries she encounters. In this way Noelia has created a completely unique fusion of her own culture with all that surrounds her.