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Twitter brings global video chat container art back to SF

“#Tweetups,” as the company now brands them, are a revival of an older yet welcome installation

A gold-painted shipping container in Hayes Valley. Photo courtesy of Twitter

Starting today until August 5, curiosity-seeking and globally-minded folks can stop by 432 Octavia in Hayes Valley to step into a golden-colored shipping container and talk with folks from all over the world, courtesy of Twitter.

The SF-based tech giant calls the installation “#Tweetups.” The repurposed shipping container includes a video stream that, with the help of on-site interpreters when needed, will allow visitors to chat live with anybody standing in a similar set-up in São Paulo, Brazil; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Mexico City; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Melbourne, Australia; and Seoul, South Korea.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Washington DC-based artist lab Shared Studios did the exact same thing four years ago, complete with the same distinctive gold-hued shipping containers onsite in Hayes Valley and the Presidio.

Dubbed Portal, Amar Bakshi, an artist and writer who’s worked for the Washington Post and as an assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, conceived of the installation after reflecting on the conversations he had as a journalist once interviews were over.

A Twitter spokesperson tells Curbed SF that the company collaborated with Shared Studios to bring the installation back to SF—this time with Twitter branding on the container but otherwise essentially the same experience.

The portal, open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., is free to use. Two more activations are scheduled, one for July 31, connecting SF to folks in Gaza City, and another for August 1, between San Francisco and Melbourne.