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Commissioned by Cryptic, Portal was made possible with the generous robotics support of bots.co.uk.

Portal was presented as part of Festival 2018, the cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.


Clyde Tunnel Underpass, Glasgow

**** Review – The Herald

Review – The Quietus

Clyde Tunnel becomes a work of art – The Times

Going underground: Famous Glasgow underpass transformed into a futuristic world – The Herald

Robots to be deployed to create Clyde Tunnel artwork – The Herald

Preview – The Scotsman

Robotics programming – Jamie Grier
Production designer – Zephyr Liddel
Sound design – Alex Menzies
Programming and Fabrication – Iain McClenaghan
Speaker design – Jamie Clements
Lighting design – Alice Black
Lighting design – Ross Cameron
Production manager – Nick Millar
Electronics and programming – Jen Sykes

Jack Wrigley
Paul Shofolahan
Ben Ashton
Karin Tokunaga
Katie O’Brien
Thomas Leyland Collins
Roy Shearer
Mike Parr Burman
Alicia Matthews

Production design assistant – Sam Bellacosa

Photography: Louise Mather, Neil Jarvie

Alistair MacDonald (Sound Consultant), James Farlam (The Glue Factory), Tim Warrington & bots.co.uk, Alice Jacobs (FLUX laser and CNC studio) and  especially the team at the Clyde Tunnel



Opened in 1963, during the age of the motorway and in the wake of the Bruce Report, the Clyde Tunnel is a monolithic landmark in Glasgow’s infrastructure and 20th Century history. Two parallel bores hewn from the hard bedrock of the river under compressed, dangerous conditions traverse a 762 meter course of cast iron and shuttered concrete that now forms the site for Portal.

Tunnels occupy a mysterious area of the imagination. Their architecture – confined, claustrophobic, linear, underground, reverberant – evokes psychological interpretation as inhuman and transient space, but also as metaphor: from the birth canal to the light, secret passages and string theory. These are the archetypal other-worlds that recur throughout mythology and science-fiction, we can visit them in Dante’s Inferno and the corridors of H.R. Giger and sometimes even within the fabric of the city itself.

Portal explores this interzone and it’s synthetic inhabitants, spectral creatures evolved to live in the stomach of the underpass.