Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz: Hole-in-Space (1980)

Mostly on-site
Taking some chances
Take some breaks
Nothing fancy
You had to be there

HOLE-IN-SPACE was a Public Communication Sculpture by Mobile Image (Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz). It utilised two life-sized screens to create a televisual portal between Los Angeles and New York.

One evening in November 1980, live broadcasts from the opposite location were suddenly displayed in the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts in New York and The Broadway department store in LA respectively, suddenly connecting unsuspecting passers-by on the other side of the country.

(via MoMA)

“They could now see, hear, and speak with each other as if encountering each other on the same sidewalk. No signs, sponsor logos, or credits were posted — no explanation at all was offered. No self-view video monitors to distract from the phenomena of this life-size encounter. Self-view video monitors would have degraded the situation into a self-conscience videoconference.”

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Electronic Cafe

The public communication sculpture was active from 12 to 14 November, 1980. By today’s standards, the installation is relatively simple – two large screens connected via satellite transmission, allowing viewers to see and hear each other live. However, at the time, the project was conceptually and technologically advanced. Rabinowitz and Galloway were able to create the sculpture after applying for a public tender by NASA, as the technology was unaffordable and inaccessible to most people. Conceptually, Hole-in-Space broadened people’s understanding of how we can communicate across remote spaces in real-time. By days two and three there were planned encounters, as friends and loved ones reunited with each other via the sculpture.

© Galloway, Kit; Rabinowitz, Sherrie (via Medien Kunst Netz)

“Hole-In-Space suddenly severed the distance between both cities and created an outrageous pedestrian intersection. There was the evening of discovery, followed by the evening of intentional word-of-mouth rendezvous, followed by a mass migration of families and trans-continental loved ones, some of which had not seen each other for over twenty years.”

Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Electronic Cafe

This project demonstrates a medium depth of hybridity. The two audiences are on-site, but appear digitally to each other. Though the entire audience is on-site, the interaction is digitally facilitated and mediated.

The project challenged existing understandings of space and remoteness, bringing together two public audiences on sidewalks 3,000km apart in real time.


  • Conceived, Produced and Directed by: MOBILE IMAGE/ Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz
  • Technical Director: Charlie Brouyette
  • Technical Director NY: Mark Schubin
  • Associate Producer: Karl Hartig
  • Video Documentation: Lynn Adler and Jules Backus, LA Bill and Este Marpet, NY