The Truth Booth comes to Palo Alto

Public invited to create videos as part of interactive art installation

What's 17 feet high, 25 feet long and speaks the truth? The answer is The Truth Booth: an interactive public art project slated to roll into Palo Alto this weekend. Created by an international group of artists known as the Cause Collective, the portable video recording studio comes to Bowman International School (4000 Terman Drive, Palo Alto) on Friday Sept. 19, and opens to the public Saturday, Sept. 20 from 1-6 p.m.

The eye-catching booth is shaped like a giant speech bubble with a single word emblazoned on its side: "Truth." Inside, it's set up for one participant at a time to sit down and record a two-minute video of their response to the prompt: "The truth is..."

The booth is the part of a larger project titled "In Search of the Truth," a result of a joint commission by the Arts Council of Ireland and the San Francisco Foundation. By creating video portraits that give a voice to a diverse range of people from around the world, the booth's creators hope to enliven public spaces and initiate cross-cultural dialogue.

Since its launch in 2011, the Truth Booth has traveled to Ireland, Afghanistan, New York and Washington D.C. recording people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. According to co-creator Jim Ricks, the commonalities between people are more stunning than the differences.

"The 'In Search of the Truth' project places the audience into the piece of art, letting them speak and define themselves," he explained. "This is collaborative art where the artist and audience work together -- the piece is started, someone sees it, is drawn to it and then helps to create it."

To learn more, go to causecollective.com

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