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Quasi-Legal Brooklyn 'Studio' Opens to All, 'Art' Ensues

Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood found its way into the refined pages of The New Yorker this week. Naturally, Bushwick managed this by confirming its stereotype as a place where young people move to be overcharged to live in converted industrial spaces where they can be free to make art out of garbage in peace, surrounded by like-minded peers doing much the same thing. It's a tale as old as time: on Sept. 12, a converted shipping container in a Myrtle Avenue flea market was made available for anyone to do absolutely anything with. (The code to the lockbox containing the key is 0824.) Since then, the Where gallery has hosted a cobbled-together sculpture topped with one of the city's bike-share bikes and a young man in nothing but tighty-whities painting watercolors on himself. It's started to smell like "Play-Doh that's gone bad."

All this (aside from the smell) can be experienced remotely via Where's live webcam. Raphael Lyon, one half of the duo paying $833 a month to rent the space (the other is in the art-history Ph.D. program at Yale), figures what they're doing is probably illegal, but is unsure exactly what makes it so. "Even if someone wanted to burn it down, it's not going to spread anywhere, because it's only a metal box," he tells the magazine. "It's no more dangerous than Airbnb."

Here are a few scenes that have been posted to Where's Facebook page:


At one point, someone painted the phrase "Hashtag Ferguson" inside this combined "think tank" and "ego laboratory." This made Kalan Sherrard, the underwear-watercolors guy, very angry; equating the recent events in Ferguson "with this kind of meaningless performance." This he says after showing off the selfies he took in front of the webcam, which he calls "very Foucault."

· A Free Place in Bushwick [The New Yorker]