Calello / Perrette
Halsey x Bedford
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Emailed to Andrea Rosen on June 01, 2020:
"My "place" exists in a rotating space in Brooklyn; privately in my living room, and publicly in the basket of my bicycle outside. I thought it might be a stretch to expect a passerby to stop for an inconspicuous artwork, situated along a sidewalk during global pandemic, but the community of Bedford-Stuyvesant has taught me that showing up outweighs risk. When New York's PAUSE went into effect, we watched gates go down on bodegas that never close, playgrounds chained overnight, the hustle-and-bustle replaced by a constant scream of sirens.
On an evening walk in mid-March, my partner and I noticed a handwritten sign promoting the Slack hub "Bed-Stuy Strong." The hub mobilized in a matter of days, and by early April grew into a major effort to provide groceries to any neighbor in need, no questions asked. Volunteer engineers developed a bot system to turn continuous requests into tickets for delivery runners, voicemail systems were monitored by furloughed and fired workers, and thousands of dollars were donated to feed the community.
When I thought about my "place," I thought about the importance of exchange. Over the weekend I peaked out my window at the bike every now and then. I found people stopping, looking, using the sanitizer I zip-tied to the railing, and taking cookies. I didn't take their picture, in fact I hid in the window, just knowing that they stopped was enough. I feel grateful to live with the work, but I am more grateful to offer the work."