Stakeout 1.1

                                                 Further images  /  Return to 2012

Description: The Action Researcher/Performer witnessed a man get shot at a chicken shop across the road from where she was living in Bed-Stuy.  Police cordened off the footpath around the shop for the following week and installed a rotation of officers positioned for twenty-four hours a day within this restricted area, recording what they observed.  The frequency of these shootings in New York and subsequent surveillance of locals including the proportionally high rates of African Americans being involved in the contentious 'stop-and-frisk' policy inspired the following action.  Two Action Researcher/Performers were positioned on the sidewalk of four main intersections on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn- Bushwick Avenue, Graham Avenue, Union Street and Bedford Avenue.  Black tape was adhered to the ground surface to create the 'stakeout' viewing zone, a square of approximately two metres by two metres in dimension.  Forensic inspired signs with numbers displayed, referenced the different intersections in chronological order of the observation.  The Action Researcher/Performers sat on milkcrates within this space recording the surrounding happenings of daily life.  Noted at the top of each page was the time and street corner.  Once the page was filled with text, it was placed on the ground within the viewing zone for passers-by to read.  A number of pedestrians stopped to question the stationary presence of the Action Researcher/Performers on their familiar sidewalk, and in doing so, explained their knowledge and experience of living within the neighbourhood.  One particularly interested local resident eager to join the 'surveillance operation', sat within the square on the sidewalk to add his commentary to the evolving script.  

© Astra Howard 2014