The small space, currently home to a sagging clothesline, some eerie graffiti, and a half-deflated helium balloon, is open for anyone who'd like to enter. Well, technically, it's locked, but the key is in a lockbox outside. The combination for the box is 0824.
Lucy Hunter and Raphael Lyon, an artist and an art history PhD student, respectively, are renting the space for $833 per month and leaving it publicly accessible as part of a project they're calling Where. Everything that happens inside is streamed online via a webcam. (In my experience the feed lags quite a bit.)
A young man named Kalan Sherrard, who has spent, by his estimation, fifteen hours in the room, appeared one day wearing nothing but tighty-whities. "He's painting watercolors on himself, and playing a bicycle with a violin bow," Hunter recalled. A police officer strolled by and was disturbed by the spectacle. "You can't be dressed like this!" the officer called over to Sherrard, who replied, "This is New York City. You can dress this way. I'm not exposing myself. I'm wearing underwear." Later, he mimicked the cop: "We are authoritative. We can tell you whatever we want." He sighed. But the spat ended calmly.
Hunter hasn't gone into the room much. She once had to remove something stuck to the light that looked like it might catch fire, but she doesn't see the harm in letting people in. "I'm sure it's against some rules in some ways," she said. "Still, you're allowed to give your friends keys to open your apartment. No money is being traded. It's hard to pinpoint what is illegal." She went on, "Even if someone wanted to burn it down, it's not going to spread anywhere, because it's only a metal box. It's no more dangerous than Airbnb."
To encourage visitors, Lyon and Hunter told The New Yorker, they posted bulletins on places like Craigslist and Reddit, as well as IRL, in pizza parlors, ATM booths, and handed out to random strangers. The results, judging by some screenshots posted to Where's Facebook page, are just as zany-Bushwick-art-scene as you'd expect.
I just checked the feed again. Now these two creeps are inside.
Where will be open to the public until October 12, assuming the landlord doesn't catch wind and crack down first.