Art Piece

Suspicious Activity

In this art piece I wanted to explore the classism and racism within my own neighborhood. I based this work off an iPhone application called Nextdoor, which is a social media platform for neighbors to share things such as posts about yard sales, alerts about power outages, or reports of suspicious activity. I noticed that all the subjects of these “suspicious activity” posts were either described as appearing homeless or people of color. Also, the activity described in these posts were often mundane things such as wearing a hoodie, driving slowly through a neighborhood, or carrying large bags into a park. I decided to take real posts from Nextdoor in which people had reported "suspicious" activity and recreate them using a well dressed, middle-aged, white woman in place of the original subject. I then posted these new reports on Nextdoor and recorded my neighbor's responses. My intent was to contrast the reactions from the original posts, where the subjects were typically black men, to my posts, with a white woman as the subject. I hoped to use my privilege to expose the racist and classist assumptions held by many of my neighbors.

This artwork won a national Scholastic Civic Expression Award.