BY CHELSEA HERNANDEZ
On Jan. 20, 2017, an installation in collaboration with the Museum of the Moving Image, actor Shia LaBeouf, Luke Turner and Nastja Rönkkö launched. The installation was a live stream available to all visitors. According to HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, the installation was unveiled during the 45th Presidential inauguration, in order to simply make one statement: “He Will Not Divide Us.”
The live camera mounted on a wall in Queens, N.Y. was open 24 hours a day, and was supposed to stream until the next presidential inauguration. It would have been an ongoing four-year broadcast. The intent of the project was to spread a positive message, however; violence and hate soon plagued the live stream.
According to theguardian.com, LaBeouf was arrested and charged with misdemeanor and assault after an alleged altercation with a man outside of the installation due to political disagreements. Video surfaced of LaBeouf and the man in a heated argument.
Allegedly, the project became a site where neo-Nazis and white supremacists chanted and spread hate and discrimination through the live channel.
The “He Will Not Divide Us” website stated that on Feb. 10 the project was abandoned by the museum. However, the artists are not planning to end their outreach anytime soon. Although the live stream is no longer in service, the hash tag #HeWillNotDivideUs is still alive on Twitter.
The museum issued a statement announcing a stop to the exhibit. The reason being that “the installation created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard for the Museum, its visitors, staff, local residents and businesses. The installation had become a flash point for violence and was disrupted from its original intent.” The statement also mentioned how a majority of the museum’s visitors were school children and safety was a big concern. The Museum of the moving image stated that it took pride in the “thought-provoking” installation.