As Donald Trump was preparing to be sworn into office on January 20 in the nation’s capital, Shia LaBeouf was launching his latest project: He Will Not Divide Us. The exhibit, set up outside of the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, is a live stream that will run for four years -- or the duration of Trump’s presidency.
Officially launching at 9am on Inauguration Day, 18-year-old Jaden Smith led a crowd of young people, some holding signs of resistance against the new president, chanting, “He will not divide us!”, a chant that lasted for a total of five hours. Those who go to the exhibit are encouraged to chant the project’s namesake or stare dead-eyed into the camera.
“Open to all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the participatory performance will be live-streamed continuously for four years, or the duration of the presidency. In this way, the mantra ‘HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US’ acts as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community,” the project’s website states.
LaBeouf is no stranger to live streaming. In November of 2015, he sat down in a theater and live streamed himself watching all of his movies, inviting those on Twitter to join him using the hashtag #AllMyMovies. The project lasted a total of three days, a small feat in comparison to his latest project.
While it remains to be seen how long the live stream will actually last or if the crowds of people showing up in solidarity will slowly dwindle, it is LaBeouf’s largest project to date and perhaps his most important in the societal realm. He is leading a political protest through art and encouraging those opposed to the nation’s 45th President to do the same.