The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, where the installation had been set up, released a statement on Friday that said the project had become “a serious and ongoing public safety hazard.”
“Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” the statement reads.
The project encouraged visitors to walk up to a web cam mounted on the museum’s wall and chant the phrase “He will not divide us.” It was launched by LaBeouf and his frequent collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner on the day of Trump’s inauguration.
The official live stream online has been shut down with the word “THE MUSEUM HAS ABANDONED US” plastered across the screen.
Read the full statement below:
The Museum of the Moving Image has closed HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US, a participatory Internet streaming performance by LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner. 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 flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent.
While the installation began constructively, it deteriorated markedly after one of the artists was arrested on the site of the installation and ultimately necessitated this action. Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We take our commitment to the safety of our 200,000 annual visitors and 50,000 school children attending programs at the Museum seriously, along with the safety and security of our staff and community.
We are proud to have launched this engaging and thought-provoking digital art installation which was experienced by millions of online viewers worldwide. Until public safety concerns overrode the intent of the installation, HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US generated an important conversation allowing interaction among people from many backgrounds and with different viewpoints. However, ending our engagement with the installation is the most prudent path forward to restore public safety to the Museum, its visitors, staff, and the community.