While Donald Trump was being sworn in as the 45th POTUS, Jaden Smith and Shia LaBeouf took the opportunity to launch their new, 4-year-long anti-Trump livestream. The project, called “He Will Not Divide Us,” relies on public participation and is expected to run 24/7 throughout Trump’s tenure as president. The purpose behind the Jaden Smith and Shia LaBeouf artistic endeavor? To act “as a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism,” depending on the personal intent of every performance artist who participates.
— JustJared.com (@JustJared) January 20, 2017
As USA Today reports, the participatory livestream is the brainchild of Shia LaBeouf, with Jaden Smith, Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö collaborating on the effort. Involving nothing more than a livestreaming channel and a wall-mounted camera, the project invites participants to respond to Donald Trump’s controversial oath of office with an oath of their own.
Anyone who’s interested in participating and happens to be in the area of the New York Museum of the Moving Image can speak (or sing or otherwise perform) the words “He will not divide us” into the livestream camera. Artists can repeat the words as long as they need to to contribute to the mantra.
Jaden Smith took the first shift, repeating “He will not divide us” for more than three hours. While Jaden Smith calmly and peacefully protested the presidency of Donald Trump, violent clashes between anti-Trump protesters and police went down in Washington D.C.
Museum of the Moving Image, New York pic.twitter.com/uhaqLufjo2
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 20, 2017
According to the project’s website, the livestream will be broadcast continuously for the next four years. Or “the duration of the presidency.”
The “He will not divide us” stream launched at 9:00 a.m. local time on January 20, and while Jaden Smith was the first to go before the camera, ensuring the world that this new president “will not divide us,” the gathering crowd was ready and waiting to continue to mantra when he finally wrapped his piece up.
someone just delivered 2 dominos pizzas to shia labeouf's anti-trump livestream starring jaden smith pic.twitter.com/JTMLy0zilh
— Zach Stoever (@zachstoever) January 20, 2017
While many know Shia LaBeouf best from his days as a Disney and Transformers star, the 30-year-old former child star has built quite a name for himself as a performance artist in recent years. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the current Shia and Jaden Smith effort was put together by the same artists that worked with LaBeouf on his most recent performance art works, “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” and “#IAMSORRY.”
Not surprisingly, while the project is getting a lot of support on Inauguration Day, not everyone is in love with the Shia LaBeouf and Jaden Smith joint effort. Some believe “He Will Not Divide Us” won’t last the four years the duo is promising. However, with LaBeouf’s history as an established performance artist, it’s likely that he’ll keep the headline-grabbing anti-Trump protest up and running for the duration.
Even though nobody’s really sure what kind of security efforts he and Jaden Smith, who hasn’t left the camera view since the stream began, have in place to protect their camera and stream.
He Will Not Divide Us
— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) January 17, 2017
The public response to the anti-Trump protest effort (and the spirit behind it) has been mixed since LaBeouf and Smith rolled out the political performance art piece. Not surprisingly, opinions about the effort are largely split along partisan lines.
shia labeouf and jaden smith r the realest
— colorful boy (@gradeint) January 20, 2017
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) January 20, 2017
@MTV theyre both nuts…
— James Smith (@kungfuhipster) January 20, 2017
— M. G. Kaleem (@mgkaleem) January 20, 2017
— white male (@Jeanshorts93) January 20, 2017
When Jaden Smith and Shia began streaming bright and early on Inauguration Day morning, their collaborative performance art piece looked more like a one-man show. Now, it’s drawing an impressive crowd as more and more New Yorkers realize what is going on at the Museum of the Moving Image.
What do you think? Is this performance art anti-Trump protest, devised by Shia LaBeouf and supported by Jaden Smith, a healthy way for Trump dissenters to get through the next four years, or is it time to move forward without protests?
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Photo]