Actor turned activist Shia LaBeouf has been in and out of headlines the last couple of weeks as he makes another attempt at a live, interactive art installation entitled “He Will Not Divide Us.”
The project started in New York on January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration, according to the official website. LaBeouf installed a camera outside of the Museum of the Moving Image and encouraged the public to repeat the phrase ‘he will not divide us’ as many times as they wanted. The museum abandoned the project barely a month later, as trolls from 4chan invaded the live feed with various racial and homophobic comments. LaBeouf was often on site and was even involved in several confrontations with the trolls.
According to The Fader, the Museum of the Moving Image abandoned the art installation after LaBeouf was arrested after one of such confrontations. LaBeouf temporarily relocated the interactive art piece to New Mexico, where gunfire was reported near the project. “He Will Not Divide” was taken down and moved yet again, this time to Tennessee, where LaBeouf had positioned a camera to stream a flag with his project’s title. 4chan trolls were quick to locate and steal the flag, per the Verge, forcing LaBeouf to shut his project down for a third time.
LaBeouf chose the Foundation of Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool for the project’s next location. LaBeouf explained to FACT that “events have shown that America is not safe enough for this artwork to exist.” The irony is palpable, as LaBeouf’s “He Will Not Divide Us” art project is an effort to show solidarity among citizens, and instead, he has encountered a relentless barrage of sabotage. LaBeouf announced that the project would move overseas in light of 4chan’s antics.
Liverpool would prove to be just as vulnerable as any other previous location. LaBeouf placed a new flag on top of the FACT building and started a new live recording. Just a day into streaming from the new location, 4chan trolls managed to scale the building and step into the camera frame, as reported by Heat Street. The FACT center killed the live stream just moments after the trolls made their ascent. FACT went on to remove the art installation per the suggestion of police, as it had caused illegal trespassing barely a day after going up, but not before trolls from 4chan claimed the flag.
4chan is infamous for its trolling ability and cyber attacks. Known for their ‘raids’ of rival websites, 4chan trolls are responsible for an endless list of DDoS attacks, mass prank calls and emails, social media account hacking, inappropriate viral trends, hoax news stories, compromised information, including credit cards, and various projects and operations that 4chan members see as justice or retribution. 4chan was involved with online scandals such as Gamergate and the mass release of nude celebrity photos; also known as the Fappening. According to a Huffington Post article, “the site’s users have managed to pull off some of the highest-profile collective actions in the history of the Internet.”
It’s unclear whether or not 4chan’s immediate sabotage of LaBeouf’s Liverpool installation of his project will put an end to the “He Will Not Divide Us” art attempt. LaBeouf has been persistent so far, but with his drastic relocation of the project being cut down so quickly, a fifth attempt may be a pipe dream. Shia LaBeouf has handled the trolls about as well as he can, but 4chan is always up for a challenge.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]