Prison Ship Martyrs Monument 2.0 (aka The Edward Snowden Bust)

snowdenfullFIT

On April 6, 2015, Andrew Tider and I fused a four-foot, 100 pound bust of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to a pillar within the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, a memorial to POWs who lost their lives during the American Revolution.

We chose this location to draw parallels between those who fought for the ideals America was founded upon, and whistleblowers like Snowden. The mainstream media has long portrayed Snowden as a traitor. One could argue America was founded by traitors – rebels who turned against Britain’s tyrannical rule – whom we now consider heroes.

snowdencuFIT

We worked with sculptor Doyle Trankina for nearly 6 months to create the piece. We intended to remain anonymous, but when we accepted summonses ($50 each for “being in the park after hours” – a civil offense, not criminal) in exchange for the bust being returned by the NYPD, our names became part of the public record.

From NBC New York

BrooklynMus3

From guerrilla to legit. In February of 2016, the statue went on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Cover Up and Removal

Cover Up and Removal

Approximately 7 hours after installation, the NYC Parks Department set to work to remove the statue, but not before covering it with a tarp. It stayed covered for over an hour before it was removed.

From Reddit:

“There now exists a video of a US government employee literally using the head of an american eagle [a symbol of America's freedom] as a foothold while throwing a tarp over the image of a man who is fighting for government transparency. If I saw this in the street, I’d assume it was a bunch of drama students doing street theatre, and roll my eyes at the heavy-handedness. You cannot write this shit.”

 

Reporters from Animal New York followed us during the install and broke the story.

“I can completely understand why people who feel strongly about privacy rights and freedom of speech would choose the memorial as a place to put up this statue. It was inappropriately done in a place that seems completely appropriate for what they’re trying to do.”

- Ruth Goldstein, Founder of the Fort Greene Park Conservancy

The Young Turks, the world’s largest online news show

Holographic "Reinstallation"

Holographic

The night the bust was removed, another group of artists used light projection to create a “reinstallation.” They did this independently, without any communication or collaboration with us.

Snowden-tripFIT

From the Internet

Release from NYPD

Release from NYPD

Full article

World famous civil rights attorney Ron Kuby stepped forward to represent us and successfully demanded the bust be released from NYPD custody. Read his (entertaining) demand to NYC Police Commissioner Bratton

nypdvansnowdenFIT

Police and detectives take pictures as “Snowden” heads home.

snowdenstickerFIT

That’s an evidence sticker on his forehead, by the way.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions

As soon as the bust was released we lent it to the Postmasters Gallery in NYC (voted best NYC gallery in 2014 by The Village Voice) to be included in a surveillance-themed group show entitled “Anonymity, no longer an option.” Fitting title, as our identities had just been uncovered by the press.

The gallery built a 9-foot plinth, bringing the bust to the same height as when it was installed. Amazing job, especially given how little time they had – we got the bust back only a day before the show’s opening. 

She got the “metal” part wrong, but happy to get some Rachel Maddow love.

snowdengangFIT

L to R: Andrew Tider, Jesse Snyder, Judah Dadone, Me, Miles Pittman, Doyle Trankina (Jess, Judah, and Miles assisted with the install at Fort Greene Park).

SnowdenEnglish

With a Ron English piece at NYC’s LoMan Art Festival

3D Printing File

3D Printing File

Full article

About a month after we installed the bust, we released a 3D printable file so anyone could print one for themselves (4″, 6″, and 8″ versions). Feel free to print your own, the files are here.

Russian TV (English)

Me, Andrew, and Doyle talk to New York’s Channel 11 before the gallery opening.

snowdenearFIT

Someone 3D printed some Snowden earrings. They hear all.

Pillar

The staff over at Sketchfab scanned the pillar we originally installed the bust upon and merged it with our 3D rendering of the bust. This allowed anyone to 3D print the entire installation, complete with “Snowden” nameplate. Print, or order one, here.

SnowdenandUSFIT

Andrew Tider and me with “Snowden” before installation.

This project owes special thanks to: Clarina Bezzola, Geoffrey Croft, Judah Dadone, Matthew Epler, Ron Kuby, Jeremy Levenbach, Nick McKinney, Jes Pepe. Miles Pittman, Brian Ries, Magda Sawon, Jason Shelowitz, Jesse Snyder, and Bucky Turco.

Press

Press

PRESS

“There’s a Massive, Illicit Bust of Edward Snowden Stuck to a War Memorial in Brooklyn” - Animal

“The Whistleblower, Gone But Not Quite Forgotten” - New York Times

“Edward Snowden Sculpture Secretly Installed Atop Revolutionary War Memorial in Brooklyn” - Washington Times

“Erect A Monument To Freedom By 3D Printing This Bust Of Edward Snowden” - Gizmodo

“Edward Snowden Bust Planted, then Removed from Brooklyn Park” - The Brooklyn Paper

“Art, Protest, And History: Residents React To Snowden Bust’s Removal From Prison Ship Martyrs Monument”Fort Greene Focus

“100-Pound Snowden Bust Appears in NYC Park” - NY Post

“Illegal Edward Snowden Bust Placed Atop Brooklyn War Monument in Fort Greene Park”
 - NY Daily News

“Edward Snowden Is Put on a Pedestal—Briefly” - WSJ

“NYC Officials Remove Edward Snowden Statue Secretly Installed in Brooklyn Park” - Mashable

“Edward Snowden Statue Illegally Placed in NYC Park” - USA Today

“New York City Takes Down Edward Snowden Statue Erected By Guerilla Artists” - Time

“Bust Of Edward Snowden Erected In Fort Greene Park, Promptly Covered, Removed By Authorities” - Gothamist

“Statue that Cast Edward Snowden as a Hero Removed and Held by New York Police” - Sydney Morning Herald

“A Removed Snowden Sculpture Inspires a Hologram in Its Place” - New York Times

“Head Games! Snowden Bust Artists Demand Statue Back” - The Brooklyn Paper

“Artists to NYPD: Return Edward Snowden Bust We Put in Park” - New York Times

“Edward Snowden Bust Artists Recover Sculpture From the City” - New York Daily News

“Illicit Edward Snowden Bust Emerges From Protective Custody” - Gothamist

“Activists Ticketed for Putting Snowden Bust on NYC Monument” - New York Times - Animal

“At a Surveillance-Themed Art Fair, Snowden Bust Is the Star” - Hyperallergic

“Famous Edward Snowden Statue, Released From NYPD Custody, Will Display at Brooklyn Gallery” - Good