On April 6, 2015, we fused a four-foot, 100 pound bust of Edward Snowden to a pillar within the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, a memorial to POWs killed 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. Mainstream media has long portrayed Snowden as a traitor. One could argue America was founded by traitors – rebels who turned against Britain’s rule – whom we now consider heroes.
We worked with sculptor Doyle Trankina for six months to create the piece. We intended to remain anonymous, but when we accepted summonses (50 bucks each for “being in the park after hours”) in exchange for the bust being returned by the NYPD, our names became public.
From NBC News
Reporters fromAnimal New Yorkfollowed us during the install and broke the story with this video.
The night it was removed, another group of artists, unbeknownst to us, "reinstalled" the statue via a light projection.
World famous civil rights attorney Ron Kuby stepped forward to represent us and successfully demanded the bust be released from NYPD custody. Here he is on his way back home.
In February of 2016, the statue went from guerrilla to legit when it went on display at the Brooklyn Museum.
She got the “metal” part wrong, but happy to get some Rachel Maddow love.
The Young Turks, the world’s largest online news show.
The installation team at the statue's first gallery show.
(L to R) Andrew Tider, Jesse Snyder, Judah Dadone, Me, Miles Pittman, Doyle Trankina
As soon as the bust was released we lent it to the Postmasters Gallery in NYC to be included in a surveillance-themed 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.
The sculptor, Andrew, and I talk to New York’s Channel 11 before the gallery opening.
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.