GOOD

Illegal Edward Snowden Statue Replaced With Hologram Monument

An Edward Snowden tribute grows in Brooklyn.

image via The Illuminator/Facebook

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden was the recipient of not one, but two artistic tributes in Brooklyn this week.


For a short period on Monday morning, Fort Greene Park’s Prison Ship Martyrs Monument was home to a four-foot-tall, 100-pound bust of Snowden, perched atop one of that fixture’s stone pillars. The bust, reports AnimalNY, was the brainchild of two anonymous New York artists who had spent the past year planning their guerilla installation. In an artist’s statement, quoted in AnimalNY, they write:

“...It would be a dishonor to those memorialized here to not laud those who protect the ideals they fought for, as Edward Snowden has by bringing the NSA's 4th-Amendment-violating surveillance programs to light. All too often, figures who strive to uphold these ideals have been cast as criminals rather than in bronze

Our goal is to bring a renewed vitality to the space and prompt even more visitors to ponder the sacrifices made for their freedoms. We hope this inspires them to reflect upon the responsibility we all bear to ensure our liberties exist long into the future.”
Here’s a look at the unnamed artists erecting their tribute:

Since this was an entirely unsanctioned installation, park officials were quick to remove the bust, first covering it with tarp, and later taking it down entirely.

Not to be outdone, a second group returned to the on-off memorial site that same evening. These activists, part of The Illuminator Art Collective, weren’t hauling bronze (or, actually, hydrocal, the sculpting material reportedly used to make first bust) but rather a fog machine and a high-powered projector. The goal? To recreate the Snowden sculpture using nothing but light and smoke.

image via The Illuminator/Facebook

image via The Illuminator/Facebook

image via The Illuminator/Facebook

The Illuminator Art Collective has its origins in the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, reportedly receiving an initial financial donation from Ben And Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen. As a 2014 WNYC profile on the group explains, they have since gone on to lend their projection-based form of artistic protest to a number of other causes.

In a Facebook note titled “The Ghost Of Edward Snowden,” the Collective writes:

Inspired by the actions of these anonymous artists, [behind the original Snowden bust] The Illuminator Art Collective recreated the intervention ephemerally by projecting an image of the sculpture into a cloud of smoke. Our feeling is that while the State may remove any material artifacts that speak in defiance against incumbent authoritarianism, the acts of resistance remain in the public consciousness. And it is in sharing that act of defiance that hope resides.

Assuming you feel Edward Snowden is deserving of a tribute in the first place, it could be argued that a hologram is better suited for the job than traditional sculpture. Snowden is, after all, famous for having revealed to the world a uniquely modern form of surveillance. A uniquely modern monument, therefore, seems fitting.

Articles
via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet