"Who Is Chelsea Manning?" Art Installation Wins Best Project At DUMBO Arts Festival

    "I’m hoping that Chelsea will see it, or know word of it, and that will just be some light and some comfort in her darkness, you know?"

    Goen during and after the installation.

    "I hadn’t even thought about it as being that grand," Goen said, referring to a writer who called Chelsea Manning's sentencing "the hugest story of the year." "[It] becomes this huge piece [and] it has to be a lot of different parts from a lot of different angles." That's true both literally and figuratively, as the installation changes form as you walk around and under it -- and only comes together as a clear portrait when you stand far enough away to take in the entire piece at once.


    The sound was also a disarming -- and unexpected -- part of the piece. The two buildings formed a wind tunnel that blew the flags against each other, adding another dynamic to the experience. In addition, the wind blew the flags in such a way that only when the wind was completely still could you easily see Chelsea's face.


    Goen also believes part of his work is just to create a conversation, and to invite others to participate. "As an artist, you just create these moments, [...] and I don’t try to act like I’m an expert on all these issues, but it really is an artist trying to create a space that allows all these other voices to come in, so reaching out to CCR (Center for Constitutional Rights) and I just reached out to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, trying to get other voices that have more knowledge than myself, to come in and actually add to the conversation is important for me, so as many voices that can come in and make the story bigger and bigger, I think that’s brilliant."