A tourist bus drove past the hotel while the projector was on. "This is not like politics as usual".
"When we first started doing it, we were concerned and we reached out for legal advice", Bell says. His efforts date well before Trump's presidency, with messages of support for Black Lives Matter and poop emojis in opposition to a new Subway in Mount Pleasant, illuminations in support of abortion rights on the Supreme Court building, and projections highlighting labor rights on the World Bank building. "The rules and the lines are being pushed so far and this seemed to be so clear to me". "One of the things that connects us is art".
He works with a team to set up the guerrilla projections, he said, and images on Bell's Instagram show him at the hotel on multiple occasions since Trump was elected president last November. "Unfortunately he keeps doing disgusting things, so we keep having to go back there". (Courtesy Liz Gorman) Artist Robin Bell said he wrote up the "Emoluments Clause" for the Monday night stunt as well.
While Trump retains an ownership stake, his son has taken over day-to-day operations of the hotel. That demonstration traveled along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the hotel.
The slides included "Emoluments Welcome - Open 24 Hours" - a reference to the Constitutional prohibition on federal officials accepting payments from foreign states - as well as the decidedly less subtle: "Experts Agree: Trump Is a Pig".
Besides the "Trump bribe" and "emoluments welcome" projection, Bell also projected the words of the emolument clause, which reads, "No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of Congress, accept any present, emolument, office, or title, or any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state".
Bell has said that projections are an effective form of protest because they send a message without vandalizing property.
He also traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., in April to project protest messages against the president as he delivered a speech marking his 100th day in office.