PRINT September 2008


Ai Weiwei

SINCE NOVEMBER 2005, artist Ai Weiwei has maintained a blog devoted to political commentary and artworld documentation, his entries driven by serial streams of photographs that not only represent but also enact—and even help negotiate, via the seduction, intimidation, and matter-of-factness of the camera—the encounters, formalities, distances, and intimacies with whomever or whatever comes within range of Ai’s critical regard. Whether he is in his Beijing studio or traveling abroad, if you want to see what Ai is seeing on a given day, click on that date on his site ( You are liable to see members of his staff (he likes to give them haircuts on camera), his languid yet willful cats, a rare blue sky over Beijing, the collector Uli Sigg, works in progress, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, or an audience at MIT he photographed while lecturing. In effect, Ai’s activity

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