Ai Weiwei

Lives and works in Beijing, China.

WeiweiCam is a live self-surveillance project that has been reprised in time for What We Watch. Originally launched in April 2012, WeiweiCam was live for only 46 hours before Chinese authorities ordered it be shut down. During this time it received 5.2 million views.

For the project, Ai Weiwei installed several surveillance cameras to monitor his house in Beijing and publically streamed the footage via weiweicam.com. This undertaking was considered to be a symbolic comment on the lack of government transparency, and an acknowledgement of the one-year anniversary of his 81-day arrest by the authorities. Since his release from detention, Ai Weiwei has received 24-hour police surveillance.

“In my life there is so much surveillance and monitoring – my phone, my computer… our office has been searched, I have been searched, every day I am being followed, there are surveillance cameras in front of my house. So I was wondering why don’t I put some [cameras] in there so people can see all my activities. I can do that and I hope the other party [authorities] can also show some transparency.”