From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WeiweiCam is a self-surveillance project by artist Ai Weiwei, in China, that went live on April 3, 2012, exactly one year after the artist's detention by Chinese officials at Beijing Airport.[1] At least fifteen surveillance cameras monitor his house in Beijing[2] which, according to Ai, makes it the most-watched spot of the city.[3] He described his decision to put himself under further surveillance as a symbolic way to increase transparency in the Chinese government.[4] WeiweiCam consisted of four webcams that sent a live 24-hour feed publicly viewable from the website weiweicam.com.[5] 46 hours after the site went live Ai Weiwei was instructed to shut down WeiweiCam by Chinese authorities.[6][7] During the time weiweicam.com was live it received 5.2 million views.[8]

WeiweiCam was included in "What We Watch", an exhibition on net art and surveillance, at COFAspace Gallery, UNSW College of Fine Arts.[9][10]

Until June 30, 2013, WeiweiCam is to be seen at the Kunstpalais Erlangen, Germany. In the context of the exhibition "Freedom!" the visitors can contact the artist directly via Twitter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carol Vogel (April 3, 2012). "Ai Weiwei Takes His Surveillance Worldwide". The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "Orwell, Kafka and Ai Weiwei". The Economist. April 13, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Branigan, Tania (3 April 2012). "Ai Weiwei installs studio webcams for supporters and security services". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Ai Weiwei's #WeiweiCam". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Ai Weiwei makes statement on gov't voyeurism". CBSNews. US. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Ai's Weiweicam Forced Offline After 46 Hours". China Digital Times. CN. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Ai Weiwei 'ordered to turn cameras off'". BBC. UK. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  8. ^ Smith, Marian; Baculinao, Eric (5 April 2012). "After 5 million views in 2 days, China orders Ai Weiwei to turn off webcams". MSNBC. US. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  9. ^ What We Watch: Net Art and Surveillance
  10. ^ What We Watch Exhibition

External links[edit]