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Jenni Carter: Ai Weiwei, An Archive

Work / Art

Ai Weiwei prints five years worth of tweets in new artwork

Ai Weiwei has printed five years worth of his many, many tweets onto rice paper to form a new piece called An Archive . The artist has long used Twitter as a platform from which to protest Chinese government oppression, leading to a ban from Chinese Twitter. In an interview with The Creator’s Project, Ai tells how the piece, which is formed of thousands of pieces of printed rice paper, showcases a time when he could use the social network for “discussions and memories of the past, as well as predictions for the future. Twitter was an exercise for the mind and one where you are fully exposed to the public."

He told the site: “Twitter is a very interesting medium. It is not one that records the past, but one that forms in the present condition, with real connections to the future…Although they are just my writings on Twitter, they relate to certain events and the discussions between readers and myself. It is like water flowing in front of us. There is a need to record it like a novel or like a piece of history.”

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Ai Weiwei: An Archive

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Ai Weiwei: An Archive