June 26th, 2015

China’s Your Country, We Just Live in It

Tracking a viral, slightly subversive meme in Chinese cyberspace.

By: Alexa Olesen      Source: Foreign Policy      25/6/2015

TO GO WITH China-politics-Internet,FEATURE by Pascale Trouillaud   This photo taken on May 11, 2011 shows a Chinese young woman surfing the net at an Internet bar in Beijing. China, which employs an army of censors to police the Internet, has also deployed legions of "web commentators" to get the government's message out -- in a crafty but effective way.     AFP PHOTO / GOU Yige (Photo credit should read GOU YIGE/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP PHOTO / (Photo credit should read GOU YIGE/AFP/Getty Images)

Call it digital disownment — or perhaps imaginary immigration. A growing number of Chinese web users are voicing frustration with their government using a subtle, pronoun-based renunciation of their citizenship.

The meme of the moment on Chinese social media is ni guo — which means “your country” but is best translated as “your China.” Deployed as a hashtag or embedded in a social media post, the phrase is a sarcastic retooling of the ubiquitous Communist Party phrase wo guo, which literally means “my country” but has the flavor of more nationalist phrases like “our China” or “our motherland.” Web users can find “my country” peppering official rhetoric on state mouthpieces like People’s Daily, official sites of the Chinese Communist Party, and even the National Bureau of Statistics. On Twitter and on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform, the converse, “your country,” appears to have taken off in the last several months, and is new enough that many people are only now asking what it means. Continue reading

June 18th, 2015


“China’s Good Netizen 2015” launched to cultivate & promote socialist values, & reveal China’s healthy online culture


倡导文明健康网络生活 培育崇德向善网络行为


    中国网信网6月18日电 由国家互联网信息办公室指导,新华网主办,人民网、中国网、央视网、中国青年网、中国新闻网、光明网、新浪网、腾讯网、新浪微博等网站协办的“2015中国好网民”流行语和故事征集活动今天(18日)正式上线(www.xinhuanet.com/forum/sqgj/zghwm/index.htm)。这标志着“2015中国好网民”系列活动正式启动。




June 16th, 2015

Speculations on Digital Arts Media’s Future(s)

By:  Susannah Schouweiler      Source: Mnartists.org         Date: 25/5/2015

We asked journalists, artists, and critics — from Washington Post and ArtSlant to MinnesotaPlaylist.com, Culturebot, Art in America, Glasstire, and more — to speculate: How will we be reading and writing about the arts ten years from now?

Norman Rockwell, The Art Critic, 1955, pixelated.

We asked a range of web-savvy writers, critics, artists and nonprofit advocates to enter the fray and speculate: How will we be reading and writing on the arts ten years from now?

Sasha Anawalt, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Over time we have become more flexible, more fluid — even the term “liquid journalism” is for-real. “Slow journalism,” too. And “360-degree journalism,” don’t you hear that all the time now? These refer to an abandonment of the precious ideas and principles that told us arts critics could not gather in one place and share ideas, impressions, or stories with one another. The arts writing profession was about isolation, because isolation and hermetically sealed criticism was thought to be more original and more ethical. Once in print, it was fair game. But we arts critics avoided gatherings, because we might influence one another. We were resolutely competitive.

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June 11th, 2015

Propaganda converges

By: David Bandurski      Source: China Media Project     8/6/2015

In a ceremony today attended by senior officials dealing with media and propaganda, China’s official Xinhua News Service launched the second edition of its news app for iPhone and Android. Cai Mingzhao (蔡名照), the Xinhua News Agency director who served previously as director of the State Council Information Office and editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily, told the gathering at Xinhua headquarters that the launch of the mobile app “provided the basis for Xinhua Online to become the main force in the national transmission of news and information through the internet.”

The app’s launch comes amid a renewed focus in China’s top leadership on innovation combined with a more robust mobile internet-based economy, under a formula Premier Li Keqiang recently called “Internet Plus.” Responding enthusiastically to Premier Li’s overtures on innovation back in March, an English-language article on the website of the state-run Global Times newspaper said Internet Plus “will bring about the fourth industrial revolution for manufacturing.”xinhua-new-mobile_new-mainstream-new-experience-500x383

Continue reading

June 8th, 2015

Ai Weiwei Trades Politics for Subtlety in First Solo Exhibition in China

By: Amy Qin       Source: The New York Times/Sinosphere         8/6/2015


Visitors gather around a reassembled ancestral hall at the opening on Saturday of Ai Weiwei’s first solo exhibition in China.Credit TANG Contemporary Art

Barred since 2011 from traveling outside his home country, the artist Ai Weiwei has become a master of what might be called “remote exhibition-making” — using 3-D computer models, Skype, and a team of curators and assistants to create large-scale installations around the world from his studio in Beijing. But no virtual simulation was needed for the artist’s newest exhibition, which opened last weekend at the Galleria Continua and at the Tang Contemporary Art Center in the trendy 798 Art District of Beijing.

On Saturday afternoon, tourists, fans, and family and friends of the artist flocked to the opening of Mr. Ai’s first-ever solo exhibition in China to see the show and, more important for many, to catch a glimpse of the famous rebel artist himself. Dressed in a green short-sleeve shirt, khaki shorts and navy canvas shoes, Mr. Ai appeared to be in good spirits as he fielded an unending stream of requests for photographs, selfies and autographs. When asked how it felt finally to be able to attend an opening for one of his exhibitions, the typically outspoken artist had only a few words to say.

“It’s surprising,” he said, quietly. “It feels different.”  Continue reading

June 4th, 2015

Connected Life Conference 2015: Our Digital Society


Hosted by the Oxford Internet Institute   on   4/6/2015

Connected Life 2015 is a day-long student-run conference dedicated to sparking exchange between disciplines and showcasing emerging internet research. Bringing together participants from across the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, Connected Life will foster collaborations within and beyond Oxford in pursuit of an enhanced understanding of the internet and its multifaceted effects.

I’ll be delivering a paper in the morning session as part of the panel entitled ‘Cultures and Conflicts’, the full programme is below: Continue reading