Ai Weiwei, Social Media and Online Activism

Tomorrow I’ll be delivering a public lecture at the Royal Academy on Ai Weiwei, Social Media and Online Activism. For anyone that’s interested in learning more, here is a description and a link to the event:

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Art historian Dr Ros Holmes discusses Ai Weiwei’s prolific use of social media and explores the artist’s creative, humorous – but also socially and politically critical – presence online.

Since 2005, Ai Weiwei has employed an array of digital media platforms as the primary means to communicate and interact with his followers, both within China and worldwide. From his extensive blogging activities to his prolific use of Twitter and Instagram, as well as his creation of satirical memes and online videos, audio recordings and photos, Ai has harnessed the power of the Internet as a creative tool for public expression and discussion.

In this talk, Dr Ros Holmes addresses the intertwining of Ai Weiwei’s online communications with his own practice to craft an artistic mode of expression that very cleverly exposes the (often incredulous) contradictions of contemporary China, and the absurdities of institutional power. She also explores how the above methodologies have affected his artistic impact, with young artists both celebrating and contesting his practice.

Doors open at 2.30pm, no admittance will be granted for latecomers after 3pm. If you do not arrive before 3pm, your ticket will be released at that time to those waiting for returned tickets.