Ai Weiwei ordered to stop spying on himself

Bad news if you get your kicks from watching a rotund, bearded man work on his computer in real-time. On Monday, Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei set up four live webcams throughout his home studio, streaming real-time images of himself working at his computer, sleeping, and interacting with his cat. The WeiWeicam was a ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
629337_aiweiwei_1.jpg
629337_aiweiwei_1.jpg

Bad news if you get your kicks from watching a rotund, bearded man work on his computer in real-time. On Monday, Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei set up four live webcams throughout his home studio, streaming real-time images of himself working at his computer, sleeping, and interacting with his cat.

The WeiWeicam was a clever commentary on the constant surveillance the artist has been under since he was apprehended and held in detention for three months last year. Evidently, the authorities would prefer to be the only ones watching Ai go about his daily routine: 

On Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Mr. Ai announced the launch of the live feed, the cameras — one of which had been installed on the ceiling of his bedroom — went dark. “4 minutes ago the cameras have been shut down,” the artist wrote on his Twitter feed. “byebye to all the voyeurs.”

Bad news if you get your kicks from watching a rotund, bearded man work on his computer in real-time. On Monday, Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei set up four live webcams throughout his home studio, streaming real-time images of himself working at his computer, sleeping, and interacting with his cat.

The WeiWeicam was a clever commentary on the constant surveillance the artist has been under since he was apprehended and held in detention for three months last year. Evidently, the authorities would prefer to be the only ones watching Ai go about his daily routine: 

On Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Mr. Ai announced the launch of the live feed, the cameras — one of which had been installed on the ceiling of his bedroom — went dark. “4 minutes ago the cameras have been shut down,” the artist wrote on his Twitter feed. “byebye to all the voyeurs.”

Mr. Ai indicated to his Twitter followers on Wednesday that the decision to kill the cameras had not been his, later telling CNN and other media outlets that the cameras had been turned off on orders from public security officials

Christina Larson interviewed Ai for FP in December. 

Image via Al Jazeera

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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