“HANS ULRICH OBRIST: … I always thought of the blog as one of the ‘social sculptures’ of the twenty-first century, so I want to ask you about how the blog started, about your daily practice of the blog, and about how you see it functioning in the current moment.
AI WEIWEI: My blog is not that much different from anyone else’s. Only I am rather continuously paying attention to certain issues that attract my personal concern. These issues are mostly about artists’ rights of expression, and the ways personal rights are expressed. … I think the Internet and information era is the greatest period mankind has encountered. Thanks to this period, humans finally have the opportunity to become independent, to acquire information and communicate independently.
HUO: When we spoke last time and I asked you if you were optimistic, you replied that you’re very optimistic because of the Internet, that you felt the Internet was the most wonderful thing that could have happened, because somehow it created a rupture with the old value system, and introduced a new value system into the world. So far the art world has used the Internet much less than the music world, where it has become an integral part of almost every release of a record and of dissemination of sound. One could even say that the artworld has been more defensive in its relationship to the Internet. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more, also beyond the blog, how you see the future of art and the Internet, and if you think there is viability in the idea of the galleries of the future being online.
AWW: … I think that art won’t have too grand or too much of a future if it fails to connect with today’s lifestyles and technologies. And all those paintings and sculptures in the past are just very old memories; the people who are attached to the past can still be interested in them. But I believe that, thanks to the possibilities provided by computer technology and communication, great changes have taken place in art in this new era. And the changes will continue more extensively, and more aggressively, in the future.
HUO: So is drawing part of your daily practice?
AWW: No. I blog. The blog is like my drawing.
HUO: It’s fascinating that you say that your blogs are your drawings.
AWW: The blog is the modern drawing. Whatever I say there could be seen as part of my work. It gives the most information: it shows my complete surroundings.”
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ai Weiwei speaks with Hans Ulrich Obrist, A Penguin Special, London 2011, pp. 28-32, 44-45.
Ai Weiwei è un artista, designer, architetto, curatore, poeta, blogger ed editore cinese.
Hans Ulrich Obrist è un curatore e scrittore. Dal 2006 è co-direttore della Serpentine Gallery di Londra.