Other Artist Research

Artist research (I will continuously add to this)

  • Artists who have used social media and digital technologies
  • Influence of social media on political activism
  • Collective activism to circumvent state operated media channels
  • Communication in activism


Ai Wei Wei

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Ai Weiwei’s work is indelibly tied to the fight for freedom of speech.He has consistently drawn attention to corruption and injustice in the Chinese government.

“If there is no free speech, every single life has lived in vain.” Ai Weiwei: Never sorry

  • Ai Weiwei s ambassador for Reporters Without Borders. His photographs will feature in RSF’s 2013 album “100 photos for press freedom.” The latest issue was released on September 12, 2013 and was dedicated to the fight for free expression in China. Ai Weiwei’s work n this album chronicles his shadowing and surveillance by China’s secret police.
  • Ai Weiwei is incredibly active on social media. As the majority of his tweets are in mandarin, a group of artists have created a Twitter account which translaties Weiwei’s tweets into English.
  • Ai Weiwei had never used a comuter before 2005. But from 2006-2009, he maintained a blog in which he heavily criticised the Chiese government. Although the blog has been taken down by Chinese authorities, its contents has been collected in a book “Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews and Digital Rants 2006-2009.

Biantai Laijiao

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Biantai Laijiao is a political cartoonist. His access to social networking accounts has been suspended after he was crticised by Chinese state-run media as a “pro Japanese traitor.”

  • Biantai Lajiao has amassed tens of thousands of followers on microblogs with his cartoons, which are inspired by major incidents or social issues in China, such as a train crash in Wenzhou in 2011 that killed at least 39 people, the government’s anti-corruption campaign and ever-rising property prices. His satirical comments on the Chinese government’s responses to and measures against the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong drew heavy criticism from state-run media in June this year.
  • Around 193,000 people in Hong Kong took part in the Occupy Central movement in June this year to call on Beijing to grant Hong Kong citizens a greater say in electing their next leader at the 2017 Chief Executive election.


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WikiLeaks is an international, online, non- profit journalistic organisation which publishes secret information, news leaks and classified media from anonymous sources. Its website, initiated in 2006 in Iceland by the organisation Sunshine Press claimed a database of more than 1.2 million documents within a year of its launch.

The Benevolent society:

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  • Allows Australian citizens the chance to share and show their hope through an integrated installation combining tweets and the power of light. This none for profit organization, whose aim is to help people change the lives of children through support and education, found a great way to gain attention by discussing its key role in driving positive social change in Australia
  • Users were asked to send a message via Twitter using the tag “hopesforchange.” The more “hope messages” were tweeted, the greater and more dynamic the installation’s lighting effects became.

Arches of hope:

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  • A campaign which pushed the word in a big way with a unique social media effort. An art installation designed by Italian architect Antonio Pio Saracino and conceived by Patrick Duffy.
  • The three 10 feet tall arches, which represented three decades of HIV and AIDS – the past (30 million deaths) and present (34 milion people infected) and future (zero infections) of the disease – were brought to life with Twitter messages that were displayed by LED ticker tape embedded in the installation.
  • Twitter users were encouraged to tweet messages tagged with “archesofhope.”These messages were dedicated to support more than 2,600 people aged 16 to 24 that are infected with HIV every day around the world.
  • NYC citizens were able to view the tweets and names of their senders in the lights of a Times Square billboard (and on 12 other social media sites.)

Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube

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Other research

Mexico’s Drug Cartel’s love social media

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– Links in with how social media can also be used as a negative. They use it to run positive PR campaigns, hunts down targets by tracking their movements on social media



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