Artist Ai Wei Wei has installed live webcams in his home so that authorities – and worried supporters – can keep track of his day-to-day whereabouts and welfare. Feeling hemmed in by increasingly invasive state surveillance – being followed day-to-day, round-the-clock surveillance on his home, searches of his studio, phone taps, opening his mail — Wei Wei decided to go the extra step and demonstrate that he has no secrets, despite the Chinese government’s persistent paranoia.
Wei Wei was detained last April for 81 days amid Chinese fears of political dissidence in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings. He was charged with tax evasion, a charge supporters say was politically motivated. His fines were paid by friends and supporters. Perhaps most controversially, he questioned the government’s role in poor construction standards after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake killed more than 5,000 schoolchildren because buildings collapsed. In November last year, officials demolished his studio in Shanghai.
Thanks to The Guardian for the original coverage.