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Rhizome and New Museum Release Online Doc of Weiwei-Appelbaum Collaboration

Artist Ai Weiwei and Activist Jacob Appelbaum. COURTESY RHIZOME

Artist Ai Weiwei and Activist Jacob Appelbaum.


Today, Rhizome and the New Museum jointly released the online premiere of The Art of Dissent–a new film by Laura Poitra documenting a 72-hour collaboration in Beijing between Ai Weiwei and WikiLeaks/Tor Project activist Jacob Applebaum–as part of the New York Times Op-Docs series, which can be watched now.

Created for the seventh edition of Rhizome’s art-meets-tech event Seven on Seven (which took place May 2 at the New Museum), the film documents three days of fully open-ended collaboration between Weiwei and Applebaum. “The two were invited to create something new—an artwork, an action, a provocation, a piece of technology, or whatever they imagined,” Rhizome explained in a release today.

The end result is a work titled Panda-To-Panda, in which 20 toy pandas are gutted and replaced with shredded Snowden documents and the contents of an unknown SD card. “To have Laura Poitras there, filming Appelbaum and Ai as they made an artwork together, was incredible,” said Heather Corcoran, the executive director of Rhizome.

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