Use Ai Weiwei’s middle finger to give the bird anywhere on the planet
The Chinese artist is famous for flipping off historic landmarks
From 1995 to 2003, Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most prestigious and highly controversial artists, took pictures of his middle finger at various locations around the globe. Called a Study of Perspective, Ai Weiwei used these snapshots as a concise way to show his opposition to the ruling classes.
Twenty years later, an online project called Avante Arte lets anyone with a computer use Ai Weiwei’s finger to give the bird to any location on Google Maps. Don’t like Trump’s politics? Point a finger at Mar-a-Lago. Angry at the neighbors for their never-ending construction? Put their address into the website and give their place the finger.
While we’re not sure that middle-fingering everyone is what Google had in mind when it set out to map the world, the generator is good for a moment of reflection on the perspective of power. Ai Weiwei said to Hyperallergic, “We often forget that we have a middle finger. Or even if we know we have a middle finger, we misuse it. I think it’s good to remember that this part of your body can point to something — an institution, or someone that resembles a power — to let them know, and let yourself know, that you exist.”
Check out Ai Weiwei and Avante Art’s Middle Finger project here.