• Dissident artist Ai Weiwei tops Art Review‘s Power 100 listing of the most influential figures in art, a designation Chinese authorities claim arises “purely from a position of political bias.” Here’s Art Review‘s rationale, in part:
…Ai’s power and influence derive from the fact that his work and his words have become catalysts for international political debates that affect every nation on the planet: freedom of expression, nationalism, economic power, the Internet, the rights of the human being. Most important of all, Ai’s activities have allowed artists to move away from the idea that they work within a privileged zone limited by the walls of a gallery or museum. They have reminded his colleagues and the world at large of the fact that freedom of expression is a basic right of any human being. In the process, Ai has promoted the notion that art’s real context is not simply ‘the market’ or ‘the institution’, but what’s happening now, around us, in the real world.
• Ai’s influence is evident in another sphere today as well: The fashion magazine W announced that its November issue, on contemporary art, includes two spreads of photos art-directed by Ai and a cover he designed. Using Skype, Ai directed New York photographer Max Vadukul in a shoot set in Rikers Island. The cover, writes ArtInfo, is “a not-so-subtly-political image of a model-rioter dressed in a gaudy yellow jacket being dragged away by two plainclothes policemen.” Accompanying it are the words “Enforced Disappearance,” an apparent reference to his detention for more than two months.
• Ai Weiwei is also in the running for the Freedom to Create Prize, which “celebrates the courage and creativity of artists who use their talents to build social foundations and inspire the human spirit.” Fifty artists have been nominated for the prize, which includes $100,000 for winning artists. Also in the running, filmmaker/artist Lynn Hershman Leeson (whose film !Women Art Revolution! screens at the Walker next month), artist Wafaa Bilal, and Roxana Saberi, the Fargo-born journalist jailed and accused of espionage in Iran in 2009.
• For its show Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City, opening today, the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City asked artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija and George Trakas to conceive of “new approaches to development in this area of Long Island City that [neighborhood residents Isamu] Noguchi and [Mark] di Suvero helped to shape.” Tiravanija, long a friend of the Walker, proposed a GreenWay and Community Kitchen. WNYC reports his plan would involve “repaving Broadway from the N/Q subway station to Socrates Sculpture Park with drivable grass. Parts of the GreenWay could be closed to traffic for markets, film screenings and other happenings, and a community kitchen would be set up in Socrates Sculpture Park.”
• F.A.T., Free Art & Technology, wants to Occupy the Internet… with animated gifs. Readers are encouraged to leave their wiggly, sign-carrying creations in comments.