Chinese artist Ai Weiwei wants you to draw on the moon. Ok, it's a virtual moon.
Described on the Falling Walls website as “a digital public platform celebrating the freedom of expression,” the Moon is a virtual white sphere where people from all over the world can log in and draw something on the surface. Just about anything goes, with people drawing everything from Mario to a cyborg Mona Lisa to mathematics equations. The dark drawings create a pocked, cratered look on the surface, echoing the face of our natural satellite. It's a collaboration between Ai Weiwei and the artist Olafur Eliasson, and debuted last November at Berlin’s Falling Walls science conference.
In the introduction on the website, the project's creators encourage particupation:
Turn nothing into something – make a drawing, make a mark. Connect with others through this space of imagination. Look at other people’s drawings and share them with the world. Be part of the growing community to celebrate how creative expression transcends external borders and internal constraints. We are in this world together.
Ideas, wind, and air no one can stop.
The organizers have seen a transformation in the content since the site was launched. In the beginning, there were scribbles, doodles, and drawings. Then came flipbooks and word poems.
Now, more and more, there are collaborations, and clusters, and virtual versions of the Surrealist game Exquisite Corpse. Sometimes people work together on large drawings. Other times, interlopers take over.
“Clearly we have no control over what is actually going on,” Eliasson says.
A quick look this morning, for instance, led first to a haunting drawing of a face and, right next to it, a crude drawing of a penis, accompanied by a message—"ITS ART" [sic]. While not everyone may agree, this Moon is certainly a world worth exploring.