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Artist Paints 328 Feet of Code on Twitter's Floor

And you can watch the whole thing happen in 35 seconds.


Qinmin Liu just spent 80 hours painting binary code by hand right down the middle of the Twitter building, 328 feet of it in all. The China-born performance artist has never been shy about taking on the subject of San Francisco's tech sector, but spending two full work weeks crouched over a giant roll of paper in the heart of the techiest of all companies probably amounts to an escalation of the theme.

Liu, a graduate of SF state, once offered to trade animal kidneys for Apple Watches to protest commercialism (it made sense at the time). She also covered her body in sticky rice and walked across the city for eight hours as a commentary on social media (that one made less sense, although some people called it insightful). Perhaps the folks at Twitter are fans, because they were quite game about letting her move into a corridor on the fourth floor of their Mid Market office and paint away.

"I just picked the longest hallway they had and painted nonstop every day," says Liu. Hundreds of employees simply walked around her day in and day out. Of course, a lot of them had questions, like "Who are you?" and "What in the world are you doing?" but that was part of the point. "I've met a lot of technology people since I came here six years ago. I wanted to do something to appeal to them, using their language in my style, to show that artists and programmers aren't enemies. We both make new things." 

The code she wrote is actually just gibberish--Liu still doesn't know thing one about programming. But that wasn't the point. "I was improvving."

Since Liu is a perfomance artist, it was the act of painting that was the art rather than the finished roll of paper. Luckily, there's a handy time-lapse version: 80 hours of work in about 35 seconds. That's Yoko Ono's Bad Dancer she's grooving to, by the way. Because of course.


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