Jakarta Biennale 2015 Knowledge Exchange Programme
Open Call for Participants
Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy (for selected participants only): 16-30 November 2015
Makan Nggak Makan Asal Kumpul Symposium (open for public—60 seats): 16-19 November 2015
As a platform for critical thinking, Jakarta Biennale 2015 is searching for eight individuals who already work in the arts sector to join the team of JB emerging curators plus other participants from Arts Collaboratory network as participants in Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy.
If you would like to apply for the MKMK academy, please send the following materials to firstname.lastname@example.org, before 25 October 2015, 23:59 WIB (West Indonesia Time):
- Updated resume.
- Statement of ability to join the Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy for the whole 15 days (16-30 November 2015).
- Motivation letter explaining reasons why the urgency of collectivity and collectivism in the individual’s practice (max. 500 words).
- An essay of examples of art collectives from the individual’s context, arguing on the success and failure of those examples (max. 1000 words). If selected, this essay needs to be presented in front of other participants in the introduction session of the Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy.
Please note that Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy charges no fee for the selected participants, but each of the participants is responsible for her/his own transportation and accommodation cost.
The academy’s main language is English.
List of selected participants:
Taking place during the first two weeks of Jakarta Biennale 2015 from 16-30 November 2015, Maju Kena Mundur Kena (MKMK) Academy is an initiative inaugurated by Jakarta Biennale (JB) and Institut ruangrupa (Ir.), to examine the inherent educational potential in the model of a (visual art) biennale.
Devised as a Temporary Exchange Zone, MKMK Academy will act as a platform where selected international participants can share their personal and artistic narratives, transfer their knowledge and possibly transpose their subjectivities during its two weeks. The temporary Academy will make use of the Biennale as a repository of knowledge and artistic experience, discussing the exhibited art works and their broad implications in terms of social agency, urban change, environmental crisis and art. The meetings will involve a number of theorists and writers, makers and collaborators from the Biennale (artists, curators, researchers, producers, etc.) and many others. There will be public sessions and more intimate workshops of various durations with the invited guests.
Conversations and questions in MKMK Academy will center around the question of education and collectivity, looking at ways to develop a situation in which learning and exchange, the organised and the spontaneous can exist alongside one another. The content of the talks will inevitably focus on some of the main topics addressed by the Biennale; the history of cosmopolitan collectivism, the politics of water as an entry point to urban activism, and the inequality against women with regard to relations between gender, faith and class struggle—all using cases from several megalopolises in the global South. There will also be a push to critically revisit the contemporary idea of collectivity and collectivism—a model that has come to dominate the Indonesian art scene in the last 15-20 years, and that has perhaps been too easily celebrated rather than scrutinized.
In line with the communal theme, the Academy will form a new “collective”—consisting of 20 participants from Indonesia, Southeast Asian countries, and Global South countries through the Arts Collaboratory network. The participants will be partly gathered through invitation and partly through an open-call process that we launched today. They will all have the chance to work together on a spatial installation within the introduction and discursive areas of the Biennale. Thus, this newly formed collective will inevitably reflect on its “forced togetherness” as a way to think through what it is to work and be together in an apparently functioning impossibility that is responsible for the existence of every collective we know. Further, the task of this newly formed collective is to critically reflect on the urgency or otherwise of togetherness, collectivity, and collectivism from the contexts of each of the participants.
MKMK Academy seeks to develop open formats through a series of discussions, working sessions, lectures and exchanges of opinion in a variety of Jakarta locations and configurations. The MKMK Academy will further visit Tisna Sanjaya’s Cigondewa village and Jatiwangi Art Factory—both working in the context of urbanizing West Java, where contradicting impossibilities serve as a background to push different qualities of togetherness.
To end the whole process, participants of MKMK Academy will produce a list of 10 ethics and principals, as criteria for collectivism, collectivity, and forming togetherness. This will be distributed as a work-in-progress model of possible collective art practice that could tackle and go beyond limitations faced by each of the participants when they act as individuals. In an art world in which the market dominates, there is a dire need for purposeful works, which emancipate and enable certain agencies for communities. The possibilities of artistic collective agency are therefore a way to create a tension of dialectic between the need for ethical behaviour and the comfort of the market. The results of this experiment of knowledge production will be presented through extensive recordings of the whole process in Jakarta Biennale 2015 main venue. Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy & Makan Nggak Makan Asal Kumpul Symposium will thus be shared with the public, who can interpret the results freely and hopefully come up with their own models of education as a consequence.
Public Symposium 16-19 November
Alongside the closed sessions for MKMK Academy participants, a major part of the whole two-week Academy is a four-day public Symposium program (16-19 November 2015), entitled Makan Nggak Makan Asal Kumpul (to eat or not to eat, as long as together). The symposium consists of a number of invited key intellectuals to lecture on the aforementioned subjects, and four roundtable discussion sessions, in which artists, curators, and other art workers will come together and have a dialogue in a public setting. Confirmed speakers include Hilmar Farid (ID), Ute Meta Bauer (SG), Eungie Joo (US), Melani Budianta (ID), Nikos Papastergiadis (AU), Tone Olaf Nielsen (DK), Goh Beng Lan (SG) Viviana Checchia (SCO) and Remco de Blaaij (SCO). Please see schedule for more details.
The symposium will be conducted in Indonesian and English, with simultaneous translation service.
Institut ruangrupa is a new initiative by the Jakarta-based artists’ collective ruangrupa. It takes the form of an educational wing (pretend-school) by considering ruangrupa as a whole—the people, programming, divisions, networks, and sensibilities—through its 15-year existence, beyond its intention to be a cultural practice, but also further as an operation for knowledge production. Besides holding a series of workshops for prospective art workers every year, Institut ruangrupa will aspire to run programmes in the future, of which Maju Kena Mundur Kena Academy & Makan Nggak Makan Asal Kumpul Symposium is a vital element. It will establish the scope of its operation in making the practice of the participants both discursive and collaborative, two main qualities ruangrupa believes to be the core of every successful work.