Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Logical Aesthetics - Irfan Hendrian

Irfan Hendrian will have his solo exhibition at Via Via in Yogya, 4-30 October.

My essay for his catalog can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dadang Christanto: Trauma and Amnesia

Open publication - Free publishing - More exhibition

My review essay of Dadang Christanto's solo exhibition at
Yuz Museum, Jakarta, for Tempo Magazine (English edition).
The exhibition runs until 24 September.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some thoughts on Public Art/Public Space roundtable discussion at Common Room, 21 September

Spaces and places frame life; furthermore, the ways we use these spaces and places are framed by the ways we talk about them. When the stories we tell and are being told about our cities gain a sense of inevitability they become oppressing. There always are – and should be – alternative ways of looking at our cities. Two perspectives on cities that might be relevant for our discussion: first, creative cities (see my essay:; second, the right to the city (see my essay:; a third perspective is that of the global city, which isn’t too relevant for our discussion). Discussions on creative cities often center on the idea of the creative class (Richard Florida); however, if we speak about the creative class we have to speak about classes and, therefore, conflicts, which are all too often overlooked. While I’m attracted to the call for the right to the city (Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey), I also see that such a call tends to overlook that the streets of are not vacant (especially in Indonesian cities). Both these perspectives can easily be manipulated into apolitical marketing tools (city branding: art and architecture to beautify the city to attract tourists). How can our practices and ideas contribute to public space? And public space is here understood as political, thus how to make public space more inclusive as well as more antagonistic?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Public Art/Public Space: Art, architecture and everyday life - roundtable discussion at Common Room

Public Art/Public Space
Art, architecture & everyday life

A roundtable discussion at Common Room Networks Foundation
Jl. Kyai Gede Utama no. 8, Bandung, Indonesia
Twitter: @CommonRoom_ID

Common Room Networks Foundation in collaboration with Roma Arts

The roundtable discussion is part of NU Substance festival

21 September 2012, 3pm


  • Roy Voragen – Bandung-based writer and founder of Roma Arts

Public art can take different forms. Firstly, it can take the form of publicly funded statues to signify a coherent narrative of the nation, e.g. statues of national heroes like General Sudirman (when such a narrative of the nation changes then those statues are often taken down, as in the former Soviet countries happened when a great many Lenins and Stalins were symbolically taken down). Secondly, it can take the form, as stipulated by law in some countries, that a certain minimum percentage of the construction budget of large projects should be spend on art. These two forms could, at best, be ways to beautify the city. And a beautiful city can be pleasant, however, it is questionable that these two forms of public art will lead to a more democratic public space. The third form of public art takes the form of fleeting interventions in the city, e.g. installations or graffiti. Often these are considered vandalism (some years ago a work by Tisna Sanjaya was destroyed by the government in Bandung as it was labeled trash). But why isn’t the renovation of the Hotel Indonesia Circle by former governor Gen. Sutiyoso considered vandalism? Can art and architecture influence behavior so that the quality and quantity of democratic public space could improve? Or are we then asking too much of art and architecture?

Materials on ‘Public Art/Public Space – Art, architecture and everyday life’:

NU Substance at Common Room

NU Substance 2012: contested space
Festival for Open Culture, Technology & Urban Ecology
Organized by Common Room Networks Foundation
Bandung, 15-30 September 2012

For more information see here.

Review of Arte Polis 4 conference

Open publication - Free publishing - More architecture

My review essay of Arte Polis 4 conference at ITB in Bandung for the IIAS Newsletter (download PDF here).