Drifting in the Big City’s Sights and Sounds

By webadmin on 09:21 am Jun 13, 2012
Category Archive

Natasha Gan

“Drift,” a multimedia art exhibition, showcases the work of young Indonesian artists after spending two months exploring Jakarta and Bandung.

The three artists featured in the exhibit combined their knowledge of their hometowns with mapping technology.

“Last year’s technology wasn’t as advanced as today’s,” said “Drift” curator Mahardika Yudha. “So I integrated today’s technology, such as global positioning systems, to come up with the theme.”

The small space at the ruangrupa Gallery on Jalan Tebet Timur Dalam Raya transforms into a venue where multimedia art is transmuted by the combination of sounds, videos, performances and interactions that is “Drift.”

“Wave your arms like this,” said artist Ricky Janitra, also known as Babay, while demonstrating his work of art. “Do you hear the sound change?”

He flails his left arm like a swimmer and out comes the sound of a bajaj (motorized trishaw) passing. He flails his right arm and out comes the sound of a motorcycle driving by.

For “Drift,” Babay, who is also a video and music DJ, stuck to what he knew best: audio. He traveled around Jakarta a nd recorded the sounds of the bustling streets.

“My work is all about sharing my own experience in the busy streets of Jakarta,” the 27-year-old artist said. According to him, different sounds represent different areas of Jakarta, enabling him to map each area based on the sounds he recorded.

Using his Macbook Pro, an Xbox 360 sensor and a bunch of speakers, Babay presents his recordings in an interactive presentation.

In addition to Babay’s installation, visitors can see work from Bagasworo Aryaningtyas and Prilla Tania. Their work focuses on the importance of knowing a city’s twists and turns.

Aryaningtyas, also known as Chomenk, explored the small back alleys of South Jakarta he usually takes when the main roads are clogged. He put a video camera on his helmet and recorded himself as he drove his motorcycle.

Beside the three flat-screen televisions showing his journey from different angles, he has also constructed a map displaying his routes. While Babay uses sounds to describe an area, Chomenk uses road signs made by local residents as his checkpoints to identify an area or a turn.

Chomenk’s work also has a fun interactive component. Different-sized stamps were lined up by the wall, begging visitors to make their mark. The wall that visitors can decorate is filled with stamp marks in the shapes of railroads, and dotted and straight lines. In one corner the word “Monas,” (the National Monument) is written, hinting that it should be a map of Jakarta. With the unpredictable help of different visitors, the wall represents how people mobilize — or become immobilized by traffic — in Jakarta during the morning rush hours.

Another map included in the exhibit is the work of Tania, who was born and raised in Bandung. She chose to focus on her hometown and observed her fellow residents making their daily morning commute, some as early as 3:40 a.m.

Be it the housewives traveling on foot to the market to buy groceries, the diligent youngsters trying to make it before the school bell rings or the hardworking fathers who walk to work to feed their families, the daily migration stays constant and occurs everyday.

Tania re-mapped the paths Bandung residents took on foot using different colors and shapes for an interesting piece of work.

Who knew the traffic you usually grumble about could turn into a fascinating work of art?

Until June 16
ruangrupa Gallery
Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam Raya No. 6
South Jakarta