NEXXG::NU-SUBSTANCE 2007 – electronic music & media arts gathering, Bandung – Indonesia
February 19, 2007, 9:52 pm
Filed under: EVENTS, News


23 – 25 Februari 2007
Venue: Common Room & CCF Bandung

The first regular program that is dedicated to encourage
the development of electronic music and media arts practice in Bandung
Indonesia. Initiated by Bandung Center for New Media Arts/Common Room Networks Foundation in collaboration with NexxG, this program is also being supported by CCF Bandung. For the first series of NU-SUBSTANCE 2007, this particular program presents experimental instrument exhibition, workshop (electronic music, video jockey & open source music/sound recording); as well as electronic music concert that will be participated by media artist, musician, scientist and open for public participation.

Program Schedule

Friday, 23th February 2007
Experimental Instrument Exhibition

Venue: Common Room, Jl. Kyai Gede Utama No. 8
Exhibition: 23 Februari – 9 Maret 2007
Opening: 23 Februari 2007, on 15.00 PM
Presenting: Hendy Hertiasa aka Party Maker Inc., NRZ,
Elang EBY. and Evan (Storn)
Special Appearance : ADEMUS

Saturday, 24 February 2007
Workshop Program (electronic music, video jockey & open source music/sound recording)
Common Room, Jl. Kyai Gede Utama No. 8
Time: 14.00 PM. – 20.30 PM
Presenting: Deena (Homogenic), Niang aka chainsmokingbastard (Biosampler/UVG) and Andi Sugandi ( Bandung Linux Club)
Participation Fee: Rp. 50.000,-/person
Special Appearance: XONAD (Cerahati)

Sunday, 25 February 2007
Electronic Music Concert
: Auditorium CCF, Jl. Purnawarman No. 32
Time: 19.00 s/d 22.30 PM
Presenting: Souldelay, Ape on the Roof, Biosampler and Homogenic

Artist Profile


ADEMUS (b. 1974)
Muslim’s long standing DJ Ademus, active for over ten years and known to cultivate a healthy obsession with electronic music. Architect and director of the famous essential clothing brand “EAT”. The man behind 347/EAT, Ripple magazine, Spills records, Ex:stence the independent system and movement in Bandung since 1996. Imposes his octopus-like musical tastes on the turntables, making him one of the most eclectic dj’s in Bandung. Next to electronics like minimal, electro, house, techno, braindance, industrial, rock, (free)jazz, postrock, ambient, ragga, dub, reggae, psychedelica, noise, drones, psychfolk, postpunk, free rock grime and many other (mutant) genres.


Xonad (b. 1974)
Known as the bad boys in the local DnB scene in Bandung, Xonad started his career in local music scene with POC
, were he played punk with Anggareza and Koseng in 1994. Later on, he formed an experimental band called Adalah Mati in 1997 and continuing his passion in music with Bahamas in year 2003. He also often involves in some multimedia performance project together with Biosampler and also known as the member of Cerahati, local production house that are known for its cutting edge music videos. Up until now Xonad is work as video artist and a DJ who plays heavy DnB music with extreme speed, raw distortion and experimental noise.



This band was formed in year 2005 as a result from an on going experimentation made by its personnel. After several research and experimentation, they decided to plays in trio format involving Indra (beat keeper, sound designer), Gigi (glitch, vocal) and Bueno (analog bass). Their music heavily resemblance some influence from Tahiti 80, Telefon tel aviv, Apparat, N.E.R.D, In flames, Manitoba, LO-FI FnK, M83, B. Fleischmann, Milosh, Helios, Boards of Canada, Alva Noto and many more.



Ape on the Roof
Ape on the Roof was started as collaborative project from Utari Syaukat and Aghi Naratama when they studied at Seattle. Their music explores acoustic and electronic sound, accompanied by Tari’s voice who often wrote lyrics that plays with imaginary symbol and irony; besides her personal criticism on daily Jakarta’s urban surroundings. Their first self-titled album (Ape on the Roof, 2003), gain some positive response from music fans in Seattle. After they reside in Jakarta, they continue the collaborative project. This time they involve more talents from Jakarta’s music scene, started from DJ OREO a.k.a AGE (The Jonis), Iman (LAIN, ZEKE & THE POPO), Bemby Gusti (LAIN, SORE), Lens (THE MISKINS), Fe (ex JINGGA), Batman (Goodnite Electric), Agrikulture (DJ ANTON, DJ HOGI), and Junko (HERDY, DJ WINKY).


The year 2000 was the early stage of collaborative meeting from a group of people with similar concern and interests. An intense gathering in a house that located in a dense suburban area in Bandung has emerging into a so-called ‘collective attitude’, which is regarded as an act of self-indulgement through a creative process. Each member of this collective often use computer technology, creating piles of works in some digitalized format of sounds, music, images, animations, films, etc. From personal activities, it then has expanded into a collective act to form artistic composition through the creating sensation of sounds, light, and space; which is done spontaneously and sometimes with diverse goal and objective. Some surprising results often happen from their freedom to act and create, as well as dialogues and intervention. What they did has been growing from a daily attitude into an art performance. For NU SUBSTANCE 2007 they play in trio, involving chainsmokingbastard, Party Maker Inc. and Dante von Kelly.



Homogenic is a three-piece electronic band from Bandung – Indonesia. They have released two full albums. The first one is called Epic Symphony, released back in 2004. The second one is called Echoes of the Universe, released back in 2006. Their music is influenced by the magic of electronic music such as MUM, Bjork (this is where they got their name), and Portishead. The most interesting thing from Homogenic’s music is the perfect match between the angelic sounds comes from their vocalist and light-electronic elements from their programmers. Homogenic is songwriter, keyboardist, and programmer Dina Dellyana, singer Risa Saraswati, and programmer Grahadea Kusuf.



Niang aka chainsmokingbastard (b. 1975)
Niang is known as multimedia experimentalist that initiated Biosampler together with Sulasmoro, Xonad, Pumpung/Punjung, David Stress, Domekide, Gustaff H. Iskandar, ROIM, Iweng, Hendy Hertiasa and other friends. One of his personal project is Jaeger Boy Transistor, an electronic rock music experimentation that also involving Gustaff H. Iskandar (media artist & researcher), Egga (graphic designer, media artist & DJ), Dandy aka Achong (graphic designer and vocalist of Teenage Death Star) and Hendra (electronic music producer and former initiator of Rock ‘n’ Roll Mafia). Besides working on some of his own project, Niang also work as a VJ and part of United Visual Guerilla (UVG) and often plays in Bandung, Jakarta and Singapore.



Gustaff H. Iskandar aka Dante von Kelly (b. 1974)
H. Iskandar was graduated in 1999 from Fine Arts Department, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). Starting from 1999, Gustaff entered art management scene, wrote, participated in some visual art exhibitions and organized publishing of Trolley Magazine for some years. By the end of 2001, along with R.E. Hartanto and T. Ismail Reza , he founded Bandung Center for New Media Arts, an organization that
are focusing on the development of media arts & multidisciplinary artistic practice in Indonesia. Having partnership with his wife Reina Wulansari and other colleagues, Gustaff is working on his art, working for the organization, curates exhibition, write and speak on discussions and symposiums. In year 2003 he developed Common Room Networks Foundation (, an artist initiative space that is co-organized together by Bandung Center for New Media Arts & Tobucil. Gustaff currently lives and works in Bandung – Indonesia. Selected projects and exhibition consist: International Symposium for Electronic Arts/ ISEA2004 (Helsinki – FI, 2004); Place, Ground & Practice (Auckland – NZ, 2005), Hetero Utopia: Mapping the Urban Terrain (Bandung -ID, 2006) and Futuresonic Festival 2006 (Manchester – UK, 2006).



Elang EBY. (b. 1981) and Evan (STORN)
After discontinuing his study at Law Faculty Unisba, Elang decided to follow his path in the music field. For quite sometime, Elang has been interested to explore sound by using analog and digital equipment. To fulfill his passion, he formed Tragicomedy (1999-2001), Polyester Embassy (2002 – now) and Alphawaves (2006 – now). He also often works together with Evan (Storn), instrument designer and hardware builder for analog and digital instrument. One of his works is the modified theremin, which is basically being developed after the original theremin that was made in year 1919 by Léon Theremin (1896-1993). If the original theremin uses radio signal as its proximity sensor, the new version were equipped with modern chip so it can reach higher frequency. This modified theremin allows us to explore shine wave, which are similar to violin sound. Not only that, it can also produce pulse wave for lower pitch.



Hendy Hertiasa aka Party Maker Inc. (b. 1970) and NRZ (b. 1979)
Hendy Hertiasa aka Party Maker Inc. were known as graphic
designer besides works as a lecture at Visual Communication Design, FSRD – ITB. Up until now, he often involves himself in some collaborative project with Biosampler, a multimedia performance group that was being established in year 2000. During that period, he also initiated a collaborative project with Nurus Syaifullah aka NRZ (b. 1979) who graduated from Physics Department ITB in 2003. Together, they started to applied experimentation on sensor technology, particularly on ultrasonic sensor. The first prototype that was made by NRZ is being used for the first time by Hendy during Insomnia48, a visual arts project that was held at the Old Parliament House (Singapore, 2004). He performs together with Biosampler under the project called no_placia, which also involves Sulasmoro, Ademus, Gustaff H. Iskandar, Niang and KRSGT.

**This program is being initiated by Bandung Center for New Media Arts/Common Room Networks Foundation in collaboration with NexxG and CCF Bandung. Organized by Electro Killer Corps. More information please contact: Nunung at 022-70800620

Bandung Center for New Media Arts/ Common Room Networks Foundation

Jl. Kyai Gede Utama No. 8
Bandung – 40132

West Java – Indonesia

PH. 022-70800620

Fax. 022-2503404



For The Record
February 19, 2007, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Articles

by Monica Narula/Raqs Media Collective

A Place Like This, A Time Like Now
Sometimes it feels like things are beginning to get really interesting. We imagine that Calcutta in the 1940s and ‘60s (or in the 1880s) and Bombay in the 1920s and ‘50s or Delhi in the 1850s and (briefly) in the 1970s, might have been really rewarding times and places to live in. We have a sense that Delhi, today, in the first decade of our young century, is again showings signs of quickening to the possibilities of a new life.

This new life does not come upon us without its share of pain, because it exists simultaneously with the cruel transformation of the city that evicts hundreds of thousands of people, and destroys their carefully built frameworks of existence. It is not without its share of paranoia, as the shadow of the deep state, through a variety of surveillance networks, leaches into every street corner. It is not without its vulgarity as new money explodes and talks tough and dirty. Perhaps it is at times precisely such as this one – when large structural conflicts play themselves out on the urban landscape – that the forging of critical and reflective cultural practices seems all the more urgent and compelling. Perhaps that is why we sense them so keenly when they begin to intimate themselves to us.

And so, even as our city re-invents itself through escalating conflicts over extant and looming habitation and property, new migrants re-define the face and voice of the street, women take an increasingly visible place on the precincts and old urbane certainties crumble; a new sensibility takes hold. Delhi has outgrown the destiny of being a small town with a violent past and burdened with Imperial grandeur. It is now just a city, just another very big city. A city that has set out on a journey to find the world.

Circuits and Cities
Interesting connections are being formed, between Delhi and Bangalore, between Delhi and Lahore, Delhi and Kathmandu, Delhi and Berlin, New York, Beirut, Bandung. There is also a relationship with mofussil towns, and regional centres in north India which is not only extractive. Traffic between Delhi and Benaras, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Patna, Jabalpur and Jaipur has a different cultural significance now. People bring new thoughts and voices from these places, and return to them with the connections that they make in a place like Delhi. Within our city, entire worlds, like those of the resettlement colonies of Dakshinpuri or of the threatened riverside settlements like Nangla Machi or of inner city squatter zones, are finding a voice. The sense of Delhi being a place that contains entire worlds is more vivid today than it has ever been.

Writers, artists, practitioners, performers and audiences travel between spaces more than before, and the magnet of Mumbai, which necessarily took away the best of Delhi, seems to have weakened, replaced, in parts, by a genuine conversation. We can no longer think of our milieu only in terms of the physical boundary of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, of the Republic of India, or even of the South Asian region, but crucially, in terms of how different sub cultures and scenes in Delhi function as nodes in an expanding network that intersects at key points with other networks which may have originated in other cities. Here, the distance (or proximity) between Delhi and Bangalore or Mumbai, or for that matter Beirut or Bandung, becomes a function not of geography but of the affinities and interests that transcend frontiers of one kind or another.

What’s going on? Where?
In the domain of the imagination, images, sounds and thought, there is a quiet ferment that marks our city. Its signs are muted, nascent, fragile. There is nothing overt or spectacular about these symptoms and we must not rush headlong to any conclusions or prognoses. Everything is uncertain. But the symptoms of a specific sensibility are insistent on revealing themselves. They demand from us a renewal of the terms of engagement which have hitherto ruled the domain of cultural praxis and artistic work. New publics beckon us to join them at play. So many things wait to be done.

This is as good a time as any to initiate a conversation that indexes some of these developments around us, points to things further away that might be of interest, and pauses to take stock of what might lies head.

First, to take a look at what is around us:
Spaces like Khoj in Delhi which provide an excellent context of hospitality for new and emerging work, cross-border initiatives in modest and unconventional public spaces by artists and practitioners in India and Pakistan like Aar-Paar, (, and the recent initiatives taken by documentary filmmakers to challenge censorship in exhibition ( are signs that there exists a strong desire to re-write the terms within which cultural practice occurs in our milieu.

Younger practitioners are trying out new forms – lawyers (such as in the Alternative Law Forum are making comic books and html works against intellectual property and censorship, and the comic book or graphic novel is emerging as an interesting complex new form (see the work of Sarnath Bannerji, Vishwajoyti Ghosh and Parismita Singh, among others), as its practitioners explore difficult zones in personal experience and history. Architects and urban theorists, such as Solomon Benjamin, are experimenting with performance based presentation formats. A new generation of photographers is making edgy and personal work, without obligatory colourful turbans and the tyranny of the ‘well made photograph’. There is a new energy in the documentary, and the short and experimental film making scenes, made possible in part by more accessible technologies of production. Zines appear and disappear with an interesting frequency and broadsheets inaugurate the advent of a serial image-text essay form, and a new kind of critical fiction as well as non-fiction writing is making its presence felt in English, Hindi, Bangla, Tamil and Malayalam on Blogs. It appears that things are stirring.

Meanwhile, elsewhere…
At times like this, it also becomes useful to try and see what may be going on in other places and in other milieux. In our travels over the last six years, we have had the good fortune of observing many initiatives and practices all over the world that we think might serve as interesting provocations, so as to begin a conversation about what might be possible. We are placing this list on record also to register our kinship and solidarity with the people who have actualized these practices.

We are mentioning here only those spaces and initiatives that we consider to be modest. We need to focus on situations and processes that can be initiated and sustained with limited resources. What we have noticed in each of these instances is that a tight budget, or a lack of expansive resources, has not by any means implied a handcuffed imagination. Exciting things can also be done in small spaces, with little money, with no captive audiences, and by people who have full time jobs and next to nothing in terms of social security.

We have also restricted this list to instances where we have actually encountered the concerned practitioners personally. The list of practices and initiatives that we have found interesting, exciting and challenging which we have read about in addition to these, or seen in a show or on the internet, (although we may not have met the people involved with them) is far longer, and would require separate writing! This list is not exhaustive, and we intend to update and expand it from time to time so as to maintain a public database of the conceptual, intellectual and practice based context that we are nourished by.

There is no specific design or hierarchy implicit in the order in which they appear in the list below:

Queen’s Nail Annexe, San Francisco
A very small not-for-profit exhibition space (two rooms) which also doubles as a recording label in the Mission district in San Francisco, sustained by the innovative work of two dynamic persons. They work as community pedagogues, artists, facilitators and curators. The Queen’s Nail Annex offers space to young and old practitioners and curators who are able to offer a rigorous argument in their work. When we visited the Annex (which borrows its name from its neighbour – a Nail Beauty Parlour) we saw the opening of an exhibition devoted to videos and music produced by and in collaboration with the veteran experimental architecture and urbanism practice Archigram.

AndCompany, Frankfurt
A group of performers, theatre artists, musicians and theorists, based mainly in Frankfurt. We collaborated with them on a ‘reading performance’ in connection with ‘The Wherehouse’, a process and work that reflects on the relationship between cities and people termed as illegal migrants. What attracted us to Andcompany&Co’s work was its practical adventurousness, which took in a strong interest in the legacy of Brecht’s work, along with theatre, music, acrobatics and theory with a sense of enjoyment in working together as an ensemble. Their commitment to music, fun and philosophy, within the constraints of a modest working style and a commitment to working with all available materials was interesting to engage with.

Mongrel, London
A collective of software programmers, artists, technicians, writers located in and around London. Mongrel considers its practice to be a kind of art hacking, and is founded on meticulous, almost obsessive research often initiated by Mongrel Graham Harwood in collaboration with itinerant theorist Matt Fuller. What continues to attract us to Mongrel’s diverse productivity is its eclecticism and serious irreverence. They are just as happy doing cut and paste xerox comic books and newsprint broadsheets as they are writing complex bits of code for a piece of software or hacking games and applications.

Park Fiction, Hamburg
An ensemble of people and practices located in close proximity to the depressed Saint Pauli district in Hamburg. A very successful instance of how cultural action within a community/neighbourhood context can stall the designs of urban redevelopment that might have resulted in eviction and demolition.

Atelier BowWow, Tokyo
An innovative architecture practice located in Tokyo, initiated by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Mayomi Kaijima, with whom we collaborated on the making of Temporary Autonomous Sarai (TAS) in Minneapolis in 2002. Atelier BowWow’s investigations in what they call ‘da-me’ or ‘not good’ and ‘pet’ architecture, with their accent on researching informal and improvised architectural interventions in dense urban spaces is something we have a great deal of sympathy for. BowWow’s take on built form in urban space privileges that which may seem marginal at first, but is actually vital to the life of a neighbourhood or a street. It gestures to a density of contact, a plurality of usage and function, to the animatedness of interstitial spaces, and to a democracy of the sidewalk, the verge and the back alley that we find resonant with the urban forms of our city. It would be interesting to see what could occur if architectural practices in South Asia began taking an active interest in the informal city as an expressive of an architectural language.

Torolab, Tijuana
Another architectural practice, like Atelier BowWow with a strong presence in contemporary art venues. Torolab is based in Tijuana at Mexico’s northern frontier with the USA, and much of its work is by way of an imaginative and focused reflection and research on the special conditions of the border zone, the peculiar relationship between the twin cities of Tijuana in Mexico and San Diego in the USA and the forms of improvised and ’emergency’ architecture, using discarded automobile bodies, car tyres, crates and cardboard boxes that are a hallmark of subaltern urbanism in Tijuana.

Arab Image Foundation, Beirut
An archival initiative undertaken by a group of photographers, critics and theorists spread across the Arabic speaking world, and in the Arab diaspora, to archive and document popular photographic and image making practices, especially with a view towards the destabilization of the ‘Arab Image. They have spoken in Delhi, at an invitation from Khoj.

The Atlas Group Archive, Beirut/New York
A somewhat disembodied entity centred around the personage of Walid Raad that invokes an archival register to explore the contemporary history of Lebanon through mixed media installations, single channel screenings, visuals and literary essays and lectures/performances. What we find interesting in the work of the Atlas Group is the close attention to history, a sense of archival irony and a highly sophisticated visual language. What the Atlas Group Archive does is to use a historical imagination to weld a set of philosophical statements about the politics of seeing. The invocation of an image by the archive becomes an occasion for thinking about truth claims and uncertainty. Images, even the memories of images, become things to think with, not just objects to look at or recall. It may be interesting to see what happens were we to transpose aspects of this register of thinking with images and memories to the fractured history of our city.

Common Room & The Bandung Center for New Media Arts, Bandung
A dynamic cluster of self-organized spaces in Bandung, Indonesia, with a special interest in expressing the enormous vitality of urban youth culture in Bandung, with its distinct political and critical edge and commitment to having a very good time, with music, murals, experimental video, street fashion, new media, publishing and comics. The Common Room and the Bandung Center are object lessons in the ability to organize a dynamic public space and presence that is non-commercial, that has little or no funding, and that survives because of a close relationship to a young public that nurtures it with time and with improvised resources.

Long March Foundation, Beijing
A highly intense ensemble of artistic, cultural and archival practices, developed over many years and within the matrix of a densely collaborative framework, particularly interested in areas such as migration within China, that emerges from the space of the Cultural Transmission Center in Beijing. We found this practice, which we encountered for the first time at the Taipei Biennale 2005, to occupy a different, more nuanced but far more quietly subversive register of expression compared to the by now formulaic visual sensation of contemporary art from China. collaborative media production, Internet/Munich is a peer to peer network of cultural practices that encompasses software, theory, performance, events and conferences – has in its history been the site for very precise and focused online and offline interventions (‘Kein Mensch ist Illegal’ and ‘Deportation Class’) against the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants in Germany and Europe.

Metareciclagem, Rio de Janeiro/Sao Paulo
Metareciglagem is a loose ensemble of people and practices that embody a critical free and open source practice with software, machines, people and spaces in Brazil. Equally distant from the NGO scene and the imperatives of self-consciously political language, metareciclagem is basically interested in initiating a set of creative processes that reclaim autonomies for human presence and subjectivity in all processes involving technological mediation, especially, but not only in those that use computers (accessible, assembled hardware) and software.

Chaos Computer Club, Berlin
A pioneering group of hackers and who were and continue to be active in the Berlin scene, intervening critically and through cultural and artistic work in areas to do with intellectual property, electronic surveillance and technological creativity.

Radioqualia, London, Bacelona, Auckland
An online art collaboration by New Zealanders Adam Hyde and Honor Harger, it was founded in 1998 in Australia and is currently based in Europe. Using various streaming media softwares, r a d i o q u a l i a experiments with the concept of artistic broadcasting, using the internet and traditional media forms, such as radio and television, as primary tools, and aims to explore broadcasting technology within the context of philosophical speculation.

Bureau d’etudes, Paris/Strasbourg
A practice consisting of researchers and cartographers who map flows of power and control in politics, economy, society and culture and render their work through elaborate diagrams, often exhibited within contemporary art venues and events.

Visible Collective, New York
A collective of artists, documentarists, legal practitioners, designers, programmers, cartographers and activists – creators of the ‘Disappeared in America’ project that documents the detention and disappearance of people in the United States of America following September 11, 2001.

Temporary Services
Temporary Services is a group of three persons: Brett Bloom, Salem Collo-Julin and Marc Fischer. Their work draws on their varied backgrounds and interests to produce creative exhibitions, events, projects and publications. Within their work they create socially dynamic situations and spaces for dialogue. They are distinguished by their fondness of self published pamphlets, and public projects that are temporary, ephemeral, or that operate outside of conventional or officially sanctioned categories of public expression. We were especially struck by Temporary Services collaboration with a prisoner serving a sentence of life imprisonment that resulted in a project called ‘Prisoners Inventions’ consisting of a collection of ingenuous inventions made by a prisoner, a book and the replica of a prison cell.

Red 76, mainly Portaland, Oregon
Red76 is the title used by a group of people working on collaborative projects in Portland, Oregon. The guiding constructs holding Red76 projects together are the facilitation of thought in public space and the examination of how to define what and where that space can be. The wish to charge space, to create an atmosphere where the public may become hyper aware of their surroundings and their day-to-day activities – such as making a lecture series in Laundromat shops – is an important construct for them.

Critical Art Ensemble, dispersed locations online
A collective of artists, theorists and scientists known for their critical research and creative work located at the intersections of technology, biology, cybernetics, feminism and a trenchant critique of the military-industrial-information technology complex. CAE produces events, performances based on laboratory experiments, books and web-based renditions of research themes and ideas.

Middle Corea
Middle Corea describes itself as a virtual networked territory actually located in the Internet, and ideally located within the ecosystem of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. It realises itself through a variety of artistic and documentation activities undertaken by a group of artists, practitioners, photographers, theorists and curators loosely located in and around Seoul.

Mute and Metamute, London
A print journal and website devoted to a wide ranging critical discussion of the politics and culture of new technologies of communication.

Improbable Voices
Improbable Voices is an archive of reflections in the form of interviews from inside a women’s prison, and a proposal for a monument to the prison-industrial system. The Improbable Voices project emerges out of a collaboration between a California based artist, Sharon Daniels, a group of ten women inmates who are incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, CA – the largest female correctional facility in the United States and Justice Now, a human rights organization that works with women in prison to build a safe, compassionate world without prisons.
From the above list it will be evident that the kind of practices that we are talking about range from comics to high theory, with software, web-based work, radio, documentary filmmaking, and self-published broadsheets in between. Crucially, each of these might involve either a level of sociality in the production of cultural processes or a willingness to engage with a discursive register (and sometimes both). This unties art and cultural work from decorative or propagandist demands and enables it to claim a space for forms that are generative of questions, thought, reflection and communitas.

Many of these formal approaches might seem somewhat alien to the current milieu of art exhibition practices in places such as Delhi, but we are certain that there is a change in the offing. New spaces will emerge and are emerging where new forms and new people will be at play. This is nascent now, but we think that this will take on a momentum of its own in a matter of years.

What is also evident is that as in other areas of human creativity (science, music, filmmaking) the rise of collectives, ensembles and networks will accelerate a vibrant cultural milieu.

We hope that this listing provides everyone in our milieu with reasons for reflection, and we look forward to carrying forward a conversation.

We look forward to more interesting times in our city!

August 1, 2006

Friendship flag dance steps on a nation’s pride
February 18, 2007, 2:13 pm
Filed under: News

By Tony Halpin (Moscow) and Gayane Abrahamyan (Yerevan)

The modern dance performance was billed as a frank expression of friendship between Britain and Armenia, the former Soviet republic.

Instead, Nigel Charnock’s solo show provoked diplomatic outrage after he was accused by the Armenian Culture Minister of desecrating the national flag.

Charnock, a noted dancer, has been called a “national treasure” by British critics and praised for his “eerie brilliance” and “profligate talent” by The Times. The British Council had described Frank, Charnock’s one-hour improvised performance, as “a stand-up, sit-down, leap-around live show that picks you up, calls you names and lets you in on some home truths”.

But the name-calling was largely done by Hasmik Poghosyan, the Culture Minister, after Charnock, on his first vist to the country, had placed Armenian and British flags on the stage and danced on them before an audience at the Stanislavsky State Theatre, in Yerevan, on Wednesday.

Mrs Poghoysan, 46, who was not at the performance, ordered a second show to be cancelled and accused Charnock of committing a criminal offence punishable by up to a year in prison. She declared: “It is unacceptable for us that someone who is considered a national treasure in Britain would bring such low-quality art to Armenia.

“We honour the high art of British theatre and are sure that from the Queen to ordinary Britons the greatest pride and treasure is Shakespeare. It appears that the English perception of treasures has been drastically devalued and Nigel Charnock is its best evidence.”

Mrs Poghosyan said that she was not censoring artistic expression but acting to prevent disrespectful treatment of Armenia’s flag.

“Charnock may treat the British flag as he likes. He can drop it on the floor, step on it, chew it or swallow it, but it is unacceptable and punishable by law to treat the Armenian flag that way,” she said.

At a press conference called swiftly by the British Council, a chastened Charnock, 45, offered his “unconditional apologies”. He told reporters: “All I’m trying to do is communicate love.”

The Culture Ministry lifted the ban, provided that Charnock promised not to repeat the offence, but by then it was too late to reschedule the performance and the dancer flew home yesterday.

Lucine Ghulyan, arts manager at the British Council in Yerevan, told The Times: “He was trying to show friendship between Armenia and Britain. There was a total misunderstanding of his intentions.

“He was showing his affection for Armenia, but when I called the deputy minister to explain this she didn’t want to listen to me. She kept saying that she was offended as a citizen of Armenia to see the flag on the floor.”

Ms Ghulyan acknowledged that some in the audience had been offended by sexually suggestive movements during the performance. Charnock had wrapped a Union Jack around his loins and then draped the Armenian tricolor over his naked torso.

But Ms Ghulyan said that most had understood the show and many gave him a standing ovation at the end.

Charnock, 45, has performed Frank around Europe since 2003, when it was commissioned for the Venice Biennale. He co-founded the DV8 Physical Theatre before establishing his own dance company in 1996.

CSCS-SEPHIS Fellowship
February 18, 2007, 1:25 pm
Filed under: News

The Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) offers a fellowship awarded by SEPHIS to a student from any country in the South to spend one academic year in Bangalore, India, beginning July 2007.

The main purpose of the fellowship programme is to help develop alternative frameworks for research and teaching as well as new theoretical paradigms that take into account the specific experiences of non-Western societies.

The student can either register with CSCS for the Ph.D. in Cultural Studies (validated by the Manipal University, Kuvempu University and Bangalore University) or register in his/her own country and do the CSCS coursework for two semesters.

The Ph.D. programme’s uniqueness lies in the following:
– Focus on inter-disciplinarity.
– Research areas at CSCS include: Culture and Colonial Histories; Law, Society, Culture; The Asian Popular; and Gender and New Pedagogies.
– Emphasis on the formulation of research problems and teaching programmes in relation to democracy and cultural issues that draw on conventional disciplines but cut across their boundaries.

Eligibility: A Master’s Degree in any discipline with 55% marks or its grade equivalent if the student is registering with CSCS for the Ph.D., OR proof of Ph.D. registration in any Southern university if the student is coming only for coursework.

Benefits: A substantial stipend, international airfare, accommodation in Bangalore, travel costs for three weeks within India for visits to different academic institutions, tuition and other fees will be provided for. If the student registers for a PhD at CSCS, financial support available after the first year will be at par with that of other CSCS students.

Current CSCS faculty are drawn from the fields of film and media studies, political theory, history, and art history, gender studies, and legal theory with a strong background in at least ten years of inter-disciplinary cultural studies. Applicants are requested to visit the CSCS websites for more information of the institution, its faculty, courses, library, etc:;

To apply:
Applications should include a sample of writing such as a term paper, a current CV, two letters of recommendation, transcripts of last two degrees obtained, and proof of eligibility. Write to Dr.Tejaswini Niranjana, Convenor, Ph.D. Committee, CSCS, 466, 9th Cross, First Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011, India.
Email:; Telephone: 91-80-6562986; Fax: 91-80-6562991.

Complete applications must reach CSCS by March 21, 2007. E-mail and fax applications are acceptable only if followed by a hard copy sent by airmail or courier. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by March 31, 2007. The CSCS academic year begins in the last week of July.

Zainab Bawa

New Release from Common Room Secret Studio
February 17, 2007, 5:46 pm
Filed under: News, SoundLab

Recording Session at Common Room Secret Studio

I Don’t Think That I Can Reach You From Here (Live)

Hendy Hertiasa aka Part Maker Inc., Vox + Effect
Niang aka Chain Smoking Bastard, Programing
Gustaff H. Iskandar aka Dante von Kelly, Synth
Recording by Andi Sugandi (Club Linux Bandung)
Common Room Secret Studio – 2007

The Next Layer or: The Emergence of Open Source Culture
February 17, 2007, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Articles, News

Draft text for Pixelache publication by Armin Medosch, London/Vienna 2006 – 2007

First we had media art. In the early days of electronic and digital culture media art was an important way of considering relationships between society and technology, suggesting new practices and cultural techniques. It served as an outlet for the critique of the dark side of computer culture’s roots in the military-industrial complex; and it suggested numerous utopian and beautiful ways of engagement with technology, new types of interactivity, sensuous interfaces, participative media practices, for instance. However, the more critical, egalitarian and participative branches of media art tended to be overshadowed by the advocacy of a high-tech and high-art version of it.

This high-media art conceptually merged postmodern media theories with the techno-imaginary from computer sciences and new wave cybernetics. Uncritical towards capitalisms embrace of technology as provider of economic growth and a weirdly paradoxical notion of progress, high-media art was successful in institutionalizing itself and finding the support of the elites but drew a lot of criticism from other quarters of society. It stuck to the notion of the artist as a solitary genius who creates works of art which exist in an economy of scarcity and for which intellectual ownership rights are declared.

In the course of the 1990ies media art was superseded by what I call The Next Layer or, for help of better words, Open Source Culture. I am not claiming that the hackers who are the key protagonists of Open Source Culture are the new media artists. Such a claim would be rubbish as their work, their ways of working and how it is referenced is distinct from media art. I simply say that media art has become much less relevant through the emergence of The Next Layer. In the Next Layer many more protagonists come together than in the more narrowly defined field of media art. It is much less elitist and it is not based on exclusivity but on inclusion and collaboration. Instead of relying on ownership of ideas and control of intellectual property Open Source Culture is testing the limits if a new egalitarian and collaborative culture.

In the following paragraphs I would like to map out some of the key components of Open Source Culture. It has been made possible by the rise of Free, Libre and Open Source Software. Yet Open Source Culture is about much more than just writing software. Like any real culture it is based on shared values and a community of people.

Open Source Culture is about creating new things, be they software, artefacts or social platforms. It therefore embraces the values inherent to any craft and it cherishes the understanding and mastery of the materials and the production processes involved. Going beyond craftmanship and being ‘open source’, it advocates free access to the means of production (instead of just “ownership” of them). Creativity is not just about work but about playfulness, experimentation and the joy of sharing. In Open Source Culture everybody has the chance to create immaterial and material things, express themselves, learn, teach, hear and be heard.

Open Source Culture is not a tired version of enforced collectivism and old fashioned speculations about the ‘death of authorship’. It is not a culture where the individual vanishes but where the individual remains visible and is credited as a contributor to a production process which can encompass one, a few or literally thousands of contributors.

Fundamental to Open Source Culture’s value system is the belief that knowledge should be in the public domain. What is generally known by humans should be available to all humans so that society as a whole can prosper. For most parts and whereever possible, this culture is based on a gift economy. Each one gets richer by donating their work to a growing pool of publicly available things. This is not a misguided form of altruism but more like a beneficial selfishness. Engaged in a sort of friendly competition everyone is pushing the whole thing forward a bit by trying to do something that is better, faster, more beuatiful or imaginative. Open Source Culture is a culture of conversation and as such based on multiple dialogues on different layers of language, code and artefacts. But the key point is that the organisation of labour is based on the self-motivated activity of many individuals and not on managerial hierarchies and ‘shareholder value’.

Open Source Culture got a big push forward with the emergence of Linux and the Internet but we shouldn’t forget that it has much deeper roots. History didn’t start with Richard Stallmans problems with a printer driver. The historic roots could be seen as going back to the free and independent minded revolutionary artists and artisans in 19th century. More recently, it is based on post-World-War-II grassroots anti-imperialist liberation movements, on bottom-up self-organised culture of the new political movements of the 1960ies and 1970ies such as the African American civil rights movements, feminisim, lesbian, gay, queer and transgender movements, on the first and second wave of hacker culture, punk and the DIY culture, squatter movements, and the left-wing of critical art and media art practices.

In terms of the political economy, Open Source Culture could mark an important point of departure, by liberating the development of new technologies from being dictated by capital. The decision of what should be developed for which social goals is taken by the developers themselves. Technological development is not driven by greed but by deep intrinsic motivations to create things and to be recognized for ones contribution. Despite that, Open Source Culture is not an anti-capitalist ideology per se but has the potential to change capitalism from within and is already doing so.

Open Source Culture needs to be constantly aware of capitalisms propensity to adapt, adopt, co-opt and subjugate progressive movements and ideas to its own goals. The ‘digital revolution’ was already stolen once by the right-wing libertarians from Wired and their republican allies such as Newt Gingrich and the posse of American cyber-gurus from George Gilder to Nicholas Negroponte. More recently adept Open Source Capitalists have used terms such as Web 2.0 and social software to disguise the fact that what those terms are said to describe has emerged from open source culture and the net culture of the 1990ies and the early 2000s. Once more the creativity of the digital masses is Exploited by alliances between new and old tycoons. The Next Layer emerges at a time when capitalism is stronger than ever before and it emerges at the very heart of it. This is the beauty of it. It cannot be described in a language of mainstream and underground. Open Source Culture is the new mainstream which is what capitalist media are doing their best to hide, scared by the spectre of communism as well as commonism. We don’t need to ressort to the language of the Cold War and its dichotomies, however.

The Next Layer contains not only a promise but also a threat. It emerges at a time when the means of suppression and control have been increased by rightwing leaders who try to scare us into believing we were engaged in an endless ‘war on terror’. With their tactics they have managed to speed up the creation of a technological infrastructure for a society of control. The general thrust of technological development is coming from inside a paranoiac mindset. 25 years of neo-liberalism in the American lead empire have degraded civil liberties and human values. The education system has been turned into a sausage factory where engineers are turned out who construct their own digital panopticons. Scary new nano- and bio-technologies are created in secret laboratories by Big Science. And the bourgeioise intelligentsia meanwhile has stood still and does not recognize the world any more but still controls theatres, publishing and universities. In this situation it is better if Open Source Culture is not recognized as a political movement. The Next Layer will find ways of growing and expanding stealthily by filling the niches, nooks and crannies of a structurally militant and imperialist repressive regime from which, given time, it will emerge like a clear spring at the bottom of a murky glacier.

* The Next Layer is a book project by Armin Medosch about Open Source Culture. It has been supported by Franz Xaver and the Medienkunstlabor Graz in 2006. Passages of this text are informed by an extensive study into free software hackers and open source activists. Materials will be released in due time at

India’s new design policy
February 16, 2007, 11:45 pm
Filed under: Articles, News

by John Thackara (from

When I first visited India 20 years ago, the country had fewer design teachers for a population of more than a billion people than had Wales – whose population is three million. The supply of teachers seemed to be stuck because India had just one national public design school: the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad.

NID had (and has) extremely smart faculty and students. But their number – 400 or so per cohort – is tiny in comparison with the 60,000 elite students who attend the country’s Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) – and who have played such a major role in the global IT boom.

It’s good news, then India’s new National Design Policy, which was published on Friday, decrees that four more National Institutes of Design, on the pattern of NID, will be set up in different regions of the country.

The new policy also encourages the establishment of departments of design in all IITs, the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and in prestigious private sector colleges. The objective is to spread quality design education to all regions of India.

So far, so good. But I was shocked and dismayed to find no mention of climate change, sustainable development, or resource efficiency, in the press release describing the Cabinet’s “vision for a National Design Policy.”

The emphasis of the vision is on “making India a major hub for exports and outsourcing of designs.” This does not sound like the basis for a post-waste, post-consumerist, sustainable economy.

Frankly, if it ignores sustainability, India’s new design policy will make the global situation worse. A lot worse. 80% of the environmental impact of products, services and infrastructures is determined at the design stage, and India is a global industrial power.

Along with other friends of Indian design, I have been arguing for some years for a “leapfrog strategy” in which India jumps directly from a resource-guzzling productivist model to a more advanced, sustainable – and competitive – services-based model.

Doors has been arguing this case in India for six years. The focus of our first formal event in India, at NID in February 2000, was on the transition to a services economy. We expanded this discussion in Doors East in 2003, and at Doors 8 on Infra in 2005. The theme of Doors 9 on Juice, in two weeks’ time, returns once again to the leapfrog idea, this time on the context of food and energy.

India’s new design policy suggests that we have not argued well enough.

The leapfrog hypothesis is doing much better in China. Ezio Manzini, a pioneer of the idea, was on the front page of the Peoples Daily a few weeks ago on just this topic. Senior Chinese policy makers told us, then, that they are looking to develop a fundamental “transformation of our economic growth model”. They said they expected design to play a crucial role in this tranformation.

On a third reading of last week’s announcement from the Indian Cabinet, I discovered a nugget of hope near the bottom of the last page. Item xvi.11 of an Action Plan to implement the Policy says a proposed new India Design Council should “Take effective steps towards ‘cradle to grave environment-friendly approach’ for designs produced in India so that they have global acceptance as ‘sustainable designs’”.

This reads more like an afterthought than a ringing endorsement for design’s biggest opportunity in 200 years. But it’s better than nothing.

Will India’s design education fall further behind? I doubt it. India’s designers are fast on the uptake. Give them the tools – in the form of the promised new institutions – and I’m confident they’ll adapt them to the task of One Planet Economy design.