Asialink Performing Arts Residency, August - October 2014
Hosted by Sahabat Wayung Ukur, Yogjakarta Indonesia
An aesthetic of mutability and metamorphosis seems to pervade everything in Jogja - in contemporary art, where animals, humans, and machines become one another - to the collaborative openness of people, even the self-organised chaos of local traffic. Imaginary underground passageways take the Sultan to the Queen of the Sea, he offers his hair and fingernails to the Ogre of the Volcano, while the whole layout of the Kraton (Palace) takes on the form of a body.
In this forthcoming Asialink residency, hosted by Wayung Ukur in Yogjakarta, I aim to develop speculative cosmologies of an animistic urbanism - a kind of magic-realist sci-fi, using video, performance, installation and curatorial strategies - through workshops, dialogues and collaborations. Wayung Ukur is the perfect host for such a program, given our recent work at ISEA2013 (Sydney) for Grobak Padi, with community participation and live streaming in Jogja created by Altiyanto Henryawan, Bimo Suryojati, and Martin Renaud from MetroScreen. Sahabat Wayung Ukur is a non-profit art centre founded by the Wayang shadow puppet maestro Ki Sigit Sukasman, Parama Dharma Culture star receiver in 2011. Sukasman was a New Creation innovator of contemporary approaches to traditional Wayang, inspired by his love of movies, with his system Wayang Measure using fibreglass statues and lighting techniques from front and rear screen. Sahabat Wayang Ukur, also known as Puppet Arts Measure Cottage, hosts traditional and contemporary art events, performances, exhibitions and workshops - in dance, theatre, gamelan, contemporary percussion, choir, and poetry.
Over the years I’ve explored a kind of mise-en-abyme - 'putting into the abyss' - as a liminal shift across disciplines; for performance, between bodies, objects, and sites; and for video, through focal plane, animation, and cross-platform media. New Creation aesthetics in Wayang, broadly defined, may offer openings into a different liveness - where animist principles and animated methods allow new urban imaginaries to be co-generated.