Farid Rakun, Indonesia

Residency Period: 1 November 2013 - 30 June 2014 (withdrew as of April 29, 2014)


Taking more than ten years to finish his formal education (BArch, University of Indonesia, 2005; and MArch, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2013), Farid Rakun operates slowly as a strategy within this fast-paced, growth-obsessed society.  Saying no to nothing in order to question everything, he has designed and built buildings, products, installations, and interventions, as well as writing and editing books and various publications.  His experience working with a number of cultural and educational institutions—such as the University of Indonesia, Tarumanagara University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, University of Michigan, Hongkong University, Goethe-Insitut, Centre Culturel Francais, ruangrupa, and RUJAK Center for Urban Studies—solidifies his belief in productive coincidences brought about by the collaborative nature of his practice.

On-hiatus Proposal Summary

Farid feels that two crucial things in his work relate to RFAOH’s mission statement: his never-ending battle against the notion of the artist as a single-genius, and the meaning of the terms "labor", "productivity", and (cultural & economical) "value".

Using RFAOH’s open call as an inspiration, he will suspend every artistic endeavor he has between November 2013 and June 2014. During this time, he will instead focus on supporting others through every educational means available at his disposal while simultaneously investigating whether suppressing one's own voice can enable an artist to be an invisible force, a puppet master with hidden strings, ‘a soldier-hero on whose uniform decoration is in absentia’?   Similarly, he will pursue the supposition that if his ideal artistic practice exists as a mode of knowledge production, this educational route may be seen as a method of knowledge dissemination.

To do so, he is preparing to retreat behind-the-screen and starting in October will revive the currently-defunct Karbonjournal.org, as well as begin lecturing in the Architecture Department of Universitas Indonesia full-time.  Additionally, as a member of the artist collective ruangrupa, Farid will oversee the group's plans to constitute its own pedagogical wing under the working title ‘Akademi RURU’.   In order to fully commit to these duties, Farid has decided to put his career as a solo-artist aside.

Farid anticipates that RFAOH will force him to put structure to this effort by publishing it to a wider public while collecting as much feedback as possible.  In doing so, he hopes to reevaluate  his efforts and answer some of his remaining questions: “How can he enrich and re-inform his artistic practice through publishing and teaching?”  “Can he strengthen the collaborative & social aspects of his own work through cultivating these alternative paths or by considering them as productive, instead of mere supportive, undertakings?”

Final Report

As someone who likes to produce time-based pieces, the (we)blog form of RFAOH (where Shinobu + Matt asked us to make our “reports”) was the main element that form what I did during my residency in RFAOH. The decision to try to make a single post every single day (the reference to Tehching Hsieh's “Time Clock Piece” is shameless, rendering it a much-downgraded version of the seminal piece) was made by experiencing this provided format.

My original intent to delve more into writing + teaching as productive media, as opposed to merely supportive ones, was proven to be challenging, especially with our constant failure to revive Karbonjournal.org up until my withdrawal. Teaching, on the other hand, served as an omnipotent force underlining (nearly, if not) all of my posts.

The privilege of not making any work is proven to be fruitful for my personal development. Not surprising, I have no problem being an artist not known to have produced any kind of art work in any kind of artistic medium. Surprising, I finally can call myself an artist now, without a flinch.

But art wins in the end, all the time, in my world. No matter how hard I try to evade it (by choosing architecture as my subject, to despising the term “artist”), it always finds a way to break and make itself a big part of my life. Future? Who knows, all I can say right now is because of RFAOH I am getting more comfortable to embrace the fact that most of the time I have no fucking idea what I'm doing. Little calculation, a lot of luck, and undying willingness to have fun get me this far. I hope they're taking me even further, to dwell on the unknown.




recent comments

13_1205 post 35

From: farid rakun <f**@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Subject: Re: How’s it going?
To: prachi kamdar <p**@gmail.com>
Cc: etienne turpin <e**@a**.org>, etienne turpin <a**@gmail.com>

This is my final report regarding your gifts.
I’m really sorry that those sweets are bootless, but everything else are great. Nothing beats how many bags you’re using to wrap the wrapped wrapping fabrics. Layer after layer of pattern richness.
I finally went to Ancol today, + by retelling you what it brought me, I hope you’d forgive me for the unpleasant sight above.
1. Mangga Dua (the area I have to pass in order to get to Ancol by bus), was flooded. It was not even raining one drop today. Jakarta has been raining cats + dogs lately.
2. The hotel is inside a themed beach park (never even try to go here with this method during the weekend). Not only it’s unreachable by public bus , you have to pay an entrance ticket t just to go there, + take their shuttle bus. These are the vistas from inside that ‘free’ facility.

3. On my way back, the bus engine started to burn. It wasn’t as bad as the picture shown above (taken from merdeka.com), but you understand the risk I’m taking.
4. Although theoretically it could only take 2 hours to do this trip, it literally took me a whole day (I was starving + upset after the bus incident, I decided to devour myself with a portion of a legendary pork noodle near the location… Blessing in disguise?) this time. Lately, a whole day is a price I hardly can afford.
But of course, as always, it all turned out fine. I am very thankful for your presents (my housemates are chewing your exotic snacks with their guests right now… Tonight is an exceptionally socially busy night in this house…) + I’m sure Etienne will be too, as soon as he lands back in this g*dforsaken place.
One final question: what is this exactly? Is this how it’s supposed to look?
+ I just found this to be really funny (seen on my final taxi ride home during the infamous Jakarta’s rush hour, so excuse my sense of humor):
+ not kidding this time, really finally:
I’m entering this email as an entry to my Residency for Artists on Hiatus (RFAOH) (daily) report.
Now you can stop laughing.
Best + boundless gratitude,
PS: Please give Binal my sincerest appreciation + apology (by forwarding this email to her?).

.farid rakun.
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