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?”
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.
On May 1 2014, farid commented on 14_0429 post 158: Shinobu, glad you asked. Would the fact that it looks really different depending on whether you're o[...]
On Apr 29 2014, shinobu commented on 14_0429 post 158: a lovely farewell, Farid, thank you, but you know we'll follow you (; (BTW why have you decided to u[...]
On Apr 29 2014, Matt commented on 14_0429 post 158: Thank you for everything you brought to this project Farid; We'll miss you, Its been awesome having [...]
On Apr 25 2014, shinobu commented on 14_0425 post 154: You're not sorry, Farid (; it's your job to break rules for the aesthetics and ideas[...]
14_0224 post 100
One-hundreth post!!!!!!! Damn me, I missed another post yesterday, for no apparent reason (I really just found out that I missed one, thinking I did write something yesterday). Total negligence.
But, today actually serve as a great thing to post as my 100th post: some questions + comments from Shinobu + Matt, resulting from a series of email conversations between us, made me think about something I had forgotten about for a while. To elaborate, below is a part of that email I just sent them:
[…] when + where would banal productive acts done by everyone (such as blogging, Instagramming, tweeting, taking selfies, etc.) could be considered (elevated?) as art, and therefore elevating the person who do these activities as artists? Can it be done? (of course, the answer is yes, as it’s been done so many times before) Does personal career trajectory matter (in your well-used Duchamp’s case)?
When I was asked when I was attending school on whether something is actually art or not, my answer was, “Does it matter?” Decoying practice as something else was my interest at that point. Actually, it still is. I want to be a property investor (if only I could) to transgress people’s experiences, learn from it to understand the system inside out, in order to strip the myths around it. Qualitative judgment can be suspended, let alone morale. I always have difficulties calling myself as an artist. It might be for a strong reason.