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

14_0422 post 151

Another surprise: because of my Cipta Media grant support purpose, I browsed my girlfriend’s Facebook wall (I hope I get this right, since I never have been in Facebook ever, so please understand) + found this post by RFAOH which consists of this line:

RFAOH sadly bids farewell to Farid Rakun, our beloved (and most industrious) on-hiatus artist who will be terminating his residency at the end this month. He will start working for the São Paulo Biennial 2014, where his collective Ruangrupa has been invited to exhibit by Charles Esche — Huge congratulations!! Farid says he’ll give us a glimpse of what his post-RFAOH life will be like on his page – be sure to check it out!

Ha. I couldn’t make a better announcement myself. To be put that way, it just feels bigger than life. Yes, ruangrupa is invited to be in the Bienal this year. Yes, I’m going there in the end of this month to do preliminary research for this for two weeks. Yes, Charles Esche (the curator this year) is the one who invited us (consequently me) because we’ve been part of other biennales he curated. But to be put in a paragraph like that would never cross my mind. Below is my trial to write my own version (which supposed to be posted after I pick up my Brazil visa Friday or even Monday):

The end is here. I have to bid farewell to RFAOH which has been an omnipresent part of my life for the last 6 months. As the picture shows, I am going to Brazil, departing Tuesday, April 29th, for a research trip I’m doing for the artists’ collective (head host of Karbon) ruangrupa, as we are planning our project for the 31st São Paulo Bienal. Excited, of course. Super-nervous, absolutely, as personally I have never take part in any art biennale (not in a million years I would guess I would be anywhere near participating in them, if you ask me 5 years ago) + this virginity will be taken by one with the scale of São Paulo (second oldest biennal in the world, only to be topped by Venice) when I’m travelling alone. Inside, I’m a shipwreck. I’m going to miss this space.

Am I losing every surprise I need to tell you for the post-RFAOH life glimpses? You wish. Some more things are coming. You just need to wait + check back this space every day until (exactly) next week.

Oh + for anyone who wants to follow my useless twitter/Vine/Instagram (as I’m really selfish in my posts), my handle is @rakunteur for all.

Leave a Comment (4)

shinobu wrote on Apr 23:

Our verdict is that simply because FB is run by these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezPzOrcf7QE

farid wrote on Apr 23:

S & M, really? 743%? I can't imagine the real numbers, but that's kind of crazy. Why you think? Any specific topic/hashtag mentioned/used?

shinobu wrote on Apr 22:

yeah, we totally ruined it haven't we? So sorry Farid, but we were too excited, and that FB post reached 743% more people than the last week, according to the FB's chimp script department.. It must be a good sign..

Matt wrote on Apr 22:

Congratulations again Farid, (sorry to let the cat out of the bag so to speak) - Its an fantastic opportunity!