Intro: Encounter – a part of Conscious Realities – is going to welcome architect/ urban planner Marco Kusumawijaya from Indonesia to lecture about the sustainability of community life, when artists and cultural workers apply their creativity to improve the community. This 10-year anniversary publication of Ruangrupa named ‘Expanding the space and public’ is a good example following Marco’s arguments. Ruangrupa is the collective of artists, writers, scientists, film-makers, curators, etc… in Jakarta (Indonesia) who discusses the impacts and the tendencies in urbanizing environments. They usually offer activities that enable the community to understand themselves clearly, on many aspects of daily life related to social – political – environmental issues, as well as connect art to urban community.
Quote: ‘Basically, ruangrupa considers their art practices as practice that is inseparable from concrete and actual issues, such as: public space, migrants, settlement, transportation, pop culture, image productions etc. – in short, it is everything related to our perceptions of a social scope called ‘a city’. […] Without belittling its specific cultural characteristics, we could also see that urban issues do not only belong to Jakarta. I think what we are facing today is the symptoms of urban issues as a national, even a global, phenomena: the excessive growth of malls and the culture of consumerism, the uncontrollable population growth, the disturbing audio and visual pollutions, the acute air pollution, and the diminishing public space.’ (p.16)