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WEEKLY PHOTO

Number Two Once Again. [“Tabu Panggang, Minuman No. 2 Terbaik di Dunia”—Grilled Sugar Cane, Second Best Drink in the World] Khatib Sulaiman street, Padang, West Sumatera (12/10/11). For ages, being number one is the ultimate goal of every consumer product. But lately, modesty has become some kind of trend. It is shown by few, calling their products as “number two”. But as anything trendy, this advertising strategy only renders the advertised product boring, instead of exciting. Let's not ask which product could become the number one then. Rajab Muda | February 2012

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TV COLUMN
Ifan Adriansyah Ismail
28.07.2011
10,260 comments
Ifan Adriansyah Ismail
09.11.2010
139 comments
Ifan Adriansyah Ismail
18.09.2010
5,316 comments
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REVIEW
Farid Rakun
22.06.2011

A book, capable of answering the cliche question on the difference between architecture and civil engineering, has recently been written by Pursal. Not an easy attempt, but does not speak to all either, yet.

12,232 comments
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SPECULATION
Ardi Yunanto
22.06.2011

Has the city truly run out of space for decent and affordable public housing? There are neglected spaces, still; in abundance.

5,366 comments
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FOKUS 7: INISIATIF WARGA DI RUANG KOTA

FOKUS 7: Des 2010 - Des 2011
Kristanti Paramita

Dari awal sampai pertengahan 2010 lalu, para editor kami, Ardi Yunanto dan Farid Rakun, diundang oleh Universitas Tarumanagara untuk ikut memfasilitasi sebuah studio arsitektur eksperimental. Hasil studio tersebut diterbitkan sebagai sebuah buku. Untuk jurnal Karbon, Kristanti Paramita, seorang peneliti dan pendidik arsitektur berbasis komunitas dari Universitas Indonesia menulis ulasannya tentang buku dan proses studio tersebut. Hal apa saja yang bisa diambil dari usaha tersebut demi terciptanya pendidikan kreatif yang lebih baik? Dan yang lebih penting, apa saja yang perlu dibenahi?

6th FOCUS: HUMOR IN THE CITY

Current Focus in Karbon, which is running from December 2010 to May 2011, concentrates itself with the urban citizens' profession and creation that has reacted to various systemic shortcomings taking place in urban public space in the last five years, included are creations by artists and designers that look deeper to the issue of public space and its inhabitants. We are inviting your contributions. More information could be read here. Your insights would be very much awaited

6th FOCUS | August 2009
Farid Rakun

A blog, SERASA, presents Indonesian products that made a twist of well-known international brands. Farid Rakun wonders: does this blog truly wish to share some humor or simply to ridicule? Or perhaps distance—protected as one might be by the privacy of the computer screens, or even by the miles separating different countries—which dissipates the immediacy of the products, removing the audience from the street where pictures of the products were taken, turns all hostility into longing, or masks derisions as jokes?

6th FOCUS | August 2009
Evi Mariani Sofian

The road can be a place where a rich kid driving her car has a near miss with a poor pedestrian, but it can also be the place where an established businessman smiles to a to a poor parking attendant and gives him generous tips for finding him a good spot. Evi Mariani writes down her observations and musing about the streets of Jakarta, which can be a place full of love if we care to use our hearts.

6th FOCUS | August 2009
Nuraini Juliastuti

In a hot city, the matter of using or not using jackets can be such a perplexing issue, especially for women. Should I wear body-covering clothes and then feel stifled with the heat on my own, or wear revealing clothes and subsequently sense the heat collectively from the weather as well as from the thousand pairs of eyes that would stare at me? Nuraini Juliastuti tells of her and her friend Ani’s experiences of wearing jackets in Yogyakarta.

6th FOCUS | August 2009
M. Isfanani Haidar Ilyas

A media hooker wrote the letter after being sent out of the meeting room. It is a letter of protest written by an insider in the TV industry, which will reveal to us the reason why Indonesian TV stations, that still incessantly produce comedy shows, invariably fail to make us laugh.

6th FOCUS | August 2009
Veven Sp. Wardhana

Veven Sp. Wardhana, a TV observer who always very diligently watches TV and makes notes, elucidates about how the entire contents of the TV shows are actually very funny. It is enough for you to watch TV to find a myriad of absurdities, starting from horror films that have turned into something called religious cinema, the outlandish gossip shows, a variety of weird terms, to the absurd telenovela and the surreptitious ghost ads that are invariably found out.

6th FOCUS | August 2009
Introduction

Living in a busy and extravagant city, sometimes we need to dampen our anxieties by using humor. Courageously, this edition observes the absurdity of the city with humor. From an essay about a comedy show programmer on a TV station and one about the absurdity of TV—the shows we see in our sitting room—the essays then move outside to the street, and back to what have been recorded and presented to us, to be seen on our computer screen.

5th FOCUS: COMICS AND THE CITY

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
Ardi Yunanto

In 2004, four cartoon panels by Muhammad Reza were on display in six Transjakarta bus stops. At the time, Transjakarta had been in operation for only a few months, and the bus stops were still free from advertisements, and Transjakarta ownership was not yet contested. The citizens of Jakarta were adapting to this “new tradition of transportation,” and Reza recorded some of their exploits.

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
Seno Gumira Ajidarma

Who does not know Doyok, the man with blangkon and clam diggers who loyally appears in Pos Kota daily? The comic character often comments on the latest political issues using the perspective of the common people. But the intention is, truly, serious—and it turns out to be very interesting how such seriousness acquires a form. Seno Gumira Ajidarma explains in his essay.

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
Arief Ash Shiddiq

Akademi Samali has published three Senggol Jakarta comic compilations, presenting works by young Indonesian comic artists today. Arief Ash Shiddiq observes the comics armed with a simple question: Is this Jakarta? When violence is present without any consequences? When the street appears merely as a site, a setting? When one tries to avoid the real situations of Jakarta streets? Arief criticizes harshly, but he does not stop hoping.

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
Hikmat Darmawan

If we wish to see how Jakarta was in the beginning of the sixties to the end of the seventies by means of the comics, then the romance comics would be the ideal choice as it is the only genre that has faithfully been set against the background of the metropolis, replete with yearned love and dreams of the city. Hikmat Darmawan elucidates several patterns found in the romance comics, from the habit of reading the newspaper to the fashion styles, which not only reveal traces of naiveté but also hint at the people’s imaginations on the city.

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
JJ Rizal

Seen from the perspective of comic’s relevance to its era, especially in the context of Jakarta, Benny and Mice are at the forefront of Indonesian comics today. They exist due to Jakarta chaos and tell about all the follies about living in the capital city. JJ Rizal discusses their decade-long works using the urban angle and in thorough, critical, and balanced ways. This is the most comprehensive works about Benny and Mice’s works to date.

5th FOCUS | Februari 2009
Introduction

How do the Indonesian comics represent the urban social pulses? How far are the representations related to the reality, able to document the mental history of the citizens, and how do the comic artists deal with the problems of their comic media in order to portray such representations? Why do most Indonesian comics invariably refer to Jakarta? This edition discusses these issues and reveals the phenomena and problems behind them.

4th FOCUS: CINEMA AND THE CITY

4th FOCUS | January 2008
Ronny Agustinus

This is the first essay that provides a sharp insight into the phenomena of the video and new media art in Indonesia. Ronny Agustinus does not merely say that we, Indonesians, have been experiencing modernity without rationality, but also explains the important context which we have often ignored when writing critiques of the new media art: the social and political contexts, which have ironically served as the basis for the Indonesian art history since its beginning.

4th FOCUS | January 2008
Ronny Agustinus

This is the first essay that provides a sharp insight into the phenomena of the video and new media art in Indonesia. Ronny Agustinus does not merely say that we, Indonesians, have been experiencing modernity without rationality, but also explains the important context which we have often ignored when writing critiques of the new media art: the social and political contexts, which have ironically served as the basis for the Indonesian art history since its beginning.
 

4th FOCUS | January 2008
Veronica Kusuma

“Like many other post-1998 films, Mengejar Matahari exists almost without any criticism about the visual expressions of space that the New Order regime had generated,” states Veronica Kusuma in this essay, which also questions whether the apartment project in this movie merely functions as the background for the story, or serves also as an area of critique in a film that lays its base on the social matters.
 

4th FOCUS | January 2008
Eric Sasono

Does Jakarta exist within the Indonesian film? Does it merely serve as the location, or does it invigorate the film itself, inseparable from its social context? Eric Sasono delineates four stages of the Indonesian film journey since the New Order regime came to power, and observes how Jakarta has been revived, served as a source of inspiration, or merely sold as something exotic in the eyes of the middle-class film-makers.
 

4th FOCUS | January 2008
Introduction

Films, as a form of social documentation and especially a record of the mentality of the society, will inevitably present the city within the story. Has there been a strong presence of the social and spatial problems of the city in Indonesian films? Have the films made the city not merely as a background because it is where the films are made? This edition of Karbon journal presents a number of essays about this matter, as well as introduces a film screening and discussion program.

3rd FOCUS: PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

3rd FOCUS | August 2007
Ardi Yunanto

In 2001 Andry Mochamad, an artist from Bandung, produced stickers dedicated to the good drivers of public vehicles. If you see one of his stickers on your chosen public vehicle, then you can feel safe, because the stickers would be put only on public vehicles whose drivers are friendly and act in safe manners. It is a sign that they will take you safely to your destination.

3rd FOCUS | August 2007
Seno Gumira Ajidarma

No matter how bad we suffer in the traffic jams of Jakarta, it is certainly worse for the taxi drivers as they live precisely within the logjam. The taxi drivers are eventually forced to do their job with a distinct art. Seno Gumira Ajidarma writes his sharp, ironical observation about the lives of the taxi drivers, whom we often see but rarely think about.

3rd FOCUS | August 2007
Ardi Yunanto

Have you ever noticed how bus users in Jakarta are more conscientious on the air-conditioned Patas buses when it comes to their seating attitude? They will, of course, pick with whom they are going to sit. Ardi Yunanto writes about his year-long observation of the collective attitude of the air-conditioned Patas bus users when they choose their seats. It is about them, or you, who probably feel awkward to sit down with others.

3rd FOCUS | August 2007
Yoshi Fajar Kresno Murti

While the becaks in Jakarta were once hunted down and destroyed for the sake of touristic good looks of the country, the becaks in Yogyakarta have been precisely maintained and used as a strong tourists’ attraction. Yoshi Fajar Kresno Murti delineates the problems of the becaks in Yogyakarta, which serve as a means of the identity politics of the Javanese culture but have also been naturally marginalized due to its failure to catch up with the development of the town itself.

3rd FOCUS | August 2007
Introduction

Public transportation does not merely constitute a never-ending urban problem, but is also representative of the government’s inability to manage the country’s economy. This edition discusses about the becaks, taxis, and the users of air-conditioned express buses—all reflecting how behind the problems of the public transportation, lies another problem: how to change the attitude of the society itself.

2nd FOCUS: TRAVEL

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
Agung Hujatnikajenong

In April 2002, Handy Hermansyah marked the street holes in Bandung with white circles, so that others will not suffer from the same disaster that had struck him: falling from the motorbike. Agung Hujatnikajennong reviews the performance act, which he considers as a successful public art project.

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
Ardi Yunanto

Bus stops should be one of the urban spaces that we experienced most fleetingly. But the Jakarta buses are invariably late, the traffic is always congested, and the bus stop design thus becomes important to compensate for such problems: one needs a place to sit. Then there is also the fact that each bus stop has its own “community”, making it become more lively and safe, albeit not necessarily more comfortable.

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
Anissa S. Febrina

Do you know about the informal parking businesses in Jakarta? Have you seen small kampong houses with no garage but with two to three cars lining the street? Motor vehicles have apparently become one of the main necessities in urban living. Anissa S. Febrina reviews the phenomenon from various perspectives, inviting us to consider that the issue of parking lots is not merely a spatial urban problem, but also a matter of the social attitude and the environmental awareness of the urbanites.
 

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
T. Ismail Reza

Since the Cipularang toll road is opened in 2005, people’s mobility to travel between Bandung and Jakarta changes, too. There is a corresponding boom in the business that provides fast and cheap transport between Bandung and Jakarta on an hourly basis. Furthermore, many aspects in the rituals of travel between Bandung and Jakarta also change, and the business people are fast to take advantage of them.

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
Bambang Susantono

Late in managing its system of mass transportation, Jakarta will face a total gridlock within the next ten years at most. Several years ago, the busway system has been applied, but its inadequacy persists: the feeding system and the parking lots. Bambang Susantono believes that the key to the good transportation services is access, not vehicular mobility.

2nd FOCUS | May 2007
Introduction

Karbon now reviews a number of phenomena that might take place during our travels due to the problems regarding the city infrastructure. Karbon observes the transportation system, the easy Jakarta – Bandung access, the neglected bus stops, the parking business, and artworks about the holes on the city streets.
 

1st FOCUS: HOUSE

1st FOCUS | March 2007
Gustaff H. Iskandar

In 2003, ruangrupa held the Apartment Project, an art project about vertical housing in Jakarta. Seven artists from Indonesia (Jakarta), the Netherlands, and Japanese lived and worked for a month in two “houses”: the Bendungan Hilir II vertical housing project at Pejompongan, and the Taman Rasuna Apartment at Kuningan. The following is the notes written by Gustaff H. Iskandar, the art project’s officer.

1st FOCUS | March 2007
Ardi Yunanto

From October 2002 to April 2003, residents in Tebet, South Jakarta, have been lucky to have the publication of Lintas Tebet. The community magazine talked about the issues in Tebet at the time, and the residents were their main sources for news and stories. Karbon talks with Nugroho Nurdikiawan, one of the former editor of Lintas Tebet.

1st FOCUS | March 2007
Farabi Fakih

Kota Legenda, or “The City of Legends”, which was formally opened in 1996 next to the Jakarta – Cikampek toll road, offers a rich and kitschy assortment of house styles. You, members of the middle class, can own a house in the American Colonial or Classical European style without ever having to set a foot outside Indonesia. Farabi Fakih examines such a middle-class imagination through the various housing advertisements in the mass media.

1st FOCUS | March 2007
Darrundono

Is it true that high rises are the solution for people living in the slums? People are not objects, and resettlement efforts need to consider the social, economic, and cultural backgrounds, and involving the future tenants in the planning process. Darrundono presents his views on this matter, based on his doctoral dissertation, which he has re-written especially for the Karbon online journal.

1st FOCUS | March 2007
Introduction

This is the first edition of the Karbon journal, which since 2007 has been transformed into an online journal that explores matters of the city, the visual culture, and the contemporary art. We use these matters as our analysis materials, dissecting them in order to understand the wider social context that these problems represent. The first edition discusses the most chronic urban problem: the house, seen in various perspectives.

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ARTICLE
Farid Rakun
26.09.2010

In May – August 2010, designers Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina responded to Jakarta’s public spaces through their Urban PLAY project. Video documentaries of the nine works in the series were uploaded on a regular basis to the site owned by Desain Grafis Indonesia (DGI, or Indonesian Graphic Design). They disclose the artists’ belief that the cheeky and childlike aspects of the city residents must be brought to the fore so that Jakarta’s true character can be revealed. Our editor,  Farid Rakun, offers his shrewd review on these inspirational works for you.

169,835 comments
Marto Art
26.08.2010

August in Indonesia is always the month of longevity. Recalled is the yell, “Freedom!”. But Marto Art muses, considers, and challenges the nationalism values in youth today. Ancient wayang characters from acts of Ramayana and Mahabharata: Kumbakarna, Wibisana and Basukarna, were used as analogies, in order to perceive the social psychology of our contemporary youth. Is our nationalism imprudent? Merely between the nation-defending youth, youth of faith, and angsty youth?

4,809 comments
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