Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art Actor-Network

Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art Actor-Network

Officially launched in May 2024, Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art Actor-Network join hands with Southeast Asian regional cultural and art action organizations, the project invite artists, researchers, and curators from Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other places to embark on various explorations into invisible boundaries such as politics, skin color, identity, nature, and images. On the other hand, Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network will also continue to initiate its satellite project Strange Neighbors Lecture/Workshop Series from 29th June, looking at unfamiliar sides of Taiwan’s Southeast Asia neighbors from historical, political, social, and cultural aspects. This project is part of TheCube Project Space “Act for the Future”.

Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network invites Indonesia’s Jatiwangi Sinematek and Malaysia’s Rumah Attap Library and Collective as exchange partners in 2024. Members of exchange partners and Taiwanese artists, researchers and curators will join a micro-residency program under this project in May and December, held respectively in Taipei, Jatiwangi and Kuala Lumpur. Participants together with exchange partners will develop research responding the theme “Grilling Borders”.  During the project’s exchange partners’ micro-residency in Taipei from 12th to 29th May, public activities such as screening, lectures, book exhibition will be generated. TheCube Project Space will act as an interactive platform between researchers, curators, and audiences.

Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network is expected to complete research of different stages in 2025, culminating in a transdisciplinary image exhibition/performance in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other places.

[About Grilling Borders]

Curated by | Au Sow Yee

The unfixed and unknown fluid state of invisible boundaries, are like organisms that transform with different contexts and conditions. The Chinese character “烤” (kǎo) is used as a homophone for “考” (kǎo), which means “to investigate” or “to excavate”. It points to the meaning of textual research and excavation, and on the other hand, borrows its connotations of heat and the gathering of heat and temperature. In the late 19th century, photographic imaging and development techniques often resulted in overexposure or even combustion due to excessive contact between the single-frame image on the film and fire or light, ultimately leading to the destruction and even death of the image. The fluidity of “boundaries” and the gathering characteristics of “grilling” seem to be a paradox, but fluidity and gathering also happen to form organic, non-fixed, and meaningful multiple combinations through the dynamics of the two, echoing and unfolding the notion of “boundary” as something organic. Through the fluidity of the “border” and the unstable scene formed by the idea of “grilling”, “Grilling Borders” focuses on the dialectic of border imaging, launching an exploration journey of the boundaries of geopolitics, skin color, nationality, nature, and images. 

Taiwan, located on the border between the South China Sea and the East China Sea, has been developing interactions with Southeast Asia region following the flow of monsoon since a long time ago. The path for Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network follows the trajectory and season of the monsoon, re-opening the possible imagination on borders between Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

[About Exchange Partners]

Jatiwangi Sinematek (Indonesia)

Jatiwangi Sinematek is a screening platform based in the rural areas of Jatiwangi that brings together artistic practice and the moving image. Through interdisciplinary approaches, this platform has been exploring how cinema crosses borders, connecting people, experiences, and environments.

 Rumah Attap Library and Collective (Malaysia)

Founded in 2017, Rumah Attap Library & Collective is a “library” located in Kuala Lumpur. It hopes to build an open and critical alternative knowledge system, creating a critical and “living coordinate” generated by public participation. Rumah Attap works towards charting a new intellectual map that connects geography, history, time, society, politics, culture and the arts.

[Grilling Borders Public Events in May]

Grilling Borders Project Initiating BBQ and Moving Southward Screening of Selected Films from Indonesia

Date|2024.05.22 (Wed) 19:30-21:30
Venue|2nd Floor Balcony, Guling Street Avant-Garde Theater (No.2, Ln. 5, Guling St. Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City)
Moving Southward Curator|Bunga Siagian (Jatiwangi Sinematek)
Moving Southward Participating Artists|Lidia Afrilita and David Darmadi, Riar Rizaldi, Kifu Taufiqurrahman
Guests|Bunga Siagian (Jatiwangi Sinematek), Goh Siew Poh, Cheong Wey Jin, Loo Pei Yi(Rumah Attap Library and Collective)
Registration Link|https://reurl.cc/vam6Dj

  • Free Admission, Registration required.
  • Simple grilled food provided.
  • Videos with English subtitles.
[ Moving Southward Screening of Selected Films from Indonesia]

About Moving Southward

The title Moving Southward stems from the Taiwanese government policy in the 1990s which strongly urged business investment in Southeast Asia. This policy has become a proper metaphor, demonstrating how the South in general, and Southeast Asia in particular, has a long history of serving as a site for global capitalism’s expansionist ambitions, mostly the extraction of natural resources. If the South is a zone, moving southward is a journey to sense, confront, and experience the consequences of industrialization, one of which is the disaster of the environment and its inhabitants.

This program presents three films produced within the last five years by the emerging generation of Indonesian filmmakers who grew up during the Jokowi regime over the last decade. The only regime in Indonesian modern history with a significant number of businessmen holding government positions. Examining the relationship between ecology and industrialization, these films present complex narratives by decentering humans and focusing on the lives and stories of more than humans. Their aesthetic position reflects cinema’s capacity to be a site where more than humans possess consciousness and agency to reclaim subjective realities and actively shape our shared experiences. When humans, acting as agents of capitalism, have exerted dominance over material realities, the only way to envision another future is through the assemblage of a multiplicity of subjective realities. (text / Bunga Siagian)

Curator

Bunga Siagian is an artist, researcher, and curator. Her current research explores the political and cinematic commitments of Indonesian leftists during the decolonization of the Third World in the 1950s and 1960s. She is a co-founder of BKP, a study agency of land that situates its practices at the nexus of the arts, community, and the legacy of colonialism.

Participating Artists

Lidia Afrilita is a documentary, language, and education enthusiast. Her first documentary Padang In Carnival is a short film about decorative public transportation in Padang, West Sumatera. She currently runs a learning center in a rural area in Jambi and helps manage the Ingatan Visual initiative project, documenting the daily life of people in West Sumatera.

David Darmadi is a filmmaker currently based in Sumatera. His work has been screened at international festivals such as Europe On Screen, Aarhus Kunstbygning Center Denmark, Documentary Film Festival Jogjakarta, and 24th Images Festival Toronto Canada, 4th  Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival.

Riar Rizaldi (Indonesia) is an artist and filmmaker whose works have been showcased at prestigious film festivals including the Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; the British Film Institute London Film Festival, England; Cinéma du Réel, France; Singapore International Film Festival, and more. Some of the exhibitions featuring his works have taken place at the Centre Pompidou, France; NTT InterCommunication Center, Japan; Taipei Biennial, Taiwan; Istanbul Biennial, Turkey; Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy; and Biennale Jogja, Indonesia.

Taufiqurrahman Kifu (Indonesia) is an interdisciplinary artist who uses various mediums such as drawing, photography, sound, video, film & performance art. In 2016 he co-founded Forum Sudutpandang (literal translation: Perspective Forum), an art collective based in Palu that focuses on reproducing knowledge about the city. In 2022, he initiated a platform called MUTUALS, as a space for art and interdisciplinary experiments in recording the city through drawing, sound, and performance art.

Films

Kasikerit, 2019, Riar Rizaldi

In Riar Rizaldi’s film Kasiterit, the filmmaker takes the role as an interlocutor alongside Natasha, a solar-powered A.I. voice machine. Together, they trace the origin of a material, revealing it to be the product of tin extraction from Bangka Island in Indonesia. Through this exploration of material development in technology, “Kasiterit” exposes the contemporary patterns of global technology consumption, often taken for granted. As Riar aptly puts it, “The greatest myth of digital is that it is immaterial.” Global south countries remain focal points for ongoing neo-colonialism and global capitalism practices to this day.

Saya Di sini Kau di Sana (A Tale of The Crocodile’s Twin), 2022, Kifu Taufiqurrahman

Crocodiles and humans must share living space within the red zone (tsunami-prone zone). There, they live suspiciously of each other. Saya di Sini, Kau di Sana is a thought-provoking documentary film that embarks on a journey to rediscover and reinterpret ancient knowledge preserved in local archives, folk tales, and myths. It delves into the intricate relationship between old narratives and contemporary ecological understanding, uncovering how they can offer valuable insights into our current environmental challenges.

Diary of Cattle, 2019, Lidia Afrilita and David Darmadi

Every morning hundreds of cows are herded to a landfill site. They make it their home; they eat, nap, play, and mate here while having to keep themselves safe from the excavators and bulldozers that plow around the site. If not careful, a cow might lose its life here, killed by the heavy machines or trapped under tons of trash. Despite all the risks, this practice has been around for many years as their owners save the trouble of looking for pasture and instead rely on human food waste to feed them. While some cows are lucky enough to have a barn to return to in the afternoon, some have to spend the night here because the owner lives far away from the site. Regardless, all these rubbish-eating cows will share the same destiny under the butcher’s knife.


Grilling Borders Book Exhibition
Date | 2024.05.25 (Sat) — 2024.06. 09 (Sun), 2:00pm – 8:00pm, closed on Monday and Tuesday
Venue | The Cube Project Space (2F, No13, Aly 1, Ln 136, Sec 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei, Taiwan)

Members from Grilling Borders: 2024/2025 Art-Actor Network exchange partners (Jatiwangi Sinematek and Rumah Attap Library and Collective), together with Taiwanese artists Tsai Pou-Ching, Wu Chi-Yu and researcher/curator Chen Zian, will select books or readings related to “borders” respectively from their own background and profession. The book exhibition will also be showing previous publications, documentary and archival materials of both Jatiwangi Sinematek and Rumah Attap Library and Collective.


Grilling Borders Book Reading

Time|2024.05.25 (Sat) 2pm – 5pm
Venue|TheCube Project Space (2F, No.13, Aly 1, Ln 136, Sec 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei)
Speakers|Goh Siew Poh (Rumah Attap Library & Collective), Chen Zian, Cheong Wey Jin (Rumah Attap Library & Collective), Wu Chi-Yu, Loo Pei-Yi (Rumah Attap Library & Collective)
Selected Books|The People’s Constitutional Proposals for Malaya, Time Archives (Nakao Eki), The Politics of Cultural Work (Mark Bank), The Shade of Coconut Trees (Kawakami Takiya), Strangers on a Pier (Tash Aw).
Registration|https://reurl.cc/70R059

  • Registration required.
  • This event is a combination of on site and online.

The book reading stems from the foundation of book selection from the Grilling Borders Book Exhibition. Through a form of telling stories from selected books or publications, the event hopes to trigger and reflect multifaceted thoughts and imagination, inviting audiences to take part in discussion after.

Speakers

Cheong Wey Jin lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. She was also a part time lecturer and former sub-editor at the local online media, Malaysiakini. She also co-founded In Between Cultura in 2015.

Loo Pei Yi lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. She was an editor in Mentor Publishing and for literature magazine “What?!Poetry”. Pei Yi currently serves as a columnist for Sin Chew Daily Literary Supplement.

Goh Siew Poh lives and works in Kuala Lumpur,  co-founded and runs Rumah Attap Library & Collective since 2017. He is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies, and a member of Amatuer, a local cultural agency in Malaysia.

Wu Chi-Yu lives and works in Taipei, a multimedia artist whose works include films, video installations and photography. He was a resident artist at Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (2014-2015), and his works have been exhibited at Times Museum, Guangzhou (2021), MoCA, Taipei (2020), Shanghai Biennale (2018), Taipei Biennial (2016) etc.

Chen Zian is currently Contributing Editor for Ocula Magazine’s Chinese platform. His collaborative research and curatorial projects realized with other practitioners have been presented at institutions such as the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai; Times Museum, Guangzhou; Nida Art Colony, Lithuania, and the Bleed Biennial in Melbourne, among others.

Organizer |  TheCube Project Space
Curator  |  Au Sow Yee
Exchange Partners |  Jatiwangi Sinematek X Rumah Attap Library and Collective
Collaborator  |  Open Contemporary Art Center
Sponsor  |  Act for the Future (National Culture and Arts Foundation)

*  TheCube Project Space is supported by NCAF, Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, Live Forever Foundation and Chen Po-Wen.

[Grilling Borders Public Events in May]

◎Grilling Borders Project Initiating BBQ and Moving Southward Screening of Selected Films from Indonesia
Date|2024.05.22 (Wed) 19:30-21:30
Venue|2nd Floor Balcony, Guling Street Avant-Garde Theater (No.2, Ln. 5, Guling St. Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City)

Grilling Borders Book Exhibition
Date | 2024.05.25 (Sat) — 2024.06. 09 (Sun), 2:00pm – 8:00pm, closed on Monday and Tuesday
Venue | The Cube Project Space (2F, No13, Aly 1, Ln 136, Sec 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei, Taiwan)

Grilling Borders Book Reading
Speakers | Cheong Wey Jin, Goh Siew Poh, Loo Pei Yi (Rumah Attap Library & Collective),  Chen Zian, Wu Chi-Yu
Date | 2024.05.25 (Sat), 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Venue | The Cube Project Space (2F, No13, Aly 1, Ln 136, Sec 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei, Taiwan)

Organizer |  TheCube Project Space
Curator  |  Au Sow Yee
Exchange Partners |  Jatiwangi Sinematek X Rumah Attap Library and Collective
Collaborator  |  Open Contemporary Art Center
Sponsor  |  Act for the Future (National Culture and Arts Foundation)

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