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What kind of infrastructures support doing research in collective and public ways? Three international groups, all Het Nieuwe Instituut fellows of the past year, share their approach to transforming institutes. During this evening, the soft closing of the Fellowship Programme 2021 at Het Nieuwe Instituut, the audience is invited to join the conversation with the institute's current fellows: MELT, The School of Mutants and Tropic Fever. This event is moderated by Delany Boutkan and Federica Notari. 

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In order to ‘do’ research in collective and public forms, individuals and groups of researchers need infrastructures to support ways of bringing people, knowledges and perspectives together, but how can you approach this within and alongside existing institutions, or beyond them?

Through its annual Call for Fellows, Het Nieuwe Instituut gives visibility to research projects that offer a departure from established modes of thinking and aim to become a catalyst for those collective forms of knowledge. How do the fellows go about building collective and public networks for research? What role can fellowships play in transforming institutions, how do fellows reflect on the biases of those institutions, and how do they work with the complexities and multi-dimensional approaches within such research practices?

You can find the transcript of the evening below:

Tropic Fever: Robin Hartanto Honggare and Perdana Roswaldy

Robin Hartanto Honggare is a writer and curator, and, presently, a PhD candidate at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He curated the Indonesia Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (2014). His articles have been published in the Southeast of Now, Planning Perspectives, Avery Review, and Jakarta Post. His current research, rooted in his interest in the architectures of cultivation and the histories of colonial modernities in Southeast Asia, examines how buildings and landscapes shaped, and were shaped by, commodity productions.

Perdana "Pepe" Roswaldy is a sociology graduate student at Northwestern University. After four years of studying the Russian language and Soviet art politics, they took a detour to land conflicts and the plantation economy in Southeast Asia. They received Kellogg-DRRC grant for their thesis on land conflict and gendered environmental changes in 2019. Their current project is the postcolonial extraction and plantations in Indonesia.

Mahardika Yudha is an artist, filmmaker, and curator. He is co-founder of Forum Lenteng and has organized OK. Video 2007—2017. His activities gravitate around organisational pursuit, be it mediating, facilitating, curating. Heavily interested in history, he often jumps back and forth between tracing, collecting, and processing the findings to various artistic outputs, such as Kultursinema—an exhibition program of Arkipel, Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film festival; and time-based media works ranging from video, documentary, and installation. His works have been exhibited in Videobrasil, Singapore Biennale, SeMA Mediacity Biennale Seoul, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Kasseler Dokfest and International Film Festival Rotterdam 2022. He is also one of the initiators for Hoppla, and co-founder of the HEX Foundation.

Tropic Fever uncovers the racial and spatial imprints of colonial plantations and their entanglement with our contemporary society. Engaging multimedia format, the work utilizes archival and visual materials from Indonesia and the Netherlands in parallel with a close reading of historical literary works that capture the plantation lives. Tropic Fever is a collaborative project by Robin Hartanto Honggare, Perdana Roswaldy, and Mahardhika Yudha.

 

Het Nieuwe Instituut Fellowship Programme

Since its foundation in 2013, Het Nieuwe Instituut has carried out and supported research in architecture, design and digital culture. Exhibitions, lectures, archival investigations and publications have served as outputs of research projects, but more importantly as active platforms for their development. Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Fellowship Programme has a fundamental role among these platforms. Intended as a means of supporting, and learning from, a variety of research initiatives and methodologies, the fellowship is ultimately an opportunity to rehearse other modes of thinking and doing.

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker