Irwan Ahmett talks about urban intervention, tactics and Indonesian national revolution period
A New Year 2012 greetings from Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina
Waiting is boring!
Buffering Race is a performance that involve cars and pedestrians. The game is played in crowded street and traffic jams, while cars are moving slowly so the movement of vehicles can be responded by the participants who run on the sidewalk. Followed one after another between the participants and the car that is being driven slowly become a fun competition. This race is inspired by the moment of waiting for buffering a video on Youtube. Often we have to patiently wait until the line goes gray and then followed by a red line to watch the video, and so on until we are finished viewing a video online.
It is a modification of the pinball game that involved a group of people as the medium and was played on a declined street. As a hilly city, Istanbul has a lot of interesting locations to play Keepin’ Ball. The perfect time to play it when the streets free of vehicles, because in some commercial areas where the streets crowded with cars passing by or parking become empty on Sundays. This situation is the best chance for us to play and have fun.
This is a performance that responds to the fishermen on the Galata Bridge – people of all ages who there at practically every hour of the day. Fishing News is performed by two people, ‘commentators’ conducting play-by-play reports of the fishermen’s actions, engaging tourists and local residents alike.
Fatih Gençkal is a performer who also conceives performance and theater works. Born in Istanbul, he spent three years studying and working in New York City. He is a co-founder of Studio 4 Istanbul, an independent group of artists who produce theatrical and cinematic work and tour internationally. He currently lives and works in Istanbul.
Şafak Ersözlü was born in Istanbul and currently a Performing Arts student at Bilgi Üniversitesi. Theater credits include Studio4İstanbul’s Atış Serbest and Külhanbeyi Müzikali at the Bakırköy Municipal Theater. Performance works include Willi Dorner’s Bodies In Urban Spaces as part of İdans04. Film works include Ali Özgentürk’s Yengeç Oyunu and Görünmeyen. Currently works with the Bakırköy Municipal Theater as actor.
Propeller People is a play in public space, by creating a formation line up and holding hands. The formation functions as a human revolving door, rotating around a fixed point in the middle of the street. The movement is ‘controlled’ by the pedestrians who walk pass through it.
The aim of the project this time is responding to an inspiring phrase through the interaction of body, public facilities and objects found in public spaces. The game is with no limits because it can be developed by anyone with any object.
Irwan and Tita are making a play from the broken sidewalk blocks, an usual condition found on the streets of London. Some of them could be dangerous for pedestrians. By placing a ‘sound effect’ under the block, pedestrians become concerned about the condition, or even for a moment they can feel the excitement to play it.
This video is the result of the workshop we did in Bielsko-Biala, Poland. This 3 days workshop was conducted in public space to give new experience and meaning of the city. It was attended by an art secondary school students in Bielsko-Biala. Together we brainstormed, designed strategies, created the plays and performed them in simple ways by inviting people to get involved with. This short time workshop went very well thanks to the creative and fearless participants and also people who involved in it.
Vandalism is like a virus that is difficult to eradicate, attacking corners of the city. In every potential area, they secretly (illegal) makes it, to signify identity, territorial or just absurd fads. The actions of those vandals by burning or punching holes in acrylic boards which are found at the tram stops in the city of The Hague rewarded with a ‘fad’ by Irwan and Tita by creating new functions of the acts in their project this time; Hole in Holland.
Irwan & Tita are playing with chewing gums waste that stick permanently and impossible to clean. Irregular blackish colored circles decorate the surface area and littered the floor and streets in major cities including The Hague, Netherlands. Seeing the situation, the duo takes initiative to link each point of chewing gum to the other, into series of numbers and letters and offers to the public to solve the riddle.
The idea for Organism is inspired by the sound of the country’s (The Netherlands) Luchtalarm which is tested every first Monday of the month at 12 O’clock. During the 1.5 minutes of alarm testing, we want to surprise the city with an action in the heart of The Hague’s city centre.
Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina are artist and designer duo live in Jakarta the capital city of Indonesia that becomes the center of everything in the country. This condition has led Jakarta encouraged to continue to grow. In addition to the emergence of development, the citizens are faced with difficult choices, they have to live with any bitterness or leave the city. The duo chooses to live in and creates some activities which stimulate awareness of reality about their city and involves public as part of their plan. Since Jakarta is not only belongs to the ruler who ‘plays’ the law and the people only, but the essence of the city has the right belongs to every individual in it to give meaning to the space of the city.
Urban Play focuses on the ‘stress’ city of Jakarta – with its population of 15 millions people and high social problems aggravated by the weakness of the state in overcoming the problem of uncontrolled urban growth that far exceeding the capacity of its maximum capacity and lack of awareness of citizens to preserve their city properly and its inhabitants as participants in a series of games aiming to explore new sensitivities experienced by the wider public, by way of interaction through playfulness and improvisation. In short, it aims to unravel the playful side of the city. These aims are pursued through video, photography, performance, utilizing the situation and condition of sites specific and the main media employed for each campaign preceding the games.
This form of play is chosen precisely for the ability to record and cultivate collective memory, thus facilitating its transformation into a series of games, which citizens are invited to observe, take part into and interpret in new ways so that they can play the games again in person or even with their communities.