Collective Study and Contemporary Art Ecosystem

Gudksul: collective study and contemporary art ecosystem is a public learning space formed by three art collectives in Jakarta: ruangrupa, Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara (GHH). Since early 2000s, the three are active in the field of contemporary art by exercising collective and collaborative work. In 2015, these collectives agreed to form a joint ecosystem adapting values emerging from the collective process: equity, sharing, solidarity, friendship and togetherness. The objective of this learning space is to spread the elan of art-cultural work to individuals in order to spark initiative among the public.

If we believe art and artists cannot engage only with themselves, then to become a collective and work collaboratively is one of the ways to position oneself within the public, either on a discursive or practical order. In contemporary artworld, this practice has numerous subsequent influences. Here, the definition of inter-disciplinary practice, openness, plurality, cooperation, ideas exchange and power experiment are present. Without ever disrespecting the individuals forming the whole. By using this approach, artists organically becomes producer, mediator, distributor, while at the same time, creates network.

To obtain the aforementioned objective, Gudskul is designed as a simulation of collective work learning space advancing the importance of critical and experimental dialogue, through sharing process and experience-based learning. The study program which offers no title and has no accreditation runs through one year employing a dynamic curriculum approach. At Gudskul, the participant will be directly involved in an art ecosystem and collaboratively decides upon a collective artistic practice with access to resources and local and global network which has been formed throughout the years.

We believe that the idea of sharing and working together is one of the more important platform for the proliferation of art-cultural work. Therefore, this study is focused as a space for exploration, experimentation and critique on collective work. This study is open for artists, managers, curators, researchers and cultural practitioners who are eager to develop collective and collaborative based artistic work model. Gudskul will become a common learning space for art-cultural agents who wish to contribute in local context while at the same time involved in international dialogue.



Contemporary shifts in socio-cultural contexts have challenged, changed and expanded visual art novelties. This subject critically reviews the interdisciplinarity phenomenon further, in order to develop new artistic media possibilities: from form,space and time to technology and the expanded experience for the senses.


Collective practice necessitates understanding between its members—in space, time,idea, even finance. Enhancing self-awareness and towards one’s surrounding social milieu​​is another necessity. This subject specifically touches upon these matters, inorder to enable participants in identifying and speculating on possible sustainability strategies for art collectives.


In collective practice, understanding of space is paramount. Space is an arena,contested through creations within. This subject focuses on discussions of various kind of spaces—both in urban and rural contexts. In order to form a more extensive spatialu nderstanding, complimentary are space-related concepts—such as natural and cultural environments, citizen modes of activism, up to movements of global dissents.


Collective practice is nothing new. A number of precedents are abounding in humanhistory: from nation-states to resistance movements, from religious groups to bandsand their fandoms. This subject attempts to understand how collectivities in culture arebuilt, transformed and modified, through different lenses: philosophy, sociology, andhistory.


The subject explores a number of past art projects and artistic practice methods, inorder to find the relevance of collective practice in our current conditions. Participants are urged to experiment, study, dissect, modify and develop methods of collective artistic production in their own practice. Here, detailed examinations on the popular term “artistic research” will also be further conducted.


Generally, this subject talks about the historical background of art collectives, utilizing Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and other ex-colonies, as its given contexts. Besides following this history in chronological order, this subject also expands into theirsocio-cultural backgrounds, artistic creations, strategies, and values, also their models of presentations and knowledge distributions.


This subject puts its critical focus on the basic principles and various positions on aesthetics, ethics, and politics, which serve as foundations or inspirations for collective artistic practice. It also interrogates the way certain idea form and then develops into either a movement or a mere failure. Citizen participatory and spatial practice, closely related to artistic collective practice, can be seen as a strategy which contains specific ethical and aesthetical challenges.This subject scrutinizes further the role and position of contemporary art and artists in society, by studying the relations art has with local and global evolution, together with the power relations exercised between citizens, nation-states, and corporations.Participants then could define their collective positions in different contexts—not only artistic but also social, cultural, political ones. They are then able to finally gain knowledge from larger social realms they are situated in.


This subject will provide a space for learning different public relation strategies art collectives use to reach their public. Every collective then should be able to find their own particular perspectives and communication strategies. This ability is vital to foster negotiations and to maintain their relevance in the communities they are operating within.To begin, participants learn how to identify themselves and their potentialities. Then participants position themselves in their society. This way, their values, practices and artistic contributions could be conveyed properly. In the final stage, participants devise their own strategic plans and communication methods, to relate itself with other vital elements at play in the social milieu of society


Just like any proper garden, knowledge has to be planted, mended and cultivated before they are distributed to others. This understanding is crucial in realizing the vital role of knowledge in sustaining the practice of artists’ collective. This subject emphasizes the role education plays in an art collective. It reviews how collectives find,understand and distribute their particular values. In a broader picture, this subject attempts to find out the strategies of knowledge dissemination available for collectives to reach their wider public.


Workshops are infrastructural facilities available to foster interactions and collaborations with others in a collective process. As a shop, this subject opens and acts as means for technical knowledge dissemination. Workshops enable participants to invest their interests in various media, such as graphic arts, multimedia, drawing,and time-and-space-based arts. The subject compliments the discursive parts already available for the participants, putting them directly into real situations with real world artistic problems.


One of the main roles of an art collective is to be a part of an ecosystem’s supporting system. The role can be achieved through space management, and/or production of art events, such as: exhibition, discussion, workshop, festival and publication, either online or off-. This productive process plays a vital role in articulating the various forces happening within a collective to anyone listening. This subject focuses on the process of designing such events—from beginning to end—in the bigger context of art collective practice.

Academic Team

Gudskul academic team consists members of collectives who are in the ecosystem. Each has professional experience in the field of artistic production, managerial, and curatorial.

  • Ade Darmawan
  • Angga Wijaya
  • Anita Bonit
  • Berto Tukan
  • Farid Rakun
  • Indra Ameng
  • Julia Sarisetiati
  • Leonhard Bertolomeous
  • MG Pringgotono
  • Reza Afisina
  • Yohanes Daris Adibrata

Pengajar Tamu

Gudskul invited several contemporary art experts to share knowledge in open class with various themes as a form of enrichment to broader and open access to knowledge.

  • Arief Yudi | Curator; Founder of Jatiwangi Art Factory
  • Charles Esche | Curator; Director of Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands
  • Cho Ji Eun | Artist; member of MIXRICE, Korea
  • David Teh | Curator; Lecturer at National University Singapore
  • Emily Pethick | Curator; Director The Showroom, London
  • Farah Wardani | Curator; Co-Director, National Gallery Singapore
  • Grace Samboh | Curator; Equator Symposium
  • Hendro Wiyanto | Curator & Visual Art Writer
  • Kathleen Azali | Researcher; Director of C20
  • Kathryn Weir | Curator; Head of Cultural Development of Centre Pompidou, France
  • LabTanya | Architecture and Environment  Researcher
  • Martin Suryajaya | Writer and Researcher
  • Philippe Pirotte | Curator; Director of Portikus and Rector of Städelschule, Germany
  • Richard Bell | Artist; proppaNOW, Australia
  • Ruth Indiah Rahayu | Researcher; Program Manager of Institut Kajian Kritis dan Studi Pembangunan Alternatif (Inkrispena)
  • Susilo Adinegoro | Lecturer; Sanggar Anak Akar
  • Tisna Sanjaya | Artist; Lecturer at Institut Teknologi Bandung
  • Wok The Rock | Artist and Curator; member of Ruang MES 56

Through ​Gudskul​, we attempt to develop a model where participants have to contribute financially in order to support a knowledge distribution program. This model is one of the strategies we employ to achieve sustainable independent system. This paying system enables every ​Gudskul​ participant to support each other through different options of financing, both in donation or self-paying system

As part of Gudskul, participants will have the opportunity to join directly in our networking activities.

Since the early 2000s, ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara have initiated and developed cooperation models with other institutions, collectives and individuals, both inside and outside of Indonesia. The vitality of these networks as resources in our collective practice is attained through artistic exchanges, residencies, symposium and the development of sustainable collective models of the economy. As part of ​Gudskul​,participants will gain their knowledge and access through direct participation in these networks