English, Vaulting the Oceans
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Vaulting the Oceans

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VAULTING THE OCEANS: Visiting the Contemporary British Experimental Film and Video is a curatorial research project in the realm of moving-image art that focuses on contemporary British experimental film and video.

Manshur Zikri
Research Assistant
Valencia Winata

Project Timeline
April 2018 – January 2019

ARKIPEL, Jakarta, Indonesia
Project Partner
LUX, London, United Kingdom

New Arts Commission Project,
UK/ID 2016-18
British Council Indonesia


The project intends to map out the current developments of the practice and discourse of British experimental film and video and to understand its connection with a number of other art practices in the region. Vaulting the Oceans also aims to share about current situation of national art scenes in Indonesia.

The mission of this project, among others, are (1) to examine the British experimental film field—as one of the tradition that builds the history of cinema in general—through a study on moving image archives collected by LUX; (2) to introduce a number of contemporary Indonesian works in order to open up broader opportunities to promote the discourse of national cinema; and (3) to achieve the exchange of knowledge in the field of moving image art between the United Kingdom and Indonesia.

To achieve such purposes, I visited London for two weeks to study the film and video archives collected by LUX; to conduct interviews with related artists and curators (if required); to visit some museums or institutions of contemporary art; and to collect other materials. The curatorial research at LUX was carried out from May 28th until June 13th, 2018.

The main outputs of this project are, firstly, a special curatorial program at the ARKIPEL Homo Ludens – 6th Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, showing a number of British experimental films based on the results of the research I carried out, which is expected to give a certain depiction of the arts scene in the country. Secondly, a discussion panel in Jakarta, inviting a representative from LUX (or experts recommended by the organization), to discuss the development of cinema discourse in the UK. This panel is part of the Forum Festival ARKIPEL 2018. Thirdly, bilingual (Indonesian-English) publications as an open source to review the progress of the project itself.

About the Collaboration with LUX

“LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. Founded in 2002 as a charity and not-for-profit limited company, the organisation builds on a long lineage of predecessors (The London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, London Video Arts and The Lux Centre) which stretch back to the 1960s.” (This paragraph is retrieved from LUX’s website).

The complete history of LUX can be accessed at this link.


Since 2014, I work as a moving image curator at the ARKIPEL Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival. The first collaboration between ARKIPEL festival and LUX is in 2015 when we invited Director of LUX, Benjamin Cook, for giving a special curatorial program at the ARKIPEL Grand Illusion – 3rd Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival.

In 2017, in the framework of the exchange programme organized by the British Council and LUX, I visited London to give a presentation about ARKIPEL festival at the Experimenta Symposium: Artists’ Film in Asia, as part of the BFI London Film Festival. On that occasion, I also did a casual visit to LUX’s office and slightly observed its collection and daily activities, as well as did a conversation with the Director Benjamin Cook regarding our plan to develop more collaboration between ARKIPEL and LUX.

We realize that it is a necessity for both organizations to share more knowledge about the history and current developments of the cinematic discourse in our respective countries, because we think that there is still little literatures or related projects in the field of cinema that investigate and discuss the relationship between Indonesia and UK, both in the context of form of moving image artist’ practices and other ideas or sociopolitical issues surround them.

Sharing the knowledge and collection through an exchange program in the form of curatorial screenings and special presentation via ARKIPEL festival is a good way to attract more public attention and to distribute the materials to local audiences in Indonesia. This collaboration is expected to trigger other studies on the relationship of cinema discourse between these two countries, both in academic and informal institutions.


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