Content Types

Artist Profiles (2)

Audio (4)

Audio Papers (4)

Editorial (1)

Essays (5)

Interviews (6)

Scores (5)

Series (1)

Text Poems (5)

Contributors (57)

  • Allanah Stewart
  • Allanah Stewart is an artist from Aotearoa/New Zealand, currently living in Melbourne, Australia. As well as her work in various experimental music projects, she is the presenter of a monthly podcast radio programme called Enquiring Minds, hosted by Noods radio, which explores old and new, lesser known and well known sounds that loosely fit under the banner of experimental music.

  • Jen Callaway
  • Jen Callaway is a Melbourne musician, sound and performance artist, photographer, and community services worker raised in various parts of Tasmania. Current projects include bands Is There a Hotline?, Propolis, Snacks and Hi God People; and upcoming film Here at the End, by Campbell Walker, as actor/co-writer.

  • Isha Ram Das
  • Isha Ram Das is a composer and sound artist primarily concerned with ecologies of environment and culture. He works with experimental sound techniques to produce performances, installations and recordings. He was the 2019 recipient of the Lionel Gell Award for Composition, and has scored feature-length films and nationally-touring theatre installations. He has performed at institutions such as the Sydney Opera House; Black Dot Gallery, Melbourne; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Metro Arts, Brisbane; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and Boxcopy, Brisbane.

  • Dylan Robinson
  • Dylan Robinson is a xwélméxw (Stó:lō) writer, artist, scholar and curator, He is Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, and associate professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is author of Hungry Listening, Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies, published by University of Minnesota Press.

  • Megan Cope
  • Megan Cope is a Quandamooka woman (North Stradbroke Island) in South East Queensland. Her site-specific sculptural installations, video work and paintings investigate issues relating to identity, the environment and mapping practices. Cope’s work often resists prescribed notions of Aboriginality and becomes psychogeographies across various material outcomes that challenge the grand narrative of ‘Australia’ as well as our sense of time and ownership in a settler colonial state.

  • Sean Baxter
  • Australian musician Sean Baxter died on 15 March 2020. Part of Melbourne's improv scene, he is described by musician Anthony Pateras as possessing “a unique aesthetic vision and intellectual depth, mixing highbrow philosophical concepts with punk sensibilities in how he lived, spoke and played. He was pure energy.”

    Drumkit and percussionist, Sean was an Australian improviser who forged an international reputation as a bold explorer of percussive possibilities both as a soloist and through his work with the acclaimed avant-garde trio, Pateras/Baxter/Brown. Focusing on the use of extended techniques applied to the conventional drum kit, he utilised an arsenal of metallic junk and other percussive detritus to expand the sonic palette of the percussion tradition. In addition to Pateras/Baxter/Brown, he was involved in many collaborations and was drummer for groups The Throwaways, Bucketrider, Lazy, SxSxSx and Terminal Hz.

  • Thomas Ragnar
  • Thomas Ragnar is an artist based in Singapore. His work is often underpinned by collaborations, affinities and research with experiential methodologies.

  • Alessandro Bosetti
  • Alessandro Bosetti is an Italian composer, performer and sound artist, currently based in Marseille. His work delves into the musicality of spoken language, utilising misunderstandings, translations and interviews as compositional tools. His works for voice and electronics blur the line between electro-acoustic composition, aural writing and performance.

  • Lin Chi-Wei
  • Lin Chi-Wei is a legend of Taiwanese sonic art, whose practice incorporates folklore culture, noise, ritual, and audience participation.

  • Mat Dryhurst
  • Mat Dryhurst is an artist who releases music and artworks solo and in conjunction with Holly Herndon and the record label PAN. Dryhurst developed the decentralised publishing framework Saga, which enables creators to claim ownership of each space in which their work appears online, and a number of audio plays that derive their narrative from the personal information of listeners. He lectures on issues of music, technology, and ideology at NYU, and advises the blockchain-based platform co-operative Resonate.is.

  • Sean Dockray
  • Sean Dockray is an artist, writer, and programmer living in Melbourne whose work explores the politics of technology, with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligences and the algorithmic web. He is also the founding director of the Los Angeles non-profit Telic Arts Exchange, and initiator of knowledge-sharing platforms, The Public School and Aaaaarg.

  • Emile Frankel
  • Author of Hearing the Cloud (Zero Books), Emile Frankel is a writer and composer researching the changing conditions of online listening. In his spare time he runs the Sci-Fi and critical fantasy publisher Formling.

  • Bridget Chappell
  • Bridget Chappell is a raver and theory bro currently living on the unceded nations of the Latji Latji and Nyeri Nyeri people. They make music as Hextape and organise parties in drains, observatories, and other natural amphitheatres. They founded and run Sound School, work with young musicians behind bars, and make experimental sound technologies to challenge police sirens.

  • Holly Herndon
  • Holly Herndon experiments at the outer reaches of dance music and pop. Born in Tennessee, Herndon spent her formative years in Berlin’s techno scene and repatriated to San Francisco, where she completed her PhD at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Her albums include Platform (2015) and Proto (2019).

  • Candice Hopkins
  • Candice Hopkins is a curator, writer and researcher interested in history, art and indigeneity, and their intersections. Originally from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation. She was senior curator for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art, and worked on the curatorial teams for the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, and documenta 14.

  • Raven Chacon
  • Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. His work ranges from chamber music to experimental noise, to large scale installations, produced solo and with the Indigenous art collective Postcommodity. At California Institute of the Arts, Chacon studied with James Tenney, Morton Subotnick, Michael Pisaro and Wadada Leo Smith developing a compositional language steeped in both the modernist avant-garde and Indigenous cosmologies and subjectivities. He has written for ensembles, musicians and non-musicians, and for social and educational situations, and toured the world as a noise artist.

  • Lisa Lerkenfeldt
  • Lisa Lerkenfeldt is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sound, gesture and performance. Central to her practice is languages of improvisation and intimacy with technology. Traces of a personal discipline and form of graphic notation are introduced in the online exhibition 14 Gestures. The associated recorded work Collagen (Shelter Press, 2020) disrupts the role of the common hair comb through gesture and sound.

  • Haroon Mirza
  • Haroon Mirza is an artist who intertwines his practice with the role of composer. Mirza considers electricity his main medium and creates atmospheric environments through the linking together of light, sound, music, videos and elements of architecture. Regularly showing internationally in group and solo exhibitions, Mirza’s work has also been included in the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, China (2012) and the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy (2011), where he was awarded the Silver Lion.

  • 33EMYBW
  • Shanghai native 33EMYBW (Wu Shanmin) has been an active member in the Chinese music scene for over a decade. She has also performed at CTM and Sinotronics in Germany, China Drifting Festival in Switzerland, and SXSW. Her 2018 album Golem, released on SVBKVLT, was met with critical acclaim and voted one of the best electronic albums of 2018 by Bandcamp. In 2019 she released DONG2 EP under Merrie Records Beijing, and will premiere her sophomore album Arthropods (SVBKVLT) at Unsound 2019.

  • Alexander Garsden
  • Alexander Garsden is a Melbourne-based composer, guitarist and electroacoustic musician, working across multiple exploratory musical disciplines. Recent work includes commissions from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Speak Percussion, Michael Kieran Harvey and Eugene Ughetti; alongside performances with artists including Tetuzi Akiyama (Japan), Oren Ambarchi, Radu Malfatti (Austria), Julia Reidy, David Stackenäs (Sweden), and with Erkki Veltheim and Rohan Drape. From 2014 to 2019 Garsden was Co-Director of the INLAND Concert Series. He has taught through RMIT University and the University of Melbourne.

  • Annika Kristensen
  • Annika Kristensen is Senior Curator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.

  • Arben Dzika
  • Arben Dzika is an artist whose practice involves working with various media including, but not limited to: sound, image, word, and performance. His work primarily seeks to reflect on, interrogate, and play with technologies, systems, and human senses. Within his practice, he works as a producer and DJ under the moniker, Dilae.

  • Audrey Schmidt
  • Audrey Schmidt is a writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a regular contributor to Memo Review, co-editor the third issue of Dissect Journal, and has written for various publications including Art Monthly, Art + Australia and un Magazine. She co-founded Minority Report with Adam Hammad in 2018 and released one online issue that was available until the domain expired in 2019. Audrey sits on the FYTA (GR) Board of Advisors.

  • Autumn Royal
  • Autumn Royal is a poet, researcher, and teacher based in Narrm/Melbourne. Autumn’s current research examines elegiac expression in contemporary poetry. Autumn is the interviews editor for Cordite Poetry Review, and author of the poetry collections She Woke & Rose (Cordite Books, 2016) and Liquidation (Incendium Radical Library, 2019). Her third collection of poetry is forthcoming with Giramondo Publishing in 2021.

  • Bianca Winataputri
  • Bianca Winataputri is a Melbourne-based independent curator and writer researching contemporary practice in Southeast Asia, and relationships between individuals and collectives in relation to history, globalisation, identity and community building. Currently working at Regional Arts Victoria, Bianca was previously Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the NGA. She holds a BA (University of Melbourne), and BA Honours from the ANU where she received the Janet Wilkie Prize for Art. In 2018 Bianca was selected for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s Curators’ Intensive.

  • Brian Hioe
  • Brian Hioe was one of the founding editors of New Bloom, an online magazine covering activism and youth politics in Taiwan and the Asia Pacific, founded in 2014 in the wake of the Sunflower Movement. Hioe is a freelance writer on social movements and politics, as well as an occasional translator.

  • Chi Tran
  • Chi Tran is a writer, editor, and an artist who makes poems that may be text, video, object, sound, or drawing. Chi is primarily interested in working with language as a means of coming-to-terms. Their work has been published by Incendium Radical Library Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry and Liminal Magazine and exhibited at galleries including Firstdraft, Sydney; Punk Café, Melbourne; and ACCA, Melbourne. In 2019, as a recipient of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Fund, Chi spent three months in New York developing their practice with renowned poets including Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Fred Moten, and Jackie Wang.

  • Chun Yin Rainbow Chan
  • Chun Yin Rainbow Chan is a Hong Kong–Australian artist, living in Sydney. Working across music, performance and installation, Rainbow is interested in the copy and how the ways in which it can disrupt Western notions of ownership. Central to Rainbow's work is the circulation of knock-off objects, sounds and images in global media. Her work positions the counterfeit as a complex sign that shapes new myths, values and contemporary commodity production.

  • Dale Gorfinkel
  • Dale Gorfinkel is a musician-artist whose stylefree improvisational approach informs his performances, instrument-building, and kinetic sound installations. Aiming to reflect an awareness of the dynamic nature of culture and the value of listening as a mode of knowing people and places, Dale is interested in bringing creative communities together and shifting perceived boundaries. Current projects include Prophets, Sounds Like Movement, and Music Yared as well as facilitating Art Day South, an inclusive arts studio with Arts Access Victoria.

  • Danni Zuvela
  • Danni Zuvela is a curator and writer based in Melbourne and the Gold Coast. Her research is informed by interests in feminism, activism, ecology, language and performance. With Joel Stern, Danni has led Liquid Architecture as Artistic Director, and continues to develop curatorial projects for the organisation.

  • Eric Avery
  • Eric Avery is a Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandjalang and Gumbangirr artist. As part of his practice Eric plays the violin, dances and composes music. Working with his family’s custodial songs he seeks to revive and continue on an age old legacy – continuing the tradition of singing in his tribe – utilising his talents to combine and create an experience of his peoples culture.

  • Fjorn Butler
  • Fjorn Butler is an artist, researcher, and event organiser. As an artist, she works primarily in sound and performance under the name Papaphilia. As a researcher, she interrogates how biological discourses are used in neoliberal/colonial governance structures to shape the political. Fjorn's research informs her writing on sound-poetics and the challenges this framework poses to anglophone notions of property. She is also co-director of Future Tense and co-curator of Writing and Concepts.

  • Freya Schack-Arnott
  • Freya Schack-Arnott is an Australian/Danish cellist who enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist and ensemble performer of classical and contemporary repertoire, curator and improviser within experimental music, electronics, popular and cross-disciplinary art forms. Schack-Arnott regularly performs with Australia's leading new music ensembles, including ELISION Ensemble (as core member) and Ensemble Offspring. Her curatorial roles include co-curator/founder of the regular 'Opus Now' music series and previous curator of the NOW Now festival and Rosenberg Museum.

  • Gooooose
  • Gooooose (Han Han) is an electronic music producer, visual artist and software developer based in Shanghai, China. His current releases include They (D Force, 2017), Dong 1 (D Force, 2018), Pro Rata (ANTE-RASA, 2019). Gooooose's 2019 SVBKVLT–released RUSTED SILICON received positive reviews from media including boomkat, Resident Advisor, Dusted Magazine, and The Wire. Gooooose has performed live at CTM (Berlin, 2018), Nyege Nyege (Kampala, 2019), Soft Centre (Sydney, 2019), Unsound (Kraków, 2019) and Recombinant (San Francisco, 2019).

  • Harmony Holiday
  • Harmony Holiday is a writer, dancer, archivist, director, and the author of four collections of poetry, Negro League Baseball, Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues, Hollywood Forever, and A Jazz Funeral for Uncle Tom. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

  • James Rushford
  • James Rushford is an Australian composer-performer who holds a doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts, and was a 2018 fellow at Academy Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. His work is drawn from a familiarity with specific concrète, improvised, avant-garde and collagist languages. Currently, his work deals with the aesthetic concept of musical shadow. James has been commissioned as a composer by ensembles including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Glasgow), and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs in Australia and internationally.

  • Jessica Aszodi
  • Jessica Aszodi is an Australian-born, London-based vocalist who has premiered many new pieces, performed work that has lain dormant for centuries, and sung roles ranging from standard operatic repertoire to artistic collaborations. She has been a soloist with ensembles including ICE; the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras; and San Diego and Chicago Symphony Orchestras’ chamber series. Aszodi can be heard on numerous recordings and has sung in festivals around the world. She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Queensland Conservatorium, an MFA from the University of California, and is co-director of the Resonant Bodies Festival (Australia), and artistic associate of BIFEM.

  • KT Spit
  • Kt Spit (Katie Collins) is an artist and musician based in Narrm (Melbourne). Lyrically and visually her work explores subcultural narratives and challenges dominant representations of loss, grief, and true love. In 2015 Kt independently released her debut album, Combluotion, and in 2019 will release a visual album entitled Kill the King.

  • Immy Chuah and The Convoy
  • The Convoy conjure illustrious soundscapes from the abyss of chaos, revealing hidden worlds of the imagination as the performance takes form and infuses with subjective experience. Using instruments of sound, light and smell, The Convoy enchant space with themes of tension, evolution, entropy and regeneration. Sensorial immersion transports audiences through highly dynamic environments that shift and blend into one single, breathing moment. As entity, rather than singular, Immy Chuah is a guest within The Convoy on unceded land.

  • Sam Peterson
  • Sarah McCauley
  • Sarah McCauley is a Melbourne-based music producer, editor and writer.

  • Neil Morris
  • Neil Morris is a Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung man. He is well known in Narrm/Birraranga for his musical project DRMNGNOW, a project built on subject matter tackling the colonial nature of the Australian construct and how that affects contemporary society upon this land. The work is unapologetic, clear, and deeply poetic. It hints toward Morris's extensive experience as a spoken word artist in Narrm since 2015. Morris's work is triumphant in the face of severe adversity often imbued in a quite fortified melancholy, a powerful marker of the survival of First Nations peoples in the now.

  • Natasha Tontey
  • Natasha Tontey is an artist and graphic designer based in Yogyakarta. She is interested in exploring the concept of fiction as a method of speculative thinking. Through her artistic practice she investigates the idea of how fear, horror, and terror could be manifested in order to control the public and how fictional accounts of the history and myth surrounding ‘manufactured fear’ might operate as a method of speculative fiction that determines expectations for the future.

  • Mat Spisbah
  • Mat Spisbah is a New Media curator with a unique portfolio of programming that seeks to integrate non-traditional artistic methods and emerging technologies. Having lived in Hong Kong for 14 years, he is connected to the region’s art and culture, and has created professional networks with artists, curators, galleries, promoters and industry professionals across Australasia. Portfolio highlights include the debut Australian performances of north Asian artists including: Howie Lee, Rui Ho, Meuko Meuko, Pan Daijing, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Tzusing, and Gabber Modus Operandi.

  • Mandy Nicholson
  • Mandy Nicholson is a Wurundjeri-willam (Wurundjeri-baluk patriline) artist and Traditional Custodian of Melbourne and surrounds. Mandy also has connections to the Dja Dja wurrung and Ngurai illam wurrung language groups of the Central/Eastern Kulin Nation. Mandy gained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Aboriginal Archaeology in 2011, worked for the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages for six years and is now a PhD candidate studying how Aboriginal people connect to Country, Off Country.

  • Lucreccia Quintanilla
  • Lucreccia Quintanilla is an artist, writer, DJ and PhD candidate researcher at Monash University. Her writing and art have been published and exhibited both within Australia and internationally. Quintanilla’s practice is a collaborative one that manifests into outcomes within galleries and also as events and performances outside of that context. She regularly speaks at panels and symposiums on themes within her research, has received grants for her projects and residencies, and has taught at university level.

  • Amanda Stewart
  • Amanda Stewart is a poet, author, and vocal artist. She has created a diverse range of publications, performances, film and radio productions in Australia, Europe, Japan, and the USA, working in literature, new music, broadcasting, theatre, dance, and new media environments. Amanda collaborated with Chris Mann for many years in the Australian ensemble, Machine For Making Sense (with Jim Denley, Rik Rue, and Stevie Wishart), as well as in other contexts. Her poem ‘ta’ was written in honour of Chris Mann’s extraordinary vision and work.

  • Holly Childs
  • Holly Childs is an artist and writer. Her research involves filtering stories of computation through frames of ecology, earth, memory, poetry, and light. She is the author of two books: No Limit (Hologram, Melbourne) and Danklands (Arcadia Missa, London), and she collaborates with Gediminas Žygus on ‘Hydrangea’. She is currently writing her third book, What Causes Flowers Not to Bloom?.

  • Ivy Alvarez
  • Ivy Alvarez’s poetry collections include The Everyday English Dictionary, Disturbance, and Mortal. Her latest is Diaspora: Volume L (Paloma Press, 2019). A Fellow of MacDowell Colony (US), and Hawthornden (UK), her work is widely published and anthologised (twice in Best Australian Poems), with poems translated into Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived in Wales for almost a decade, before arriving in New Zealand in 2014.

  • Nick Ashwood
  • Nick Ashwood is a guitarist, composer, improviser and performer from Nipaluna/Tasmania now residing in Sydney. His focuses have been exploring deep listening, harmonic space and the possibilities of the steel-string acoustic guitar by means of preparations, just intonation, objects and bowing.

  • Johnny Chang
  • Berlin-based composer-performer Johnny Chang engages in extended explorations surrounding the relationships of sound/listening and the in-between areas of improvisation, composition and performance. Johnny is part of the Wandelweiser composers collective and currently collaborates with: Catherine Lamb (Viola Torros project), Mike Majkowski (illogical harmonies), Phill Niblock, Samuel Dunscombe, Derek Shirley and others.

  • Megan Alice Clune
  • Megan Alice Clune shifts between musician, composer and artist. Primarily, her work explores both the concept and aesthetics of ambient music through sound installation, collaboration and performance. Megan is the founding member of the Alaska Orchestra, and has presented work and undertaken residencies across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, including the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (MA), Next Wave Festival, Underbelly Arts Festival, Performa 15 (NYC) and VividLIVE at the Sydney Opera House.

  • Andrew Fedorovitch
  • Andrew Fedorovitch is compos mentis.
 Andrew Fedorovitch embodies professionalism in every aspect of his life, including music.

  • Shota
  • Shota is an artist working in Australia. He makes sound-based works for varying contexts. He has had the opportunity to collaborate with a multitude of artists from varying disciplines. Shota is currently an honours student who is associated with the Plant ecophysiology and Ecosystem processes lab at the University of Sydney.

  • Sonya Holowell
  • Sonya Holowell is a Dharawal woman, vocalist, composer and writer working across new and experimental genres. The contexts for her work, and the forms they take, are diverse and deeply questioning. Her practice comprises interdisciplinary collaboration, improvisation, multi-form writing and conceptual composition. She is also a workshop facilitator; a curator of the Now Now Festival; lecturer in experimental vocal practice; and a co-founder/editor of online arts publication ADSR Zine.

  • Alexandra Spence
  • Alexandra Spence is an artist and musician living on Gadigal country in Sydney, Australia. She makes installations, compositions and performances based on (everyday) sound and listening. Through her practice she attempts to reimagine the intricate relationships between the listener, the object, and the surrounding environment as a kind of communion or conversation. She has a current, near-spiritual, obsession with the animation of material and object through sound. Alex has performed and presented work on radio, in concerts, festivals, symposiums and galleries worldwide, and has two releases: Waking, She Heard The Fluttering, with Room40, and Immaterial, with Longform Editions.

  • MP Hopkins
  • MP Hopkins is an artist based in Sydney, Australia, that is concerned with how to record voices that are not really there, and ways to make voices that are there not sound like voices. He makes audio recordings, performances, and texts.

Artist Title | 00:00 / 00:00 (Play)



5𝐰𝟒𝐫𝐦𝟏𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡@𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝟑𝐫𝐬 𝖎𝖓 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖔𝖗𝖑𝖉 𝖜𝖎𝖉𝖊 𝖜𝖊𝖇:
Natasha Tontey in conversation with Bianca Winataputri

Bianca Winataputri

In your work ‘Church of Xenoglossia’, you look at ‘coded language’ and xenoglossia as a new form of communication. This returns to your ongoing focus on speculative fiction and how this could determine expectations for the future. Can you share more about this?

Natasha Tontey

I was thinking that here in the age of iOS, we speak through keyboards and the emoji speaks within us. The form of communication is certainly changing and evolving. However, surveillance technology evolves together with this new mode of communication. What the missionaries do when they go to the Indigenous communities to teach religion is make a dictionary. In my imagination and fictional thinking, it would be really great if the Indigenous community has a communication method that is impossible to transcribe. A method of communication that can only be understood and achieved within their community, that is hard to infiltrate. And to reflect on this fiction, I’m interested in thinking this ‘coded language’ as a form of performative and visually-driven communication, which is also very much related to how humans communicate when the language barrier is wide. On the other hand, language is always evolving, and with the presence of hyper-visual Internet culture, it is also fascinating to think about how a form of communication is always updated.

So, with these ideas of communication under monitoring and surveilling, performative gesture communication, Internet visual culture, xenoglossia, and ‘coded language’ that are implied in my work, I try to reconfigure the future of communication. Perhaps not the near future, but the future that will come in thousands of years.


The term ‘coded’ is interesting, because often it implies some kind of hidden meaning or agenda. But that’s not really the case in your works. Instead you are looking at how these forms of coded language can become the norm in the future. In ‘Church of Xenoglossia’ you explore and utilise the language of SHIFT JIS. I find this very fascinating, and actually quite nostalgic, coming from a generation that was big on SHIFT JIS art. Do you think this work, and perhaps also your wider artistic practice, has a lot to do with your own generational experiences?


I think so. There is a lot of visual and pop culture references in my work that are based on childhood memories and the culture that I consumed when I was a kid. So yes, indeed it is a generational experience. I was a child of television and grew up at the transitional period of Internet. However, for my work ‘Church of Xenoglossia’ the inspiration also comes from me experiencing church when I was a kid. My mother and father have a different faith, my mother is Christian while my father is Catholic (I know this does not seem so problematic in the West, but in Indonesia it matters a lot. Alas! Politics!) However, our family was quite experimental in experiencing religion. Quite often we would have church trips, which was a religious version of bar-hopping. Church-hopping. Trying to find out which church is more flexible than the other. One of the most memorable memories of this church-hopping is encountering priest speaking in tongues. At the time when I was a kid, I really believed that this church speaking was God’s language! I then began questioning why was the language pattern so unfamiliar? Then, it felt like the priest was possessed.

This mode of communication that I found when I was a kid lingered in my memory for quite a while, until one day when I was rediscovering SHIFT-JIS. Looking at it again felt really nostalgic. SHIFT JIS reminds me of how people communicate with a strange technical means — and also reminds me of how I spent a lot of my time configuring mIRC or Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and trading ASCII images through SMS in my Nokia 3310. I see a connection between speaking in tongues and the visual language of arranged Japanese kana. How come a visual form that is based on textual configuration could be understood in a different way? And how come a vocal sound generated from something untranslatable could also be understood in a different way?


Most of your works derived from questions that challenge current ways of living, particularly in relation to technology, human nature, and the future. An example would be for your recent work, Pest to Power (2019), in which you asked: ‘Will the future hold its accountability for the human and non-human being to be more sustain? Who owns the future? Who benefits from the idea of future?’ What do you think prompted these questions? And how does your artistic practice seek to explore, if not answer, these questions?


Lately, I observe the relationship between humans and inanimate objects. This form of connectivity inspires me. In addition to my fascination in decoding how horror and terror are fabricated by power, in my previous works I have been exploring the notion of mutual dependency between the human and non-human. I’m doing this as an experiment to see if some connections were made between fabricated fear and nonhuman otherness. And the question of the future comes afterward. If life is pretty much controlled and all the fear of the ‘other’ is constructed, what kind of future do I want to seek? Which future is it? These questions were raised after; I have and still do speculate on this cosmic relation. The only answers I can find to these questions is through artistic practice, which allows me to explore such questions through world-building and producing alternative thoughts. Fiction is the only answer.


The space in between fiction and truth is an interesting one to explore. I guess when art comes into this, works become more performative and hybrid (cross art-forms). You work across different mediums that include performance, digital graphics, video installation — all of which are strongly supported by research. How do you translate your research into art?


Rather than calling it research, I would love to term it speculation. Research implies that I try to find something that is already found. Through speculation I’m using fiction as a platform to narrate the story that I collect. These stories and findings were collected from journals, notes from people, oral history, folklore, popular culture, and literature. After this, I blend these findings in order to build a fictional narrative which then transforms into another form of artistic practice. The variety of artistic practices that I use is mostly based on which practice is most suitable in accommodating the narrative. Or which mediums best represent the story and aesthetic. But quite often, every work that I make is fundamentally based on textual work before it was translated into other forms.


How do you think your practice speaks to the wider contemporary art scene in Indonesia?


I’m not sure how my practice is interpreted by the wider contemporary art scene in Indonesia. And I’m not sure if my practice speaks to the wider contemporary art scene in Indonesia. However, I think there is some kind of influence I got from observing and learning from my mentors Mella Jaarsma and Mas Wowok (Wok the Rock). To me, their works speaks louder than the contemporary art scene.


Yes, I find that in Indonesia there is a strong sense of community in the arts particularly in places such as Yogyakarta. There is a sense of openness in sharing ideas and concepts in the development of works whether it be individual or collective practice. I guess the question also becomes ‘what is the role of an artist?’


I reckon, being an artist as a life choice is a notion that I always question; I see being an artist as a profession that has its own labour. I position myself as both a manual and immaterial precariat labourer. Some people in the Indonesian art world distance themselves from the idea of labouring, they view themselves as a special species. For some reason, I think being an artist in this neoliberal age is just the loose version of working in cubical space. There is invisible labour within the art world such as writing a concept, immaterial thinking, calculating tax, daily chores, and other reproductive labour which is quite often overlooked. As I never sell my work, I quite often depend on freelancing design jobs. So yes, I don’t know how my practice speaks to the wider contemporary art scene in Indonesia. However, I have had to deal with government bodies, the police institution, and thousands of netizens in Indonesia because of my practice.

Rethinking Translation

Throughout the development of this interview, we often mix English and Bahasa Indonesia in our conversations. We came to realise that there are some points that are better expressed in English and some in Bahasa Indonesia, then there are points that simply can’t be translated. This complex/challenging space of language and translation got us thinking: is the state of language today a reflection of the postcolonial state of mind?


In my perspective, I think what’s happening in Indonesia is perhaps the opposite of what’s happening in Australia particularly regarding how we view the development of the postcolonial state. The majority of our parents’ generation are able to speak Dutch, but this is old-fashioned. Now parents in Indonesia encourage their children to speak English. Blimey! I reckon we shouldn’t have to think much about what parents have been doing. I myself often have dizzy brain when comes to remembering words.

Trying to express this feeling into a meme, I cite SpongeBob SquarePants and their own official decree that is:


Yes, absolutely. I often find it hard to speak in just one language (English or Bahasa Indonesia) in the one sentence, and I guess this stems from learning and speaking English from a young age despite growing up in Indonesia for most of my life.


Recently, there are phenomenons of using mixed languages, which is probably the effect of parents wanting their children to speak English in order to have a ‘better’ future. Would this ranking or priority of languages be categorised as inferiority problems caused by colonisation?

And actually, despite Bahasa Indonesia being understood by citizens across Indonesia, it is not the mother language for much of the public because there are so many vernaculars. For example, both of my parents families come from North Sulawesi, but they speak different languages and dialects. Even if someone is possessed by the tongues language of a worshipped God, it will be different depending on the demon or djinn possessing them.


I think there are over 300 languages recorded across Indonesia, and I would imagine today a lot of them are hybrid. We would mix certain words, sayings, and dialects, and create an entirely hybrid language. This is seen especially in slang words. The cultural roots of certain words are also fascinating, especially in such a ‘noisy’ world of today.


Yes, even words like gue-lo — a common slang language in Jakarta for ‘you & I’ — is influenced by Chinese language: Gue 我 ‘gua’ in Hokkien means I; lu 你 ‘lu / li’ means ‘you’. Or even, the word kantor (meaning ‘office’) is appropriated from the Dutch word with same pronunciation kantoor as well as asli (‘real’) from Arabic.


Different forms of hybrid language is practiced in many countries. I think nowadays, in the age of social media, a lot of people, especially younger generations, mix languages and on top that use emojis and stickers to communicate. Maybe it does become, like you said, a form of xenoglossia. If we’re thinking beyond the practicalities of producing and using translation, what do you think is the future of translation?


Somehow Esperanto, the auxiliary language made in the late 19th century by L. L. Zamenhoff, came, like a ‘whack-a-mole’, to my mind. But when trying to answer your question in a speculative manner, I imagine if there’s a translation engine for ‘gesture’, something beyond words — to accommodate such an inclusivity — whether it is for friends from another culture and background or even the non-human. What’s your imagination on the future of translation itself, Bianca?


It sounds cool having a machine like this to consider. I think technology will definitely be more advanced for translating spoken languages. Expanding from your idea, I imagine the future of translation will also include components of human behaviour and emotions such as interpreting and associating gestures with certain feelings, or even hidden intentions. Although this sounds like something that can be straight out of Black Mirror, the purpose of translation is to not only understand one another but also respect, tolerate, and empathise.

gᴎibAɘᴙ ᴙoꟻ UoY kᴎAHT


Pada karya ‘Church of Xenoglossia’ menulusuri coded language (bahasa kode) dan xenoglossia sebagai bentuk komunikasi yang baru. Sepertinya Ini kembali ke fokusmu kepada ‘fiksi spekulatif’ dan bagaimana ini dapat menentukan ekspektasi tertentu untuk masa depan. Bisakah kamu berbagi lebih banyak tentang ini?


Sempat tersirat dalam benak jika pada zaman iOs ini kami berbahasa lewat papan ketik dan emoji menjadi perwakilan dari ekspresi dari emosi kita. Akan tetapi, juga perlu diperhatikan bahwasanya mata-mata dan metode pelacakan serta pengawasan yang berkembang seiring dengan kemajuan mode komunikasi masa kini. Apa yang dilakukan para misionaris di masa lalu ketika mereka mendekatkan diri terhadap masyarakat adat adalah dengan pendekatan agama dan membuat kamus. Dalam imajinasi dan pemikiran fiksional saya, mungkin lebih baik jika masyarakat adat memiliki metode komunikasi yang mustahil untuk diartikan. Sebuah metode komunikasi yang dapat dipahami oleh komunitas mereka sendiri. Cukup sulit untuk menyusup dan untuk merenungkan pemikiran fiksi ini. Mungkin juga berpikir bahwa bahasa kode ini sebagai bentuk komunikasi performatif dan didorong sebagai bentuk komunikasi yang didorong secara visual, yang juga ada kaitannya dengan bagaimana manusia berkomunikasi saat perbedaan adanya perbedaan bahasa yang luas.

Dalam hal lain, bahasa dan cara berkomunikasi selalu berevolusi serta adaptif, juga dengan hadirnya budaya internet yang hyper-visual mempengaruhi tutur kata kita dalam berbahasa.

Jadi dengan adanya ide-ide komunikasi dalam pengawasan dan mata-mata, gestur performatif dari penyampaian pesan, budaya visual internet, xenoglossia, dan bahasa kode yang tersirat dalam karya saya mungkin hanyalah sebuah spekulasi atas bagaimana masyarakat dapat berkomunikasi nantinya. Di masa depan, bukan masa depan yang dapat kita jangkau dalam waktu dekat, mungkin masa depan yang akan hadir dalam ribuan tahun kedepan.


Kamu mencoba untuk menilik praktik xenoglossia melalui kode-kode SHIFT JIS. Saya rasa ini cukup menarik dan cukup memberikan perasaan nostaljik pada masa yang dekat dengan SHIFT JIS art. Bagaimana kamu menyikapinya lewat praktik artistikmu dan lewat pengalaman pribadi secara general?


Saya setuju dengan pendapat itu. Banyak sekali budaya populer dan visual dalam karya saya yang terinspirasi dari pengalaman masa kecil saya, apa yang saya konsumsi pada pada masa itu. Masa kecil saya merupakan transisi ke budaya internet. Namun untuk karya ‘Church of Xenoglossia’ ini inspirasinya datang dari pengalaman datang ke gereja waktu kecil. Orang tua saya memiliki perbedaan agama, Ibu saya Kristen dan Ayah saya Katolik Roma (mungkin di dunia barat sana tidak terlalu masalah, tapi di komunitas di Indonesia terutama di lingkungan keluarga saya ini menjadi cukup problematik. Aduh! politik!). Hal yang menarik mungkin adalah keluarga saya pernah memiliki masa untuk pindah dari satu gereja ke gereja lainnya, mungkin versi religi dari bar-hopping. Mencoba mencari tahu gereja mana yang lebih pas untuk kami.

Pengalaman yang cukup mengesankan adalah ketika saya datang ke suatu gereja dan menyaksikan pendeta berbahasa roh. Saat itu, saya percaya betul bahwa jemaat gereja tersebut kedatangan kuasa Tuhan dan diurapi roh kudus sehingga mereka bisa mengucapkan bahasa-bahasa asing nan baru. Di lain kesempatan saya mempertanyakan mengapa pola bahasa roh tersebut tidak familiar dan ada perasaan bahwa pendeta ini seperti kesurupan.

Mode komunikasi seperti ini saya temukan pada masa kecil saya masih tersimpan dalam ingatan saya cukup jelas sampai suatu hari saya menemukan kembali SHIFT JIS. Melihatnya lagi terasa sangat nostalgia. Mode itu mengingatkan saya pada bagaimana orang berkomunikasi dengan cara teknis yang aneh — dan juga mengingatkan saya pada bagaimana saya menghabiskan banyak waktu saya mengkonfigurasi mIRC atau Internet Relay Chat (IRC) dan bertukar gambar ASCII melalui SMS di Nokia 3310 saya dengan teman-teman. Saya melihat hubungan antara berbicara dalam bahasa roh dan bahasa visual kana Jepang yang diatur. Bagaimana suatu bentuk visual yang didasarkan pada konfigurasi tekstual dapat dipahami dengan cara yang berbeda? Dan bagaimana bisa suara vokal yang dihasilkan dari sesuatu yang tidak dapat diterjemahkan dapat dipahami dengan cara yang berbeda?


Akhir-akhir ini, saya mencoba mengobservasi hubungan manusia dengan benda mati. Bentuk-bentuk hubungan semacam ini cukup menginspirasi saya. Dalam artian ketertarikan saya untuk menguraikan bagaimana kengerian dan teror dimanifestasikan melalui hal yang disebut kuasa atau wewenang dari mereka yang memiliki kedudukan pada karya-karya sebelumnya. Saya telah bereksperimen dalam eksplorasi gagasan saling ketergantungan antara manusia dan non-human otherness selama beberapa tahun terakhir.

Eksperimen yang saya lakukan mungkin untuk mencari benang merah bagaimana untuk melihat bagaimana asal muasal manipulasi ketakutan itu hadir dan juga hal-hal diluar kendali manusia.

Pertanyaannya, masa depan apa yang akan hadir? Jika keberadaan manusia dikontrol oleh ketakutan-ketakutan yang dibangun, masa depan apa yang saya ingin cari? Masa depan siapa? Pertanyaan-pertanyaan tersebut hadir setelah spekulasi yang saya bangun atas relasi kosmik. Hal yang mungkin bisa saya jawab adalah dengan lewat praktik artistik, dimana saya dibebaskan untuk membangun narasi dan berbagi cerita lewat pemikiran alternatif. Mungkin fiksi adalah jawabannya.


Praktik artistik yang kamu kerjakan terdiri dari berbagai macam medium mulai dari performans, gambar digital, instalasi video, dimana semuanya di dukung oleh riset. Bagaimana kamu menerjemahkan risetmu kedalam kekaryaanmu?


Mungkin lebih baik menyebut ini sebagai spekulasi. Kalau riset lebih mencari tahu apa yang sudah ada sebelumnya. Dengan spekulasi saya bisa menggunakan fiksi sebagai metode untuk bernarasi atas kisah yang saya kumpulkan. Kisah-kisah dan temuan-temuan yang dikumpulkan dari berbagai jurnal, catatan dari orang-orang, sejarah lisan, cerita rakyat, budaya populer, maupun literatur. Kemudian, saya mencoba menggabungkan semua temuan menjadi suatu bentuk narasi fiktif yang ditransformasikan menjadi bentuk praktik artistik. Keragaman bentuk dari praktik artistik yang biasa saya lakukan biasanya tergantung dari apa yang saya anggap cocok untuk merepresentasikan narasi. Atau juga mana yang lebih tepat menurut saya untuk menyampaikan kisah sesuai dengan estetik yang diinginkan. Namun, kebanyakan dari karya yang saya kerjakan berdasarkan pada teks-teks yang saya bangun terlebih dahulu sebelum diterjemahkan ulang menjadi bentuk lain.


Bagaimana praktikmu berbicara di khazanah seni rupa Indonesia yang lebih luas?

Dalam hal ini saya kurang yakin apakah praktik artistik saya dapat berbicara banyak dalam khalayak seni rupa di Indonesia dan bagaimana praktik saya dalam di interpretasikan. Namun, saya akui banyak pengaruh dari seniman yang saya anggap mentor Mella Jaarsma dan Mas Wowok (Wok the Rock). Karya mereka mungkin lebih berpengaruh dalam khazanah seni rupa di Indonesia.

Menjadi seniman adalah gagasan yang selalu saya pertanyakan, kadang saya merasa ragu kadang saya merasa yakin, tapi saya juga bingung kenapa ketidakyakinan tersebut tetap mendorong saya untuk membuat sesuatu. Saya memposisikan diri saya sebagai pekerja biasa sama dengan pekerja kantoran atau profesi-profesi lainnya. Beberapa kalangan mungkin sedikit berjarak dengan ide-ide kerja sederhana, bentuk kerja tidak terlihat, menulis konsep, menghitung pajak dan membersihkan sisa-sisa karya. Mereka mungkin melihat menjadi seniman adalah sebuah hal yang adiluhung, mungkin juga saya sok tahu.

Untuk beberapa alasan, saya berpendapat bahwa menjadi seniman dalam di zaman neoliberal ini hanyalah bentuk lain dari pekerja kantoran atau pengusaha. Saya tidak pernah menjual karya saya dalam artian pasar, seringkali saya bergantung pada pekerjaan-pekerjaan lepas serta serabutan untuk menyediakan jasa desain. Jadi, saya tidak paham betul apakah praktik saya berpengaruh dalam khazanah seni di Indonesia. Akan tetapi, saya pernah berhadapan langsung dengan badan pemerintahan yaitu kementerian dan kepolisian juga jutaan netizen akibat karya saya.

Memikirkan Ulang Terjemahan

Dalam percakapan ini, kami seringkali melakukan percampuran bahasa tanpa sadar dan tanpa maksud tertentu. Kami berpendapat bahwa ada beberapa maksud tertentu lebih baik di ekspresikan lewat Bahasa Inggris dan di maksud lainnya lebih baik dengan Bahasa Indonesia. Situasi rumit dan membingungkan atas persoalan bahasa, komunikasi, dan mengartikan sebuah terjemahan, membawa kami untuk berpikir: apakah kerumitan ini adalah sebuah refleksi dari pemikiran pasca kolonial?


Dalam pandangan saya mungkin di Indonesia kebalikan dari apa yang terjadi di Australia, bagaimana cara kita melihat pasca kolonial terjadi di Indonesia, karena sebagian besar masyarakat Indonesia pada era orang tua kita bisa berbahasa Belanda namun itu sudah old-fashioned, kalau sekarang para orang tua ingin anaknya bisa berbahasa Inggris.Astaganaga! tak perlu jauh-jauh mungkin memikirkan apa yang dilakukan oleh orang tua, saya sendiri pun suka campur-campur untuk mengingat suatu kata.

Jika saya dapat mengekspresikannya dalam bentuk meme mungkin Spongebob akan bersabda:


Sangat setuju. Saya sendiri pun sulit untuk berbicara dalam satu bahasa (Bahasa Inggris dan Bahasa Indonesia) dalam satu kalimat, dan saya pikir hal ini berkembang dari ajaran-ajaran yang ada ketika saya kecil walaupun sebagian besar dari hidup saya habiskan di Indonesia.


Saat ini banyak fenomena-fenomena percampuran bahasa yang terjadi, efek dari orang tua yang ingin anak-anaknya fasih berbahasa Inggris dengan tujuan mencapai masa depan yang lebih baik. Seperti misalnya Ibu saya menganggap anak-anak seharusnya bisa berbahasa asing sehingga lebih mudah dalam menjalani hidup kedepannya. Apakah itu juga dapat dikategorikan sebagai inferioritas akibat masa kolonial di masa kiwari ini?

Juga sebenarnya Bahasa Indonesia yang mungkin dipahami hampir semua masyarakat yang tinggal di Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia bukanlah bahasa ibu bagi kebanyakan masyarakatnya, karena ada banyak sekali bahasa daerah, misalnya dari keluarga saya walaupun keduanya berasal dari Sulawesi Utara mereka memiliki bahasa dan logat yang berbeda. Bahkan jika seseorang kesurupan kadang bahasanya aneh-aneh tergantung Jin yang merasuki.


Ya, saya pikir ada lebih dari 300 bahasa yang terekam di Indonesia, dan saya membayangkan masa kini kebanyakan dari bahasa-bahasa itu sudah campur aduk. Cara pelafalan yang sudah lain, dialek yang teradaptasi semuanya menciptakan bahasa pergaulan sehari-hari. Asal muasal dari kata-kata yang sekarang ada pun menarik sekali apalagi di keadaan yang semwarut dan bising seperti sekarang.


Ya, seperti misalnya kata gue-lo itu adaptasi dari bahasa Tionghoa. Gue 我 Hokkien ‘gue’ Saya / Aku: lu 你 ‘lo’ / li’ kamu. Sama juga dengan, kantor dan asli. Kantor dari Kantoor Bahasa Belanda dan Asli dari Bahasa Arab yang masing-masing memiliki ejaan serupa.


Praktik percampuran bahasa terjadi di seluruh dunia. Saya rasa di zaman media sosial kebanyakan orang, terutama generasi muda memiliki kecenderungan lebih banyak untuk mengapropropriasi dan mencampur bahasa di tambah dengan penggunaan emoji dan stiker-stiker untuk mengekspresikan sebuah pesan. Mungkin jika itu semua terjadi, seperti yang kamu katakan dalam bentuk xenoglossia. Jika kita berpikir lebih dari sekedar praktik untuk menciptakan suatu bahasa dan menggunakan penerjemah, apa yang kamu bayangkan mengenai masa depan dari penerjemah atau terjemahan?


Tiba-tiba teringat bahasa buatan, Bahasa Esperanto yang dibuat di akhir abad ke 19 L. L. Zamenhof, tapi mencoba menjawab pertanyaan ini dengan pendekatan lebih imajinatif, mungkin jawabannya adalah memikirkan akan kemungkinan adanya mesin penerjemah gestur dan serta penerjemah yang beyond words untuk memudahkan kita dan mencapai inklusivitas mungkin. Bagaimana dengan imajinasimu sendiri, Bianca?


Wah keren banget kalau bisa ada mesin seperti itu. Menurutku teknologi pasti akan lebih advance atau maju untuk menerjemahkan bahasa. Imajinasiku justru lebih ke arah menerjemahkan tingkah laku dan perasaan manusia, contohnya menafsirkan gestur seseorang dengan perasaan tertentu atau bahkan niat tersembunyi. Memang mesin seperti ini sedikit berbau karakter TV series Black Mirror. Sebenarnya tujuan dari penggunaan translation atau terjemahaan tidak hanya untuk saling mengerti, tapi juga untuk saling menghargai, mengedepankan toleransi dan empati terhadap sesama.

0ktob3R 2k19, translated by Natasha Tontey

AↄAdmɘm HAbUꙅ HiꙅAk AmiᴙɘT

Disclaimer: Diterjemahkan kedalam Bahasa Indonesia bukan dengan penerjemah tersumpah dari rekam wicara informal dengan Bahasa campur.

Disclaimer: Diterjemahkan kedalam Bahasa Indonesia bukan dengan penerjemah tersumpah dari rekam wicara informal dengan Bahasa campur.


Natasha Tontey is an artist and graphic designer based in Yogyakarta. She is interested in exploring the concept of fiction as a method of speculative thinking. Through her artistic practice she investigates the idea of how fear, horror, and terror could be manifested in order to control the public and how fictional accounts of the history and myth surrounding ‘manufactured fear’ might operate as a method of speculative fiction that determines expectations for the future.

Bianca Winataputri is a Melbourne-based independent curator and writer researching contemporary practice in Southeast Asia, and relationships between individuals and collectives in relation to history, globalisation, identity and community building. Currently working at Regional Arts Victoria, Bianca was previously Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the NGA. She holds a BA (University of Melbourne), and BA Honours from the ANU where she received the Janet Wilkie Prize for Art. In 2018 Bianca was selected for 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s Curators’ Intensive.


    Disclaimer is a journal for new thinking and writing on listening and sound. Published by Liquid Architecture • Disclaimer is a journal for new thinking and writing on listening and sound. Published by Liquid Architecture