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Collective / Kolektif: an Indonesian- Australian discussion on artist collectives 2020

‘Collective-Kolektif’ hosted Indonesian collectives including KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Ace House Collective, OMNI Space, Ruang MES 56, and ruangrupa; alongside Melbourne-based groups: this mob, Her Africa Is Real (H.A.I.R.), All Conference, Hyphenated Projects, eleven-collective, and Sound School.


Artist collectives today can be understood as political, industrial, and artistic approaches to self-organisation with creatives collectivising with the aim of achieving forms of autonomy. Historically, a number of Indonesian collectives have formed out of friendships, shared ideologies or political agendas as well as the lack of public funding for developing the arts. Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the artist-run-initiative scene has typically functioned as an enabler or producer, with the founding of collectives making space for emerging and experimental practices post-university. However, Australia has seen a re-emergence of artist collectives as political acts of artistic independence and platforms for alternative narratives. 

Through discussions, and performances, ‘Collective-Kolektif’ asks how and why artists work together; what are the conditions required for collectives to thrive; and what is the role of learning and exchange in collectives?

The 2 day symposium was to be delivered with 100 participants on 19 - 20 March 2020, the start of COVID 19 Stage 3 restrictions, therefore was reformatted quickly to a one day 14 person round table of artists and academics was hosted by Bus Projects and Liquid Architecture at Collingwood Arts Precinct. The  streamed through Bus Radio to over 80 people internationally. 

The event was a partnership between Project 11, All Conference, CAST Research and Public Engagement groups at RMIT University, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University, and the Asia Institute of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne, with support from The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS).

Collective Kolektif
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