Projects 69: Growing New Talents for Indonesia’s Creative Industry

All of the most cutting-edge technologies in the 21st century never cease to amaze us. Despite our perpetual fascination about technology,  technology is also ‘accused’ of being the culprit of human decadence, arguing that technology products have rendered us less humane.

In its most recent students’ artworks exhibition titled “Projects 69”, Visual Communication Design (VCD) Study Program of Sampoerna University proposed a counterintuitive angle to the issue of human-technology relations.

The exhibition was officiated by Sampoerna University Rector Dr. Wahdi Yudhi. He extended his acknowledgment of students’ hard work, saying,” I appreciate your creativity very much. Do your best, not only for today but also for your future.”

Humane Technology

“We believe that through technology, humans can be more humane. VR, motion interactive and all artworks we have here are in essence about human interactions with technology,” said Maria Wahyuni, the VCD lecturer in charge of the exhibition which was officially opened on Wednesday (5/15/2019) at VCD Creativity Center, on the 7th floor of L’Avenue Building, Jakarta.

Sixty-nine (69) has an interesting underlying philosophy. “It is a magical number for us. It means ‘to give and to get’. Six means this year marks our university’s 6th anniversary. And nine is the summation of Sampoerna magic number (2, 3 and 4),” she continued.

On the same occasion, Visual Communication Design (New Media) Study Program Head Tombak Matahari, M. Ds. congratulated all of the students involved in the exhibition. He encouraged VCD students to be ready and open to any opportunities of cooperating with industry players as this may result in potential partnerships, collaboration and so forth.

Growing Talents

The types of artworks showcased in Projects 69 vary. The 24 works encompassed the realm of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Motion Interactives Technology, design installation, e-publishing, games and mobile applications.

Of all these, both VR and AR are projected to experience exponential growth in years ahead. The world’s AR industry is expected to reach US$133 billion by 2021. Meanwhile, Virtual Reality is expected to only reach US$75 billion. AR technology is valuated higher as it needs no additional tools. Thus, people find it easier to adopt and implement.

Keeping this in mind, Sampoerna University’s Visual Communication Design study program includes AR as an element of the curriculum for its students. The new media element in the curriculum is expected to help grow new talents to fulfill the every growing industry demands.

Maria added that at this stage the lesson emphasizes on a mastery of good and proper narration concepts.

“Millenials are so accustomed to interacting with their gadgets. And now they want more from technology. They desire hyper-reality by being part of the technology. This is why there is a growing number of AR enthusiasts recently,” she commented in an interview with CNN Indonesia.

Daring to Go Beyond Boundaries

Students freely blend not only arts and technology but also concepts from other disciplines. This makes the exhibition rich with bold ideas.

Rifai Dwi Cahyo and his independent project “The Homunculus” (Latin: “a little man”), for example, combine 3-dimensional printing technology, history, alchemy history, and psychoanalysis theory.

“I created a number of figurines, showing the inner psyche and nature of human beings. The inspiration derived from tales of alchemists in the European Middle Age and borrowed Sigmund Freud’s theory to conceptualize the idea,” he explained.

Another childhood-memory- provoking installation is dubbed “Nostalgic 90”. According to team leader Wahyu Mahendra, the artwork presented the golden era of Indonesian children’s games in the 1990s which are now getting obsolete.

This interdisciplinary way of thinking is taught at Sampoerna University because in the future, challenges are a lot more complex than they are now. And a more comprehensive, transdisciplinary approach is required to generate better solutions.

The exhibition is open from the 15th, 2019 to 22nd of May 2019, during office hours (9.00 AM – 4.00 PM). It is free of charge and public visitors are welcome. (*/)