Rough Machine/Soft Power is a dance piece that combines musical instruments, costumes, banners and a musical performance on stage and in a public space. In this work, the collective Punkasila and Fitri Setyaningsih—both residing in Yogyakarta—focus on how chaos and fear are being managed as a cultural asset of a society. To those in control of power—the state, the market, or the paramilitary—the ability to create and control chaos is a valuable political asset. On the contrary, to the repressed, chaos is a means to challenge the dominant, reigning regime. On the streets, the way of various groups in society to challenge authority is by organized noises and visibility. The noises of engines, the choreographed route for the vehicles, and various other performance aspects, which are the collective language in the power contest arena.
Rough Machine/Soft Power was presented as a series of art projects in the form of parades, performances, and an exhibition at Biennale Jogja XIII–Equator #3: Hacking Conflict–Indonesia Meets Nigeria in 2015. The collective and inter-disciplinary method of working presents a strong and also pervasive idea and presentation form for Rough Machine/Soft Power. Punkasila and Fitri Setyaningsih are inviting the audience to not only experience a work of art, but also to simulate how a power contestation works, and encrypt various material, gestural, and behavioral elements in our daily life; to fight over an individual as a subject that seems to be freely and voluntarily accepting the obligation to play a role in a certain situation full of chaos and noises. (Agnesia Linda)
Punkasila started from an art project initiated by Danius Kesminas, an Australian artist, with several Indonesian artists, musicians, and researchers in Yogyakarta in 2006. This project went on to become a collective of artists based in Yogyakarta and Melbourne. Punkasila is interested in social and cultural issues in urban societies. They respond to the phenomena by composing songs, modifying musical instruments, creating costumes, videos, comic books, designs, paintings, and other art forms.
Fitri Setyaningsih is a dancer, choreographer, and performance artist. She graduated from the Indonesian Art Institute in Surakarta. Most of her works reflect her observations on social phenomena. In the past few years, Fitri’s works transcend the line between performing art and performance art in the visual art context. In 2011, she was awarded as one of Indonesia’s foremost artist by Tempo Magazine. She is actively involved in several international dance performances as a dancer, choreographer, and director.
Concept: Punkasila dan Fitri Setyaningsih
Choreographer: Fitri Setyaningsih
Dancers: Rendra Narendra, Fajar Prastiyani, Yazhienta Thata Nathalia
Instrument Builder: Punkasila and Erson Padapiran
Composer: Slave Pianos dan Punkasila
Costume Designer: Punkasila dan Fitri Setyaningsih