Benjamin Cook, Director of LUX, a UK-based international arts agency for the support and promotion of artists’ moving image practice - talks at the special screening of British experimental films at ARKIPEL. ©


As much as the number of people that are interested in film with a new approach of storytelling has increased, experimental film is perhaps the least commonly viewed style of filmmaking because it often seen as perplexing. It is interesting because the purpose of this kind of film is to re-evaluate cinematic conventions, explores alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working and to triggers discussions. While "experimental" covers a wide range of practice, an experimental film is often categorised by the absence of linear narrative, the use of various abstracting techniques—out-of-focus, painting or rapid editing plays with colours—the use of asynchronous sound or even the absence of any sound track that mainstream film usually has. 

Experimental film usually aims to place the viewer in a more thoughtful and deeper relationship to the film.  In experimental films; telling a dark history of revolution and the class struggle can take forms of black and white pictures and vegetables that move using a ‘stop motion’ technique; and a knowledge about jellyfish can be told by soothing voice that accompanies scene of its pinkish translucent skin moving as it swims in the blue water. 

By working together with Arkipel, Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, British Council would like to promote this spirit of creating cross-discipline works that triggers more discussions – not only for film lovers, but also for visual arts enthusiasts through experimental films in Indonesia. The third year of the festival that was held on 19 – 29 August 2015 also marked our first partnership with the festival. We brought some of the best of LUX’s collection that represents 4500 works by approximately 1500 artists from 1920s to the present day. We also invited Benjamin Cook, Director of LUX, a UK-based international arts agency for the support and promotion of artists’ moving image practice that enrich the world of experimental films. Founded in 2002 as a charity and not-for-profit limited company, it’s the only organisation of its kind in the UK, it represents the country’s only significant collection of artists’ film and video and is the largest distributor of such work in Europe. 

During his visit, Cook attended the Media Gathering and Press Conference, curated a special presentation programme (presented as two-part session of screenings) and gave a public lecture about Moving Images and Knowledge Disseminations. 

This partnership was one of our efforts to contribute and support the development of film industry in Indonesia by showcasing the best of British cinema, including its experimental films. Benjamin Cook met with a number of young Indonesian curators to kick off a future collaboration between UK and Indonesia, in which there will be cross mobility of curators to access and work with archives and collections of moving images from both countries. 

Media gathering at Morrissey Hotel ©


Opening night at Goethehaus  ©

Hertiana Putri

Public lecture 'Moving Images and Knowledge Disseminations' at the Institut Kesenian Jakarta ©


Media Gathering

On Friday, 21 August 2015, we held a media gathering for special screening programme from LUX Moving Image at Morrissey Hotel, Menteng, Central Jakarta. The session was delivered by Cook and Yuki Aditya from Arkipel as the speakers and our programme manager for Film and Animation, Levina Wirawan as the moderator.

The session went well. Not only discussed about the special screening programme, Cook also presented a film to show the journalists what moving images look like – as well as the creative process and the purpose of the project. He also spoke about LUX as the agency. 

Find more stories and photos about this activity here,

Special Presentation Programme

The special presentation program entitled The Others (Liyan) was curated by Benjamin Cook for Arkipel  – Grand Illusion, featuring five films from LUX. The first part of the programme was delivered on Sunday, 23 August 2015 at Goethehaus, Menteng. There were four films presented;  Weight (2014) by Kate Davis, Depositions (2014) by Luke Fowler, Things (2014) by Ben Rivers, Pyramid (2014) by Margaret Salmon. Before the films got screened, Cook gave brief introduction about the films.

The second part was delivered on Tuesday, 25 August 2015 at Kineforum, Cikini, presenting Taskafa, Stories from the Street (2013) by Andrea Luka Zimerman. This documentary tells the story about history, memories, feelings and the most necessary forms of belonging, through a search for the role played in the city by Instanbul's street dogs and their relationship to people and surroundings. Hafiz Rancajale from Forum Lenteng opened the screening with Cook. The film A Q&A session and discussion was held afterwards.

Public Lecture: Moving Images and Knowledge Dissemination

Besides the chance to curate and talked about UK experimental films through special presentation programme, Benjamin Cook also had the opportunity to share his knowledge on moving images through a public Lecture that was held on Tuesday, 25 August 2015, at the Auditorium of the Jakarta Arts Institute. Opened by Bunga Siagian and moderated by Mahardika Yudha, two curators from ARKIPEL, the public lecture that also discussed the history of experimental film in the UK and LUX Moving Image went well. For more stories and pictures, visit this page.

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