By UK/Indonesia 2016-18 team

15 December 2017 - 15:30

Digital Nativ is a digital fabrication and rapid prototyping studio, whose projects center around the adoption of technology as a medium. Taking concepts from scientific research through development and into manufacture, Digital Nativ gives form to ideas and explores a new paradigm of product design.

In the past couple of weeks, Digital Nativ explored Java and Flores for a collaboration with Invisible Flock, an interactive arts studio based in Leeds who tends to make groundbreaking public and digital artworks.

This collaborative work is titled Nada Bumi and has been exhibited on November 18 and 19, 2017 at Lawangwangi Creative Space, Bandung for Digital Design Weekend: Bandung Remix.

To know more about Digital Nativ, their collaboration with Invisible Flock, Nada Bumi, to the fusing of arts and technology, we had the chance to interview the creator Miebi Sikoki.

On Nada Bumi

“The project is evolving as we’re executing it. I know it’s gonna be really interesting, because we’re working with a really interesting data set. But exactly what it’s going to be like, it depends on a lot of things. But at its core, what we’re trying to explore here is looking at the Indonesian landscape through sound and data.

So collecting environmental data, collecting sound information, and capturing and archiving ecosystems then transporting them and representing them in a gallery, allowing people to interact with this data in a way that’s not abstract. A lot of times when you hear about environmental data, it’s just numbers. But when you assign those numbers to notes, it can create a different kind of interaction with that data.

The way that you can feel the data, as opposed to reading and analyzing it. So think that as allowing people to engage with a natural environment in a new and interesting way. You’re involving more of your senses, not just your brain but also your emotion.

We’ve all heard about Flores, the beauty of Komodo, but we haven’t all experienced it. And if you experience it through an image, yes you might get interested in it. But when you feel it through music, it adds another layer to that curiosity.

It makes people want to know more, because you’re engaging with a data on a personal level, not just hearing what people have to say about it. Hopefully, Nada Bumi can be the start of something much, much bigger.

The number of locations that we visited here is only a sample of what is possible to do within Indonesia. Because like I said, Indonesia has one of the most diverse landscapes anywhere in the world. I can’t think of anywhere else where we could do something like this and get the variation of data that we got in one country. Even if you go to the Amazon, okay you can get a lot, but all rainforest. Where do you get to see a volcano, savanna, beaches, seas, and endangered animals, all in the breath of a six-hour drive?”

Nada Bumi by Digital Nativ x Infisible Flock at Digital Design Weekend 2017 ©

Irma Chantily

On collaborating with Invisible Flock

“I like their process. I like them as human beings, they’re really fun to work with, I like their ideas. The scope of their ideas are big, yet strangely they seem achievable. I like that level of challenge. Something where you feel comfortable working with someone but you’re chasing something you think is almost out of reach, but you kind of believe that you can make it happen.

That’s the kind of connection that I find with them. Their works are always interactive but also kind of big. But the one thing that they always have in their work is human factor. It’s all human-centric art pieces, using technology as an enabler.

So it’s not about putting the technology front and foremost, it’s about using technology to get at something deeply human. For Nada Bumi, we have each of our strength. I’m in charge of fabricating. So putting everything together, being their fixer, planning and executing the trip. But most of the sound stuff, it’s all handled by them. So we all kind of cover our bases, and we came together at the end of the process.”

On what Digital Nativ can give to the Indonesian people

“First and foremost we want to show that hardware development can be done in Indonesia. Like I said, we live in a very interesting time where we have access to all of these components. You just go to Glodok and you can find everything you need to build anything you see as built. It’s all Glodok and internet.

So I think people have this perception about technology that it’s something which is so complex that there’s no way you will be able to learn it, or programming is so complex. To a certain extent it is, but it also isn’t that difficult to get into, if you have interests.

Even by yourself, you’ll be amazed by the kind of thing you can do to empower yourself. You can empower yourself to understand how the world around you works, and you can empower yourself to change how the world around you works. That’s the conversation which sparks culture.

Technology is a huge enabler for culture to flourish in more interesting ways, because it empowers us to make changes that we want. In Africa they have light bulbs made from water bottles and bleach, using no electricity. I don’t think technology has to be high tech circuits and wires, technology can be a way of thinking.

It’s just a hack, a different way of looking at a problem and a different way of finding a solution. So I just want to show people that there are other ways of doing things. You don’t have to wait for some big ass company to make the products that you want.

You can actually go out and make it yourself. Maybe it will be a shitty project or it won’t be as nice, but the fact that you know how to do it is gonna help you solve a lot of problems around you. Right now we are still focusing on getting our shit together, but eventually we want to start opening up to the public. Inviting people to our workshops, education based stuff. We’re going to get into that, but at the right time.”

Download Nada Bumi Booklet Here!