Seni+Teknologi Dialogue: Fusion of Art and Technology

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Adi Permana

BANDUNG, – In the wake of artworks implementing scientific principles, Prof. I Gede Wenten (Vice Rector of ITB Research and Innovation) initiated the Seni+Teknologi webinar, encouraging discussions of art and technology.

Prof. Wenten envisioned the fusion of art and technology can not only elevate the aesthetic values of the innovation but also bring forth the advancement of society by taking inspiration from the surrounding. Examples include the artificial spring technology equipped with embedded HFM (Hollow Fiber Membranes) and the development of modern tropical coastal civilization.

This concept is compatible with the maritime archipelago of Indonesia. It is supported by various technologies such as underwater photosynthesis and respiration, portable seawater desalination tools, and residential expansion in the open sea equipped with solar energy sources and atmospheric water harvesting.

Prof. Wenten's grand vision of implementing art and technology in developing Indonesia's civilizations is based on the country's geographic prospects. As a strategic country, Indonesia owns more than 17 000 islands that cover 20% of the world's equator line and have the most sun exposure compared to other countries. These factors can be reviewed as shared assets to the development of coastal civilizations.

The Dean of ITB FAD, Dr. Andryanto Rikrik Kusmara, mentioned the nine faculty research groups expertising in these three areas: art, craft, design, and innovation; history, conservation, and cultural studies; and digital, experience, and learning. However, the faculty itself is still focused on the field of aesthetics that adds value to the innovation, taking into account that there are currently few works incorporating art and technology that are deemed successful. Many efforts to integrate these two studies have been done. In particular, Prof. Wenten and artist Tisna Sanjaya collaborated in initiating a clean water campaign at Cigondewah.

Efforts to combine crafting with technology have garnered many inventive designs. A few instances made by ITB Human and Industrial Product Design Research Group and Musashino Art University are bamboo-based dome structures and electric bicycles, off-road electric motors, SMARTEX nano textile, biobased and biodegradable zipper, and more. They also discovered the oldest frescoes in Sangkurilang Karst. This action can be further cultivated through preparations by ITB Design Center and ITB FAD multidisciplinary Master’s programs.

Dr. Tisna Sanjaya, artist and ITB lecturer, responded that her collaboration with Prof. Wenten was challenging yet exhilarating. Throughout history, art goes together with technology, as witnessed in the Renaissance era by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who created their art pieces using various technologies such as gears, cranes, hydraulics, bicycles, glyphs, aero machinery, canal fortifications, and domes.

Nowadays, specialization of study fields widens the gap between one another. Thus, collaboration is a measure to integrate the field of art and technology. Cigondewah, for example, was once a granary located near a clear river that stores hawara geulis grains. However, its condition dwindled due to the river being polluted. The current environmental state shows no signs of intellectual, social, or humanitarian awareness. To revitalize the region, Prof. Wenten and Tisna use the knowledge of art and technology to recover its surroundings; the soil and disposal sites are cleaned and planted with trees to filter the water.

The participative hydro design is enhanced with ultrafiltration membrane technology that is based on the properties of nature. The water filtered through it is clean and safe enough to be drunk by residents of Imah Budaya Cigondewah. This innovation has sparked a cultural movement in Cigondewah and was recognized by the mayor of Bandung- a feat that is not easy to achieve. It can be said that art and technology can bring out a prosperous age in that region.

Reporter: Rilis LPPM ITB
Translator: Ruth Nathania (Environmental Engineering, 2019)

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