Well, technically it wasn’t a studio visit, but a couple of weeks back, before I left Yogyakarta, I met Krisna Murti, a pioneering media artist in Java, for coffee and conversation.
We talked for close to two hours. Krisna is remarkably articulate, thoughtful, funny, and charismatic. We spoke rather philosophically, talking about our individual art practices, as well as some of my ideas for a show of Indonesian photography in the States.
Krisna spoke at length about his first ideas and interests in video art. He likened video projection to wayang, the traditional Indonesian shadow theater. The light projection of the video, he said, is like the shadow, just an emanation of light, nothing concrete.
We spoke about the role of digital technologies in our daily lives – phones, computers, atm machines. It was wonderful to meet him, and share a discussion on his ideas so deeply cultivated and pursued over the years.
As I think more and more about trying to put this exhibition together, it seems important to me to include some video and media arts, rather than making it about photography more specifically. The show, in my mind, is still about photography, but I understand now that photography as an art form in Indonesia, grew out of new media arts – sound, video, performance, installation – rather than having the deep history we know in the States.