Image: During the pandemic, Gudskul’s auditorium functioned as a small factory to produce face shields and medical gowns.
Gudskul is an Indonesia-based educational platform, embodying a unique pedagogical model. Pronounced ‘good school’ in English, this initiative goes beyond traditional education by prioritizing collective study and grassroots ecosystem-building.
The project was launched by three prominent Jakarta-based art collectives: Grafis Huru Hara, ruangrupa, and Serrum. Gudskul, also known as the Contemporary Art Collective and Ecosystem Studies, is a public learning space embodying the spirit of collaboration. These collectives have long been at the forefront of contemporary art, embracing a collective approach within their artistic practices. In 2015, they joined forces to establish Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem, a platform dedicated to exploring and practicing the principles of equality, sharing, solidarity, friendship, and togetherness.
In 2018, Gudskul emerged from this collective synergy, presenting itself as a study space. It serves as a catalyst for critical and experimental dialogue, emphasizing the significance of a multitude of voices and an experience-based approach to learning.
Founded in 2012, Grafis Huru Hara (GHH) is a group of Jakarta-based graphic artists focusing on explorative, experimental, and educational methods of graphic arts. GHH’s programs include exhibitions, graphic art workshops, and various publishing projects about graphic arts.
Established in 2000, ruangrupa is a contemporary art organization founded by a group of Jakarta-based artists. As a non-profit, ruangrupa supports the development of visual art in both urban contexts and within the broader culture, offering exhibitions, festivals, art laboratories, workshops, research projects, and various publications.
Serrum, founded in 2006, is a Jakarta-based art and pedagogy study group. The word ‘serrum’ is derived from ‘share’ and ‘room’, symbolizing a ‘sharing room’. Serrum addresses pedagogical, sociocultural, and urban issues through artistic and educational presentations. Their activities span art projects, exhibitions, workshops, creative discussions, and propaganda. Their primary media include video, murals, graphics, comics, and installation art.
JJ Adibrata from Serrum’s team comments, “Every year we make an open call for the collective study program and receive applications from the Asia and Pacific regions. We don’t prioritize specific countries; selection is based on the application process. We primarily invite individuals interested in working collectively. Applicants often have artistic backgrounds, but designers, art managers, and curators also apply.”
In a move towards collaboration and sustainability, ruangrupa, Serrum, and Grafis Huru Hara united to form an interconnected ecosystem. This approach involved a shared pool system, where resources are gathered and distributed equitably according to the needs of each collective and member. Gudskul introduced a paid program to support a knowledge distribution model. This system offers various financing options, including donation-based and self-help schemes, allowing individuals to select the method that aligns with their circumstances. Through this paid program, Gudskul has fostered a self-sustaining structure that bolsters collaboration and solidarity within its community. This system not only creates a supportive environment but also ensures the platform’s independence and dedication to knowledge sharing, empowering its participants.
JJ Adibrata adds, “We decided to host the Gudskul website on the .ART domain because Gudskul serves as an umbrella organization for three art collectives. The .ART domain helps people instantly recognize Gudskul’s primary focus: art education and art collectives.”
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