Unit 3 Report: Addendum

The following post contains every documents (e.g. evidences, feedbacks, visuals, everything) that will supplement the ‘HOW’ part of my evaluative report. There are four parts of the post that will be shown, which are teasers evidence that I used to communicate with the audiences in my intervention Instagram, every single feedbacks that I received from Instagram messaging system (which I will do my best to highlight and translate some parts that I found as transformative and useful for my project), the visual identity alternatives that I brainstormed with one of my collaborators, and future and/or ongoing collaborators.

Instagram Teasers

I made some teasers via Instagram stories during the second week since I made the page regarding the curatorial theme that I chose for my digital ephemera archive. The purposes of doing this are to raising audiences’ awareness and curiosity and also communicate and engage with them. Most of the formats used are open questions format, combined with supporting images and artefacts related to the issues raised. One of the teaser links to the newest post of the Instagram page, making it easier for the audience to go through the post despite Instagram’s algorithm.

These are the teaser questions that I used for the past week:

  • What do the Javanese mythical figures and characters represent on jamu packaging?

  • How do jamu packaging visuals affect society’s narrative of ideal female body and femininity?

  • How does Hong Kong apothecary influenced the art style and production techniques of jamu packagings?

  • How does an initiative of a Dutch woman ignite the growth of the most iconic jamu manufacturer in Indonesia?

Feedbacks from the Audiences

Since I made an Instagram account for the intervention, I received massive feedbacks from its audiences which are academics and practitioners mostly practicing graphic design living in big cities in Indonesia and also abroad. Most of their feedbacks are based on their curiosity about what’s the project is all about and what’s my purpose of me doing it. When I told people that it’s my MA project, most of them are pleased with it and encouraged me to keep doing my intervention even after the course ended.

I couldn’t do the translations for most of the feedbacks, but I’ll try to list down some key elements and analysis of the feedbacks.

  • I had an amazing talk with a graphic design colleague about how I should present my project as concise as possible, since I didn’t really pitch the project really well the last time seeing him. The social curation canvas module really helped me a lot on how to present my project.

  • One of the audiences suggested me several topics that I can explore more in the future interventions. These include from analysing the slogans of jamu advertisings to representations in jamu packagings and advertising.

  • One of the audiences tried to take the challenge to do the visual analysis. This is amazing because this is what I really expected from the intervention: to persuade the audience to initiate creation so that I could measure how my intervention will affect their visual literacy skills. That audience had sent me the analysis and it’s a good starting point that I expect to keep growing in the next 2 weeks.

  • Another amazing feedback that I got is a graphic designer whose also a lifestyle blogger trying to respond to the curatorial theme by analysing the trend of jamu as a new wave lifestyle and review some jamu cafés.

  • An addition to that, another audience is currently working to produce his own jamu brand to help promote the awareness of traditional medicines as a pivotal part of Indonesian culture.

  • One of the audience-turned-gatekeeper refers his friend currently doing a research about Indonesian traditional medicines and masculinity. This is how I really love the process of connecting with people which can actually leads me to some experts.

Visual identity journey

I believe that visual identity is important to help me introduce my project to the audiences and help them to remember what it’s all about. The following images are everything that my collaborator and I’ve been making to support the digital platform visual identity.


What I Learned, What Will Come Next & What Has to Be Done

  • It’s time to move forward to the next part of my journey, based on my selected research methodology. My last post indicated that I started to develop the web platform and an Instagram account to help communicate the ideas of the project to the audiences, which eventually goes to both transformation and convergence part of the methodology. This will include incoming iteration processes ahead!

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  • The social curation canvas provided by a colleague (as stated in this post) is an effective tool to help me describe and specify every aspects that I expected from the project. It is incredibly concise, and everything I needed when it comes describing my project to stakeholders, experts, gatekeepers, and collaborators. I learned about the power of gatekeepers and serendipity. If I don’t do a volunteer work during summer, I wouldn’t even have any idea or discover this powerful tool.

    Shown below is the newest version of my social curation canvas.

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  • One concern that rise during the tutorial session is how do I measure the accomplishment of my intervention. How can I measure the audiences’ visual literacy? This led me to another further research already conducted in many art education systems that I can integrate into my project. The diagram next to this text refers to the framework I’m using to test my intervention. Further readings on this subject is listed below.

  • One thing that I shouldn’t overlook from this project overall is about the ethical issues. A recent conversation with a collaborator asking about whether or not it’s ethical to reproduce the existing images in the ephemeras visuals led to a non-existing ethical rules regarding the subject in Indonesia. This also will be another thing that I should dig about further. To tackle the ethical issues on image sharing and copyrights, I decided to make everything cited inside the posts and do the checks before publishing.

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What has to be done – the challenges [1]

  1. Knowledge Creation: Contribute to Research and Development

    There is an urgent need to augment research in the area of digital preservation. Projects which further our knowledge in the challenges of preserving various types of materialsmaps, archival materials, color documents, bound volumes, data-sets, music, and electronic formats like SGML, PDF, ASCII, HTMLmust be undertaken.

  2. Digital Triage: Developing Guidelines for What Can and Should Be Saved

    There should be informed skepticism about the claims of organizations that say they will archive the Internet. The library and archival communities already know that not everything can and should be saved. What is key is selecting which digital resources to preserve and which ones not to preserve.

  3. Rescue Operations: Ensure Vital Electronic Documents are Preserved Now

    Librarians and archivists need to work with industry to develop simple and cost effective print-to-microfilm systems; this will enable archives to preserve documentary collections that are provided in proprietary formats such as word-processors in a cost-effective fashion to be effectively preserved.

  4. Document Formats: So Many to Chose From

    Mixed media and multiple document formats will continue to remain the fly-in-the- ointment of digital collections. Multiple formats may require maintaining multiple hardware/software platforms and will confound simple migration to new storage media.

  5. Being Legal: Rights Management and Access Control

    Licensing will be one of the most important things that an archive will be required to do in the electronic realm. The management of diverse licensing arrangements promises to be a significant administrative and technical challenge for preservation purposes.

  6. Wave the Flag: Promoting the Importance of Preservation

    Librarians and archivists must engage in a concerted effort to raise the profile of preservation.

  7. All for One, One for All: Working Together

    Archiving decisions for materials which are common to many libraries will be made in consultation with other libraries to determine the appropriate forms and sharing- mechanisms.

  8. Digital Preservation as a Public Good

    Librarians and archivists protect the public interest by making information available to the community and by asserting the importance of maintaining a record of our collective intellectual heritage.


Further Readings

Avgerinou, M.D. (2007, Spring). Towards a visual literacy index. Journal of Visual Literacy 27(1) 29-46.

Avgerinou, M.D. (2001). Developing a visual literacy index. (Chapter 5 of unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Bath, UK.

Avgerinou, M.D., & Pettersson, R. (2011). Toward a cohesive theory of visual literacy. Journal of Visual Literacy 30(2), 1-19.

Callow, J. (2008). Show me: Principles for assessing students’ visual literacy. The Reading Teacher 61(8), 616-626. doi: 10.1598/RT.61.8.3

Major Shifts & Breakthrough Report

Visual identity as a visual aid

I got the visual identity for my digital platform ready to be shown to the vast audiences. After some brainstormings and testings, I decided to give my platform name ‘Tuan Puan’, which is derived from the Indonesian phrase that means ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’.

The reasons why I chose this name amongst many other proposed names (that’ll be shown below) are the repetition, reduplication, and rhymes of two words which is a common thing in Indonesian language, hence making it easier to memorise even for non-Indonesians. Other reasons include the fact that this name supports one of my main purposes making this digital platform, which is to build a sense of community and belonging between its users and target audiences.

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Visually, the logo of the digital platform reflects the historical and social condition of Indonesia in the past, shown by the representation of the figure ‘Tuan’ and ‘Puan’ with the traditional kopiah for the men and konde for the women. The type used for the logo represents huruf tegak bersambung implemented in menulis halus system introduced during the school years in many schools in Indonesia which probably still exists up to this day. This logo perhaps the accurate representation of the youths of urban Indonesia [1], while maintaining the sense of nostalgia and honour towards local culture and traditions.

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Deciding the First Curatorial Theme

Jamu is often proudly considered as one of the artefacts of indonesian national culture from the field of health care like no other in this world. jamu’s acclaim draws from the same breath as batik or gamelan as artefacts of a culture noble, exquisite and exalted, resulting in prestige and a role that needs to be raised up not only for a social life in Indonesia, but outside the country as well. [3]

Since the abundance of information and visuals that are available and yet to be discovered, I need to decide a curatorial theme for the digital platform to work. I had some conversations with some of the stakeholders and collaborators on what are the themes they would like to see in the first curatorial project.

I was having this initial thought on presenting visuals in a certain era of Indonesia called Orde Baru (New Order) [2], since this era regarded as the rise of economics of Indonesia (despite having several controversies and conspiracies yet to be unfolded) and had a lot of potentials to explore it from the perspectives of ephemeras produced during that era. Everything thought to went well until I present this to several people who don’t agree having too much political issues in a newly established platform.

I decided to go on a theme that is fun and simple which could gain people’s attention regarding its awareness and existence within the Indonesian community. The decision ultimately goes to Jamu or Indonesian traditional medicine. Since the website is still ongoing (and it’s one of my struggles to get things done realistically by the end of the course), I set up a dropbox account where the contributors can edit and add some visuals that they gathered. There are several categories I would like to implement into my visuals (such as by years/ historically, regions in Java, manufacturers, and function), but it’s still an ongoing process and the only categories that the contributors and I managed to organise is the historical timeline of jamu.

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Instagram as a tool to engage (And an alternative)

I set up a new Instagram account that will dedicate the journey of this MA project on last week. This idea popped up in the midst of a conversation while I was having a meeting with a client (about an unrelated side-project). I pitched a bit of this project when she recommend me to set up an Instagram account to update the audiences about my progress.

I realised that I took the best advice ever. I received massive feedbacks from my personal Instagram followers, varying from a follower showing their anticipation about my project since a long time ago: “Where have you been all these times? I’ve been waiting for your MA project to be shown,” to people voluntarily asking themselves to contribute for the digital platform after I informed them that I need people to test out my intervention. This is also a solution for my absence on the project progress, since I’ve been waiting for the web developer to finish the prototype of the platform (which is taking too long if I should do another intervention based on it). During the day it was launched, these are the 3 posts I used to introduce my digital platform to the audiences and give them the overview of what it’s all about.

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  1. HOW CAN DIGITAL PRESERVATION AND CURATION BE USED AS A TOOL TO ENHANCE VISUAL LITERACY AMONG ACADEMICS AND PRACTITIONERS IN THE URBAN AREAS?

    Introducing TUAN PUAN, a platform designed as an intervention to answer the said research question. This platform will be focusing on the preservation, curation, and criticism of Indonesian ephemeras and their position within both local and global issues.

  2. “Real beauty is when the invisible joins the visible, coming on surface. [...]”

    Derived from the Indonesian words “Tuan” and “Puan” which means Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to invite everyone of you, ladies and gentlemen, to partake into the journey of ephemeras critical appreciation. It is indeed, one of the purposes of the platform is to build a strong community through it.

  3. “When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in have become in themselves a work of art, then we shall be able to say that we have achieved a balanced life.”

    Our first curatorial project will be unveiled soon.

Instagram is a great platform alternative for me to gather feedbacks from the target audiences while waiting for the main platform (the website) to be developed [4]. Its existing features help me communicating with people who don’t have the access and exposure to the project before, and I’m so glad to do this as they provide me valuable insights that I won’t get if I’m being too reserved about this project.

The next thing that I did using Instagram as an alternative platform is to promote collaborators opportunities to test my intervention. I set up an open vacancy ad via Instagram stories, resulting with at least 5 people turning up and volunteered to be the contributor of my next intervention.

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Some introductions to the curatorial theme

I posted 3 updates on the Instagram page of Tuan Puan, explaining the historical context of the curatorial theme. The updates include 3 of the oldest evidences of documentation of jamu that exists in Indonesian manuscripts and temple reliefs. The visuals that I provided proved that the audiences are really interested on learning new things, boosting the platform into 59 followers from my inner circle within the duration of 2 weeks. I set up to introduce this Instagram page to the wider circle of connections once the main website is ready to be tested, which is set to be done on next week.

“Whether you are buying jamu wrapped in banana leaves at the traditional market or in colourful packaged boxes at the supermarket, jamu is very much a part of the fabric of Indonesian society and is used by kings, royalty, presidents, and the general public down to even humble poor peasants who wish to enhance their health.” [1]

Introducing our debut curatorial theme of Jamu, the traditional Indonesian medicine from the island of Java. The term originated from two words: ‘Djampi’ which means healing through medicinal mix of prayers and magic, and ‘Oesodo’ which means health.

Asian medical systems such as Ayurvedic of India or Chinese medicines are commonly studied and documented, but Javanese herbal medicines yet to be done.

The lack of documentation about Javanese herbal medicine is mostly due to Indonesian oral tradition, but the earliest evidence of traditional herbal medicine documentation comes from the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties as depicted in some reliefs in Borobudur temple.

[1] Beers, Susan-Jane. 2001. Jamu: The Ancient Indonesian Art of Herbal Healing. Singapore: Periplus Editions.

Photo source: Kassian Cephas (1845-1912). Obtained from KITLV Leiden

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“Jampi benter-etis, wonten kawan warna, kang sawarna: sedhah kapanggih rosira, bengkle dlingo ron ringin temu langya.

Kang dwi warni: ebungipun pisang saba, podhisari murmak dagi asem kresna, apan sami binorehaken sarira.

Katri warni apan namung aben tiga, temu kunir brambang binenem punika, ugi sami binorehken patrapiro.

Catur warni nangin den-unjuk punika: beras ada kunci mrica kumukusnya, brambang cabe gendhis sawatara.”

Perhaps Serat Centhini is considered the earliest surviving manuscript to mention the existence of Javanese traditional medicine, dating back to the early 19th century. The 12 books of manuscript is an encyclopedic work written in the form of poetries and songs about the spiritual, material, scientific, and religious knowledge of Java during that time. [1]

The excerpt above is taken from chapter 251 of the manuscript, explaining about the steps of making herbal medicines for fever. Other examples of recipes written in the manuscript includes cure to common ailments from eye infections to impotency.

[1] Santoso, Soewito. 2006. The Centhini Story: The Javanese journey of life. China. Marshall Cavendish Editions.

Photo source: UP Indonesia, Yogyakarta.

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Another historical proof about the existence of Indonesian traditional medicine can be derived from Kitab Madhawapura, a recipe book belonged to the Majapahit Kingdom. It is also the source for the origin of the phrase ‘Acaraki’, which means the maker of Jamu.

Image source: Leiden University


Footnotes

[1] I do realise about the diversity of Indonesia and the facts that multi-ethnicities exist, and kopiah and konde is not a whole representation of Indonesians. But I do consider the historical aspect of said attributes are highly connected to the representation of educated scholars of the past, and I would like to emphasise that this logo is the representation of educated Indonesians in qualities and values.

[2] Orde Baru or New Order is the term coined for the second Indonesian president Soeharto’s regime during 1966-1998.

[3] Ferzacca, Steve. 2001. Healing the Modern in a Central Javanese City. Durham, NC. North Carolina Academic Press

[4] Indonesia is the fourth biggest Instagram users in the world according to statista.com, with the total of 54 million monthly active users as of October 2018.