Tell me the story behind the name TROMARAMA?
The name just pop up when we finished our first video work called Serigala Militia. It's was a very traumatizing experience back then. It took one and a half months and 450 woodblocks to complete the whole video animation. The three of us became trauma after that. Then we decided together to change the letter AU in 'trauma' with O and add 'rama' so it became "Tromarama".
Tell me about the collective – why a collective, what is best about working collectively?
The three of us already became friends a long time before we began working together in Tromarama. This collective was born unintentionally. After all these years, we felt that everything should just go intuitively. What we have in common is our interest in music video. We just go with the flow and working as a collective is always about dialogue and how we put our self in another shoes.
Tell me by way of example –perhaps a work included in APT or a recent major work- how you work collectively on an ordinary day- in terms of development, production and installation etc?
Basically we discuss every detail process in the work. Anybody could throw any ideas, sharing whatever crosses their mind. Most of the times the process is very intuitive as we mentioned. When we have a big picture about the work we would like to create then we split the whole of the work into specific roles. For example who's doing the photography, the editing, the illustration, etc. It's really an open process. This way of working goes the very same for each of our own works.
What is not so favourable about working as a collective?
Fighting is one of the process that happen along the way. Since the three of us have a totally different reference on everything, we can't avoid fighting when we are discussing something. But the funny thing is, at the end we realize what we meant at the beginning is just the same as what the others have in mind.
Can you tell me in more detail about the playful ethos behind your art making since 2004 and examples of another major work you feel best demonstrate this playfulness?
For example the work Everyone is Everybody which is included in this APT. When we started taking a picture of this singing object - we just brought the object, walking around the house, looking what's on the site - and we just let our imagination lead us. Improvisation is always happening when we got on site. Each and every site could trigger a different scene.
Why stop motion video and woodblock prints when you made the video clip for Seringai and what did you love about that process in reflection?
Back then we don't have any equipment for practicing video shooting. Even our school didn't have any facility like this. So we just work with whatever was available around us at that time. The idea of woodblock just pop up when we playing around in Febie's studio. She studied printmaking. And our eyes stop on one woodblock and we feel the roughness of it really represent the music and the band's character.
Animation or stop motion is one of the technique that allow us to do our own thing without depending too much on the computer. It gives us an infinite sense of possibility for playing around. About 80% of our video works are done outside the computer. We just depend on what our own hands can do and our imagination with all the material there in front of us.
What we love when we made serigala militia is we couldn't imagine how the video will look like at the end. This feeling of uncertainty and the surprise factor when we saw the woodblock moving little by little is priceless. The whole process is totally like a gamble. Does this idea always works or not? this question always moving around in our mind while we keep carve the woodblock day by day.
You are quoted as saying that the DIY approach is something you favour?
We think this DIY approach is related to our experience when we studied at our high school. Back then technology had a small role in our daily life. Everything is done manually either its school assignment or student's own project. The Do It Yourself (D.I.Y) spirit feels so strong among the students due to lack of facility. Everybody just start with anything that is available around them.
In our work called Wattt?!, we worked with various lamps and used our own house as a setting for the video. At the end, this DIY approach makes us believe what matters is our own imagination and the rest will follow.
Tell me what you feel both your collective and other Indonesian artists “ are up against” today?
The people's habit for accepting everything as it is. We tend to questioning everything that is taken for granted. For example, the communication or interaction between people in the internet, the clothes that we wear, the history, etc.
In terms of Asian Pacific zeitgeist tell me about some of the other socio-political and cultural aspects you are mindful of as artists now?
The way people live as a community. Since nowadays technology has an important role in our daily life, we should keep our intimate interaction in real life with the others. We think as a human it still important to feel, to touch, to look, to share within intimacy among the others in real life.
TROMARAMA are featured in the APT & opening this Saturday at GOMA, Brisbane.
Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans, Ruddy Hatumena
(L-R) Herbert Hans MARULI Indonesia b.1984 ; Febie BABYROSE Indonesia b.1985 ; Ruddy Alexander HATUMENA Bahrain/Indonesia b.1984
Image caption for artwork 1:
EVERYONE IS EVERYBODY (stills) 2012
Single-channel stop-motion video animation
as HD projection, 3:35 minutes, sound, colour /
Commissioned for APT7 / Images courtesy:
Image caption for artwork 2:
Wattt?! (still) 2010
Purchased 2011. Queensland Art Gallery
Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery