Initially, for some experts, talking about Tanah Runcuk is like merely pissing in the wind. What is the relevance of reviving Tanah Runcuk in a scientific debate?
Some scholars have regarded it as the fairy tale of the colonialists who “failed to move on”. Some other groups even comprehended Tanah Runcuk as a science-fiction enthusiasm like the story of Atlantis. While within the rest—regardless of the fact that some people even never heard of this name at all—was entrenched a great curiosity; it encouraged the attempt of tracking and arranging the ruble of this very story originating from the “lost” land.
Tanah Runcuk that used to be a subject of intense debates among the scholars, is getting more interesting to be discussed again due to its being within an in-between space; between presence and absence, between fiction and reality, between fantasy and history. Precisely, Centre for Tanah Runcuk Studies intends to read the discourse of Tanah Runcuk which occupies a realm between myth and science with the approaches of art project and interdisciplinary studies. Instead of drawing a conclusion and producing a single interpretation, this effort expects to open a dialogue and alternative entry in approaching the discourse of Tanah Runcuk (which is by time scraped out from our collective memories).
In this portal, CTRS involved writers: researchers and/or scholars with experiences in the fields of art, culture, media, anthropology, architecture, and geography. The process of the research will surely be continued along with the development of findings and methodologies, as well as the data which Centre for Tanah Runcuk Studies remains looking for. By opening such a participatory space and dialogue, it is expected to be able to expand the spectrum of Tanah Runcuk studies.
MEMOIRS OF TANAH RUNCUK 1 – TRACING THE MYSTERY OF TUGU GONO MANGGALA SANGID  – TROPIKA SELEKTA: ECHOES FROM “TERRA INCOGNITA” 2 – UNTOLD STORIES OF THE ARCHIPELAGO 3 are an art project which manufactures (fictional) studies. These studies – conducted’ by Centre for Tanah Runcuk Studies – are raising discussions on a ‘lost’ territory called Tanah Runcuk. Tanah Runcuk is a territory that was predicted as part of the archipelago in Dutch East Indies. The discourse on Tanah Runcuk was claimed to be lost in order to conceal the corruption in colonial administrative that mingled with feudalistic system in 19th century.
CENTRE FOR TANAH RUNCUK STUDIES (CTRS) is a fictional study centre initiated by artist Timoteus Anggawan Kusno. CTRS works collaboratively with researches, historians, anthropologist, film-directors, musicians, and scholars. This study centre works interdisciplinary, in order to construct the idea of “Tanah Runcuk”—as a ‘lost’ territory in Dutch East Indies—as a question to respond the way history is (re)produced, read, and ‘taken’ in its relativity with certain power.
Drawings, dramaturgs, naratology (directed/by) Timoteus Anggawan Kusno under pseudonym “Centre for Tanah Runcuk Studies” and all its components. Written by Timoteus Anggawan Kusno, Windu W. Jusuf, Irfan R. Darajat, Gata Mahardika, Rio Belvage, Albertus Harimurti, Pandu Yushina Adaba, Irham Nur Anshari in collaboration with Maria Puspitasari Munthe (translator, editor)
1 MEMORIS OF TANAH RUNCUK editorial & production collaborators are Windu W. Jusuf, Irfan R. Darajat, Leilani Hermiasih, Gardika Gigih Pradipta, Gata Mahardika, Pandu Yushina Adaba, Rio Belvage, Sanusi, Hafiz Supriharjo, Bonggal Hutagalung, Mosescrue, Yasin Azhari, Sarwoto Kotot. Presented & performed in Kedai Kebun Forum, Indonesia. Curated by Irham Nur Anshari.
2 TROPIKA SELEKTA: ECHOES FROM TERRA INCOGNITA production collaborators are Krack! Studio, Studiomahati Indonesia, Tedjo Klasyk, DGTMB Art Embroidery, Juwara Studio, Batik Winotosastro, Tony Albert. Presented & performed in Ark Glerie (Curated by Alia Swastika, Indonesia, 2016) and Sullivan+Strumpf (written by G. Budi Subanar, Singapore, 2016).
3 UNTOLD STORIES OF THE ARCHIPELAGO production collaborators are Didon & co., Beni Arjuna, Deni Yudistira, Gata Mahardika, Franciscus Apriwan, Gardika Gigih, Maria Puspitasari, Michael Adhy Chandra, Albertus Harimurti, Irham N. Anshari, Studio Mahati Indonesia. Presented by MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA in EUROPALIA ARTS FESTIVAL (Curated by Charles Esche and Riksa Afiaty, Belgium, 2017).
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