Gudskul: Contemporary Art Collective and Ecosystem Studies is a public learning space established by three Jakarta-based art collectives: Grafis Huru Hara, ruangrupa and Serrum. It was founded to promote what Gudskul calls ‘B-knowledge’, referring to B-movies and the B-side of a record. Decentralising assumptions of knowledge production dictated by academic disciplines, catalogued by institutions and applied within specific parameters, Gudskul’s objective is to unleash existing knowledge from multiple actors in society, not only those who are assumed to be ‘trained’ and ‘knowledgeable’.
For SB14, Gudskul presents Speculative Collective (2019), the latest iteration of a knowledge-sharing and mapping module that was conceived as a tool to explore forms of collectivising know-how through direct practice. Compressed both spatially and temporally, the project extends from ongoing work within the context of Jakarta to workshops organised at Art Centres in Arts Square, Sharjah and in Al Madam and Khorfakkan in the central and eastern regions of the emirate. In a loosely defined process, Gudskul invites strangers to meet and share what they consider to be ‘knowledge’ by playing the roles of both teacher and student in a quick to-and-fro. The newly formed pair must then couple with another pair, forming a temporary collective. Gudskul has designed a ‘tool’ to enable participants to record this process for themselves, and paper records from the Art Centres will be used to complete Gudskul’s visual presentation for SB14. A small publication created during this process will be available during the biennial.
For Journey Beyond the Arrow, Gudskul and the 31st Century Museum of Contemporary Spirit have devised ‘tool-kits’ for Sharjah audiences to challenge the practice (and product) of Art. These propositions critically engage with the nature of ‘intent’ as a set of socially engaged motivations with collective value and meaning. This conception pays homage to the agency of artists in their transmission of cultural knowledge.