Soft launch of the lumbung network’s online platform
lumbung.space is a social and publishing platform by and for the lumbung members and artists of documenta fifteen. The platform allows members of the lumbung network to connect, support each other, and share knowledge collectively while making the process visible to the public. The website will continuously evolve but is based on slow-growing with new tools added over time. After documenta fifteen, the lumbung network will continue to maintain the platform and develop it further in a processual manner.
lumbung.space is a digital living room that allows lumbung members and artists to connect, work together, and share news from their Ekosistems. Built on an open platform and based on collective governance, it is a community infrastructure for the lumbung network’s practices to develop and thrive. An artist-initiated digital platform, lumbung.space is an experiment and part of the process toward documenta fifteen.
At the time of its soft launch, lumbung.space will have several subsections: nongkrong.lumbung.space, lumbung tv, lumbung social, lumbung pen, lumbung shouts, panduan.lumbung.space, books.lumbung.space, and cloud.lumbung, amongst others. Within this space, there are three levels of accessibility in relation to a safe environment and privacy issues. We can have channels for specific groups, open to affinity groups, and open for a wider audience as of course we like to share our work with a wider network of colleagues. nongkrong.lumbung.space is our living room and the easiest way for members to connect, is through a chat room that offers both private and group chats. It can also be used for meetings via video call. On lumbung tv, videos can be shared or streamed live. On lumbung social, lumbung members and artists provide a peek into their everyday lives and work. The lumbung pen is designed for the publication of texts, and lumbung shouts let lumbung members and artists share content from their Ekosistems. panduan.lumbung.space is a documentation tool for lumbung.space through which one can discuss, edit, and improve documents collectively. While books.lumbung.space is a digital library for members to read and exchange literature, cloud.lumbung.space is storage powered by Nextcloud, in which documents and files can be stored. After the soft launch, new features for sharing images and audio will be added.
A place for storing harvests
As a method of collective writing and a means of staying informed, harvesting is one of the most important parts of the lumbung building process. It is also a way of sharing this collective process and experimentation with the outside world. Thus, lumbung.space is not only a digital living room but also a platform on which harvests can be accessed and used collectively.
These learning archives become part of the knowledge that the network generates together, paving the way for further organizing. Sharing the harvests will also provide others with access to our collective stories.
After documenta fifteen, lumbung.space will live on as a living room where members of the network can continue to connect, support, and learn from each other while thinking of ways to sustain the project financially, without relinquishing its core value: to be a digital infrastructure that is slow-growing, non-extractive, meaning not taking financial profit from its users, because it is owned and maintained by the lumbung network.
lumbung.space was conceptualized and developed together with Roel Roscam Abbing, an artist and doctoral candidate in Interaction Design at Malmö University and Autonomic technology cooperative. Their work for lumbung.space is part of the Co-op Cloud initiative, a set of reusable recipes for installing software, which allows other collectives to set up similar infrastructure.
You can read a poetic harvest by harvester Putra Hidayatullah about the creation process of lumbung.space here:
These days, we all know how difficult things are. COVID-19 has marked a turning point in the course of our lives. We watched the numbers of those passing away rise. We faced restrictions that made life very different from how it once was. Traveling and seeing each other now involves new complexities. But, we humans are bound to movements and flows. We cannot be like inundating water. The need to communicate, the urge to connect with one another, and the call to create still roar inside us. What can we do?
These new complexities inevitably shaped the process of working on documenta fifteen. You can imagine how deeply they affected things. Before the pandemic, you could visit cultural practitioners in many different parts of the world and listen to a diverse range of voices and stories, in order to share and exchange knowledge and transform this experience into something meaningful collectively. Today, it feels like building a tall skyscraper, which shatters when a storm comes. What can we do?
That old cliché is still bitterly relevant: The show must go on. Fourteen lumbung members from various cities around the world had to think of alternative ways of participating. They each carried with them knowledge collected from their experiences within distinct cultural contexts. Through this richness, questions arose: How are we going to work things out? The pandemic is all around us. The physical conversation is no longer what it used to be. Through which medium should we connect?
Later on, the fourteen lumbung members were struck by an idea. “We need a common, virtual platform through which our ideas can be connected and culturally translated.” This thought became the stepping-stone for a new platform. It worked well for the first few trials, until several other artists jumped in: “We think we also need this kind of platform!” Conversations began: “Let’s take it further, beyond a website-like platform. Why not transform it into an experimental ecosystem, to be a living room for an online community in which lumbung artists and lumbung members can connect?
Another thing that had to be considered was how to find an alternative that was non-extractive—something equally beneficial for our common goals. Open-source was chosen, and lumbung.space was born. It is managed collectively. Everyone can jump in and share their thoughts and ideas. This process is, coincidentally, closely related to the principle of lumbung. What does this mean?
It is important to note that lumbung is a structure, not a theme. It is how the idea of a collective translates into practice. It is not only how ideas and stories are stored, but also how they are managed and operated. Let’s look at one example, the collective pot. This is a resource and a space of nurture. Within lumbung, equal power sharing and collective governance are emphasized.
Thanks to the attentive efforts of the working group, through dozens of virtual conversations and actions, lumbung.space was made possible. The platform has indeed gone beyond a website. It is a place for meetings, a virtual hangout, and a living archive. There are several features worth trying out: lumbung.space, login.lumbung.space, members.lumbung.space, panduan.lumbung.space, nongkrong.lumbung.space, cloud.lumbung.space, tv.lumbung.space, social.lumbung.space, pen.lumbung.space, books.lumbung.space, and sounds.lumbung.space.
lumbung.space is a premier platform where public could experience what is going on in the lumbung process as well as in the lumbung community. Several activities could take place here such as the exchange of stories, practices, and ideas. To be able to do that exploration, as an account management software, login.lumbung.space becomes a page to visit. Meanwhile, although it is intended for the public, there is also a special page for members where they could also generate invites to have new members register a new account. To operate all this, there is also a panduan.lumbung.space where we can discuss, edit and improve documents collectively. It also helps other users to know how to use lumbung.space. Another virtual space that awaits you there soon is nongkrong.lumbung.space. Here each member could meet and greet each other through private chat, group chat, video calls as well as a place to share files. If you want, meetings could also be held here. On this platform, there is also a section called cloud.lumbung.space. This is a shared document repository powered by Nextcloud. There the writing and editing process can be prepared collaboratively. We also have a video hosting platform where we can watch videos which are archives of conversations as well as live streaming activities. On social.lumbung.space we can greet each other. This is a social media which also functions as a tool for harvesting that can be converted into a pdf document. If you like to write, pen.lumbung.space is a blogging medium that can be used to tell stories or share ideas. Also, no less important is the digital library space which is also available for us to exchange readings or references. Finally, what is currently being worked on is sounds.lumbung.space where the audio archive is stored and will be launched in May 2022.
Within this ecosystem, we see a stream of ideas and the exchange of knowledge taking place. We also see how one working group is connected and linked to another.
lumbung.space is a new platform for our ecosystem where ideas are allowed to grow. It will help us with our next task: to connect people through resource sharing in order to sustainably maintain practices and the exchange of knowledge. And speaking of sustainable practices, how do we support lumbung.space so that it flourishes as a collective infrastructure beyond the 100 days of documenta fifteen. [ ]
This digital infrastructure is also realized with the valuable contributions of the people involved in the process: