Indonesian Local Archives Project [LAP] 2009 by Nancy Mauro-Flude

by Nancy Mauro-Flude September 01, 2010
From February 2009 until July 2009 I was invited to be the Project Manager for the Indonesian Local Archives Project [LAP] initiated by EngageMedia. For the first phase of this large project, EngageMedia partnered with Kampung Halaman in February 2009. The second and third phase of the Local Archives project in Indonesia took place May 2009 at COMBINE Community-based Information Network, Resource Institution; Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA); all in Yogyakarta. The last phase of the First Local Archives project was just completed in July 2009, a collaboration with ruangrupa in Jakarta, a non-profit organization which focuses on supporting the development of art in the cultural context through research, study and documentation.
Indonesian Local Archives Project [LAP] 2009 by Nancy Mauro-Flude

rupunga screen shot

Essentially this project is to tap into the generation of people who are growing up with the ease of sharing and manipulating media as digital files via computers. Filtering this data through an existing and customised Content Management Systems [CMS], resulting and collaboratively working on it in networks is now the default mode of media work. It is recognised that some locations and societies have more or less access to bandwidth, and even the WWW itself is not always possible to access, so in this project the Local WAN aspect was especially highlighted as an alternative possibility and even another way of thinking about Internet consumption and usability.

The local video archive essentially has the possibility to operate as a web-interface, but it is first and foremost accessible via a local area connection [LAN], so therfore has the possibility to operate on a local wireless network. Visitors are able to access the archive by using any of the partner organisations’ computers connected to the LAN, or connect their own computer to the LAN via cable or wireless, in this particular case to share and distribute Video.

All the participants in the four LAPs explore and learn about databases, meta tagging, social networks, archiving, copyright, editorial design, programmable filtering, user profiling, analysis of large amounts of data, programmable design even open application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as coming up with beautiful interfaces. The different screen shots the particular CMS needed by the organisations highlighted for different organisations.

*Hybrid Video Distribution and Promotion:*

The archives were built using Plumi, one of only a few FOSS (free & open source software) video sharing platforms. It is based on the Plone CMS and produced by EngageMedia. There are many levels to the Local Archives Project [LAP] from working on the interface to programming code, but at each level one deals with more than just technology.

Now a crucial aspect now is wrapping up the four LAP projects so that they are sustainable and self-sufficient to a relative degree. It is not only useful if EngageMedia along with the collaborating organisations conduct research into syncing the material on the archives, between the four projects. But also engage in local peer groups for technical trouble shooting, development and support. For instance, it is now a major undertaking in how the archives, though predominantly off-line, can be synced so that the organisations can share video content between themselves.

In regard to the ethics of hybrid Video Distribution and Promotion and comprehensive 'A Guide To Open Content Licences' by Lawrence Liang is an element that needs to be fully focused on with clarity and understood by all participants involved in future workshops.

Along with the 4 Local Archives, the organisation also have the responsibility to upload some of their videos to the website, as it is not only a way that the organisation can contribute back to EngageMedia as a whole, but this is also online representation of the video works on a larger public scale. Since obviously the video content has a particular socio-political particular agenda, in giving voice to those groups and individuals whose views and stories are not present on mainstream media platforms.

*Local contribution to PLUMI video sharing platform:*

PLUMI is one of only a few FOSS (free and open source software) video sharing platforms. Free software, has its strength in building software infrastructure: kernels, file systems, network stacks, compilers, scripting languages, libraries, web, file and mail servers, database engines. It often lags behind proprietary offerings, for example, in conventional desktop publishing and video editing, and, as a rule of thumb, in anything that isn't highly modularised or used a lot by its own developer community. Therefore the EngageMedia LAPs, in my view, should eventually aim for a larger commitment from the organisations and people who maintain the archives to add to the PLUMI project. The reason being that the closer the software is to the daily needs and work methods of users, programmers and system administrators, the higher typically its quality. The possibility to have Bahasa language or / bilingual version of PLUMI –would really expand and help the projects accessibility in a major way.

The PLUMI platform not only highlights the importance of the WLan as a medium, meeting place and information source. The PLUMI LAP has a far-reaching interactivity. It is a soapbox, library, publishing tool and meeting place at the same time. The Internet or local area platforms should be accessible to everyone, infringement on free speech, web users privacy and over-commercialisation of the net are major problems we encounter with YouTube for instance. Issues of particular interest was, for instance the way in which the different organisations media arrangements, call for a certain behaviour; the issue of free circulation of ideas in video content via a wireless domestic network.