Human Plasticity

Human Plasticity

Adhisuryo, May 28th 2011

The reproduction of a painting or object, however perfect, is always, definitively, its betrayal. And that betrayal is that much greater when it involves not objects or paintings but whole spaces.

Daniel Buren

What would you do if your village or your rural area had taken three floods since some dredging machine scraping around a hill near your village? One person who dares to answer the question is Ackay Deni, He live near the hill. His answer is atypical, not a solution either, it happened to be confusing for many of us, ridiculous you might say. But, to point out differently, it is a smart way to answer indirectly. As ridiculous as it is, Ackay Deni had been subjected to become the enemy, when he shares his answer to the fellow residents. After some step wise approach, Ackay Deni finally gained their support. Ackay Deni chooses to wrap that big dredging machine on the top of the hill with red adhesive tape.


before and after

Ackay Deni

This work started at midnight, Ackay Deni and his colleagues toke a little hike through some bushes to reach the place. After a little rest, they started to wrap the crane with adhesive tape. They seemed to having fun, to spend the night wrapping a dredging machine with so many red adhesive tapes. The muddy earth to stand on was not really helpful to make it faster to finish. The job must be finished before the crane operator came to field. It means that there were so little time to rest and take a little breath. The job must be done.


the process

Ackay Deni

Thinking of the crane wrapped with red adhesive tapes, standing in the middle of muddy field with so many trees that had been shoved aside, Ackay Deni makes us thinking about ourselves, human and nature, greed and uncontrolled exploitation. The image presented in the field is humble and shocking at the same time. Humble as fragile adhesive tapes try to stop an unbreakable steel machine. Shocking as giving us the truth that should makes us uncomfortable.

the view

Ackay Deni

The image shows us human plasticity. The residents, while they hate the investor for buying and scraping the hill causing the flood, they are in awe too. They hope to get some fortune shared by the investor because they have so much money. While the village residents here become the victim of the development, they keep believing, that there is a chance to get some shared fortune. The resident shall endure the pain, hoping some fortune may come from the investor. But nature is not sentimental, the flood does not hit the investor, it hit the resident. As the plastic will not go back to their early shape when it stretched too much, the flood will keep on coming from now on.

Our knowledge on human and natural environment is rather based on assumption that we can take everything from nature without any consequences. We take something from nature; we make it more valuable with the so called brilliant mind, then simply throw the waste we make back to nature. We think that it will be just fine, because that is how it supposed to work, naturally.

The red adhesive tapes will not stop the greed machine for long, because the greed machine is so powerful. The greed machine will continue to scraping the hill the next day. The red capsize boat will vanished when the crane operator come to the field to do their job. The same things happen to us, writing something about this then do other thing. You do to, read this and then forget. Because as long as we keep believing that we can get some fortune from the greed machine, the greed machine will continue to scraping the hill.


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