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Plumi Local Archives in Indonesia

This post was previously published in the official Plumi blog

EngageMedia is currently undertaking a range of video distribution projects within the Asia Pacific region. One of our latest projects in Indonesia is aimed at creating four “local archives” for video-makers to be able to store and share their work. This extends EngageMedia’s online video sharing website to a more local and offline understanding of video distribution and community access sharing, that routes around the limited bandwidth problem in countries like Indonesia and embraces in more realistic and viable hybridity between the on and offline.

Pitra IVAA LVA workshopThe second and third phase of the Local Archives project in Indonesia took place between May 6 – 15 2009 in Yogyakarta at COMBINE Community-based Information Network and the Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA). For the first phase of this large project, EngageMedia partnered with Kampung Halaman in February, who are also taking part in these workshops. The last phase of the First Local Archives project will be in collaboration with Ruangrupa in Jakarta. Ruangrupa are a non-profit organization which focuses on supporting the development of art in the cultural context through research, study and documentation, along with intensive cooperation with the artists through exhibitions, artist residency programme, art project and workshop.

With the growth of the community, artistic and activist video production, and ongoing improvements in broadband internet access, Indonesia is currently experiencing a period of transition. With this transitory state in mind, EngageMedia believes a more ’emergent approach’ to online video distribution is required which takes into account the uneven access to high-speed internet and the need to offer both online and offline video distribution tools.

The Indonesian Local Video Archive project aims to deal strategically with this situation by mixing on and offline technologies. The project involves setting up a series of four local servers in Jakarta and Yogyakarta with four very different organisations; Kampung Halaman, COMBINE a Community-based Information Network, Resource Institution; Indonesian Visual Art Archive (IVAA); and Ruangrupa.

The archives are being built using Plumi, one of only a few FOSS (free and open-source software) video sharing platforms. It is based on the Plone CMS and produced by EngageMedia. The local archives essentially operate as a website, but it will only be accessible via the local area connection or wireless network. Visitors will be 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. Visitors browsing the archive will be able to view a flash video preview of the video and if they so desire, be able to rapidly copy any file to their USB device, phone and/or computer, or burn them to DVD/CD. The idea is to promote a sneaker-net effect; prompting people to pass on the files to friends via their own “offline social networks”.

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