lumbung is the Indonesian word for a communal rice-barn, where the surplus harvest is stored for the benefit of the community.

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lumbung is the concrete practice adopted on the path towards documenta fifteen in 2022 and beyond. Here, lumbung is to be understood as a kind of pooled collective resource based on the principle of communality. This will combine ideas, knowledge, human resources, funding and other shareable resources and will build on specific values, rituals and organizational principles. At the heart of lumbung is the envisioning and development of these collective, shared resources for new sustainability models and cultural practices. These are supported through residency programs, meetings, public activities and the development of related tools.

Interdisciplinary approaches are essential to this process. As activities and spaces emerge, social relationships and transactions dovetail — eventually taking public form in a slow and organic development so as to “live in and with society.” This strategy paints a picture of the relationship between an arts organization and its community — an organization that itself becomes an active part of its environment, establishing itself on the basis of local proximity and consideration of existing desires.

Drawing of a lumbung

Iswanto Hartono, lumbung drawing, 2020

The basic principles of the process are

  • Providing space to gather and explore ideas
  • Collective decision making
  • Non-centralization
  • Interplay between formalities and informalities
  • Practicing assembly and meeting points
  • Conscious use of architecture
  • Spatial activity to stimulate conversations
  • Melting pot of any thoughts, energies and ideas

The idea of solidarity and friendship expressed in the lumbung model is realized within its anchoring locally, a regional lumbung network in Kassel, in which many local participants are called upon to get involved, as well as in an international network of lumbung members founded for documenta fifteen. For this, ruangrupa and the Artistic Team have invited collectives, organizations and initiatives that share the values of lumbung through their inspiring methods, their deep artistic roots in local social structures and their experimental organizational and economic approaches. The lumbung network at documenta fifteen counts fourteen lumbung members:

Each of the lumbung members will bring different resources to the collective rice barn. Together, they will build a long-term discourse beyond documenta fifteen, thereby increasing the well-being of their respective local institutions as well as their entire ekosistem through shared knowledge, solidarity and resources.