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Kecek Amplifier bersama Nik Shazwan @Biennale Jogja XV

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Jogja National Museum | Jogjakarta | Oct - Dec 2019

21m 23s | HD | Stereo | 3-Channel | Color | English subtitles

Kecek Amplifier bersama Nik Shazwan (Kecek) is a 3-channel video essay in the form of a meandering, quasi-educational video on the making and function of a tube-based electric guitar amplifier that expands into unexpected territories.


Kecek is made in collaboration with and features the musings of Nik Shazwan (Nik). Nik is a self-professed, card-carrying capitalist and an electrical engineering graduate from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. For close to two decades, Nik has been producing bespoke, tube-based electric guitar amplifiers for his online company Ceriatone Amplification.


Kecek emerged from a series of conversations with Nik that started in 2016 and continued over the last few years. Sprawling conversations about his work and his thoughts about “work”, interspersed with recollections of Malaysia from our youth and pre-millennial pop culture, which shaped both our lives. This video is a representation of those conversations that slip between technical facts, jokes, half-truths and blatant lies, both unintended and otherwise. Mirroring the fluidity of the narration, Kecek remixes the tradition of oral history and the approaches of documentary filmmaking with the sensibility of music videos.


Kecek is the 3rd video from my ongoing, 10 video-essay project tentatively titled “M.A.W (Malaysian Artist at Work)” that is made in collaboration and in conversation with Malaysian artists, with a focus on ideas and imagery of “work” as a theme. M.A.W is informed by recent developments in Malaysia, where so much of the mainstream discourse on national policy is centered on identity politics, especially on issues of race and religion. M.A.W explores ideas of work/profession and how we choose to do it, as an important variable in shaping who we are and how we see and experience the world.


"Kecek", is a Kelantanese dialect which loosely translates to “talking” or “having a conversation”.

"Bersama" is a Malay word which can be translated in this context as “with”.

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