Kartografi Indonesia

Departemen Sosiologi Komputasional - Bandung Fe Institute

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Phylomemetic Tree of Indonesian Traditional Batik

click on image to enlarge

Batik is one the world most recognized Indonesian heritage. The "batik" has been existed since very old tome and it has been embedded so well in Indonesian culture - that is why in its broadest sense, the process of batik cannot be reduced into merely steps of the fabric ornamentations. The materials incorporated in it also play important roles, including the kind of the fabric, organic colorings, the wax (although it happens that some ethnic groups in Indonesia do not use wax as a material for the crafting Batik), and so on.

Batik textiles emanate beautiful ornamentations and pictures with painting techniques by resisting wax (or other non-permanent cohesive) after the dyeing processes. As the largest ethnic group in Indonesia, thus Javanese batik is the most well-known in the world of ethnic-based fashion. Nonetheless, attaching batik solely to the Javanese culture becomes superficial for batik has been there in a lot of corners of society accross the Indonesian Archipelago. Endeavors for the understanding Indonesian culture would reveal the usage of clay as other way instead of hot wax to produce batik, e.g.: Western Sumatera, while in depth observation on people in Banjar (Southern Borneo) would reveal how the nobles protecting themselves from the evil spirit by wearing Sasirangan Batik instead of common realization of Javanese batik that is affined to the living keraton (Javanese palace). Thus, batik is a living artifact that has been attached to the minds of the people living in Indonesian Archipelago from generations to generations collectively. How they craft, wear, and appreciate the batik has become so diverse, and acquisition of Science and Technology in detail research for mapping their appreciation to the motifs depicting by the respective "batik" in their evolutionary, innovative, and statistical proximity is thus very interestingly visualizing Indonesian minds.

This is the motivation of this poster presentation. The traditional Indonesian cloth designs are analyzed by calculating mathematical and statistical aspects within the image. The variables are the employment of dominant colorings and the fractal dimensions computed from respective motifs. The geographical aspects show how each social group evolved and innovated the fabric visual aesthetics specifically in each region in the archipelago drawn from generations to generations. All of variables play the role as meme - the elementary unit of information yielding the complex cognitive aspects of human culture while the phylomemetic tree shows a sort of "kinship" among all, just like the DNA sequences in biological structures. The "kinship" among collective cognitive systems from places to places is reflected in the branches and the leaves of the phylomemetic tree.

As Batik has been officially stated as World Heritage by the UNESCO in October 2009, the phylomemetic tree above has been awarded a record in World & Indonesian Record Museum for the "Visualization of Indonesian Batik incorporating geometry and mathematical aspects" in February 2010.

Further information:
Situngkir, H. (2008). Deconstructing Javanese Batik Motif: When Traditional Heritage Meets Computation". BFI Working Paper Series WP-XIII-2008.
Situngkir, H. (2009). The Phylomemetics of Batik. BFI Working Paper Series WP-8-2009.


:: update terakhir: Februari 2009