PART 1 WEEK 3:  COMPLETION OF WORKS

The new “products” that we produce, as artist guest-­workers, will be presented/disseminated as interventions into the historical and contemporary narratives of the factory. These products will be embedded in the history of the factory in two primary ways: 1) by installing them in the Rejmyre Glass Factory Museum, amongst the other historical objects on display and 2) in the form of a catalogue of conceptual products, in the style of industrial product catalogues/indexes. (1)

The final week was a very intense working on the final series of work for the product catalogue. After 3 weeks many relationships and collaborations had been established and an understanding of our distinct ways of performing labour. My final work was divided into 2 series: A collection of glass listening-devices and 2 meditative films.

1. GLASS LISTENING WORKS

This week I had my glassblowing session with John. He blew more that 8 pieces in 2 hour. He took on the challenge and mastered the form. He attempted to fulfill my desire to add a small wipe of red to the clear glass but this proved to be difficult. As I had already discovered, the Rejmrye Red is difficult and expensive, in fact the red I was looking for was not in stock, generally only used for special products, due to cost. We tested blue and dark orange but the conclusion was that clear would be the best solution. From the series of 8 glass pieces one contains a recording of Stefan Orstofsson - the Rejmyre Antique Dealer and glass specialist telling the mythical story about the lost recipe of Rejmyre Red glass the work is title Rejmyre Red Recipe.

2. FILMIC OBSERVATIONS

The annealing table is a work of pure observation or quiet anticipation. The annealing table is the most contemplative place in the factory. The annealing table exists at a snail pace, it gives birth to the glass objects. The steel wire skin carries the works out and presents them as successes or cracked rejects. This table is mesmeric offering—a place of intoxicating calm.

There are two versions; the second version includes the audio of Sissi instructing the glassblowers in a meditation about heat, one of Daniel’s exercises. The work is titled I am Rejmyre Glass.

Like wise drink fountain was another captivating film study made in the first week and then revisited in the concluding week. The continuous running water is for quenching the thirst of the glassblowers. While filming on the last day in the factory one of the glass blowers noticed that I was filming and signaled that he would take part and perform in my film. This was a collaborative act and a glorious moment. 

IN CONCLUSION

The 3-­week process was intense and deeply focused. The framework of Performing Labour offered a springboard to establish new thinking and offer a platform to engage with the processes of other artists; observing one another to develop ideas and then put them aside to make room for new investigations. The question is… when is an idea ready to be freely disposable. The Art Lab/spaced 3: north by southeast residency is generous opportunity, thanks to Daniel and Sissi’s commitment, calmness and creative intelligence. The collaborative individualism was successful in this group but I can imagine not all artists would be comfortable to give over to such communing. It is rare to observe the process of other artists so intimately…I appreciate the experience and look forward to the second part in 2017.

  1. Except from Daniel Peltz' proposal for the residency/workshop

PART 1 WEEK 1: PERFORMING LABOUR INTRODUCTION WORKSHOPS & EXERCISES

From within this artist guest-­worker position, we will work on the factory floor, maintaining the same hours as the other workers and in equal view of the tourists, to develop and produce a series of non-­functional products in response to the situation of our own labour and the labour of others around us [tourists, tour guides, factory workers, administrators, shoppers, sales people, museum staff, etc]. (1)

We had a very intensive week in the factory starting each morning at 6:15am with the glass workers. We positioned ourselves in a very orderly fashion behind the tourist view space. We are there to be viewed and observed by the tourists, glass workers and management. The days have been filled with group exercises/workshops, meditation, conceptual challengers and collaborative discussion about each persons proposed product development. Nothing is out of bounds and there is so much opportunity to develop ideas individually as well as through the supportive critical feedback of the group. Slowly we are starting to get to know the glass workers and this allows for an opportunity to understand from the other side.

Things I have noticed and thought about since arriving at the glass factory this week:

  • The glass workers move their bodies a lot…never remaining long in the same position – whether they are sitting or standing.
  • There is a significant relationship between the blower and the other - they are tied together in a symbiotic relationship. They need each other.
  • They work off signals both verbal and non-verbal body movements. A lot of sensing between the two eg. a tap of the blowers foot means the wooden form is to open.
  • Audio recording the glass blowing and breaking process…a form of eaves dropping …the works that are not perfect
  • Continuous running water tap always at the ready for the glass blower.

Alongside the very full days the group come together in the evening for a swim at a, still chilly, lake. Then we meet again for a meal together, lovingly prepared by one of the artists. And occasionally, a short or long walk through the farming lands and woods before going to bed in full daylight.

Artist-­Guest-­Workers:

Sissi Westerburg -SWE; Daniel Peltz -­USA/SWE; Alex Auriema -­USA, Filip Olszewski -­USA; Robyn Backen – AUS

 1 . Excerpt from Daniel Petz’s proposal for the residency/workshop

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