spaced 3 north by southeast - performing labour

date 2016
location rejmyre, sweden
medium glass, audio, moving image, mp3 player
dimensions variable
photographer artist and others
collection artist

spaced 3 website

spaced blog

art lab residency 2016


I am glad to hear you are doing fine

project synopsis

…the site, an industrial glass production factory in Östergotland that, like many contemporary industries, has turned to auto-exhibitionist tourism practices to supplement a struggling economic position. Within this context, the workers inhabit a state of dual-­consciousness, their labour becoming both process and product, embodied and disembodied. They enact functional craft gestures and produce industrial products, while simultaneously producing a tourist spectacle that renders their labouring bodies, and gestures, as pure aesthetic products. This research considers how a conceptual performance of labour, about labour [in the context of these hybrid industrial/tourist factories], might be used as a strategy to invoke a parallel state of dual-­consciousness in a group of artist ­researchers. The research explores understandings, of the complex role of contemporary human labour, that might be glimpsed from assuming this position.

(an extract from ArtLAB synopsis)

2016space10 h683

Miracle Maker Map

rejmyre art lab presents

Performing Labour - an exhibition embedded in Rejmyre Glasmuseums collections. The exhibition contains some of the results from Rejmyre Art LABs artist-guest-worker-program at Reijmyre Glassfactory.

Rejmyre Art LAB presenterar: Performing Labour - en utställning integrerad i Rejmyre Glasmuseums samlingar. Utställnigen är resultatet av Rejmyre Art LABs gästarbetar-program på Reijmyre Glasbruk.

Artists / Konstnärer: Alex Auriema (US), Robyn Backen (AUS), Unndór Egill Jónsson (IS), David Larsson (SE), Meri Linna (FI), Filip Olszewski (US), Daniel Peltz (US/SE), Sissi Westerberg (SE) Ethnographers / Etnografer: Ioan Jucan (RO), Konstantin Economou (SE)

Performing labour poster

Performing Labour Poster

Performing Labour is a particular method of “thinking” labour through artistic practice. I make no special claim to our [i.e. my and the other artists I’ve assembled as guest workers] capacity to “think” things, we all think the various labours we perform, through our particular practices, as workers at work, as managers, as employees, a self-employed and equally as workers at home as friends, husbands, wives, lovers, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. We are also all already performing, so there is nothing special that we are doing here, as a group of artists assembled in this factory, coming to work at 645am and packing up our things to head home at 4pm to cook and sleep and return the next day. What we are doing here is calling these actions to consciousness: labour, performance and the thinking of a thing, in this case our own labour and the labour around us. We are bringing these things to the foreground, focusing on them and sometimes, importantly, losing focus, moving through or circling around confusion and doubt. Then, when we do manage to glimpse the sensation of “focused thinking” we sometimes find ourselves amid new doubts and confusions, wondering if our focused thinkings are of any value. You are welcome inside this research process today, we are all Performing Labour.

I’m interested in creating conditions that allow us, as a group of artist researchers, to inhabit a parallel state of consciousness to that of the other workers in this factory. It is a kind of consciousness study. We enter the factory as participants in a guest worker program and are subject to many of the mechanisms of mediation at play within the factory. Our role within this space is to produce products of labour, about labour. The glass workers produce at least two primary products, glass objects and a tourist spectacle of their own labour creating these objects. We locate ourselves inside the creation of this spectacle and use these specific conditions to think labour through our own varied ways of being.

(Daniel Peltz, Research Leader)

Perform tourist small

Performing Labour at the factory (artist-glassblower-tourists)

Funders and collaborators Bidragsgivare och samarbetspartners: Reijmyre Glasbruk, Rejmyre Glasmuseum, Stockholms Konstnärliga Högskola, International Art Space’s spaced 3: north by southeast program, Kulturrådet, Finspångs kommun, Regionförbundet Östergötland, Nordisk Kulturfond, Folkuniversitetet

Alex translating “I’m glad to hear you’re doing fine”

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014), Roy Andersson

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014), Roy Andersson

Discussion with Rejmyre antique glass dealer and retired glassblower

Reference PhD thesis “Out of Concern: Performance Modes of Engaging with the World” by Ioana Jucan (not yet for circulation) Reference Chapter 4: Performing Labor Brown University