This project emanates from a decade-long engagement with the glass factory-town of Rejmyre, Sweden. It involves the implementation and inhabitation of an artist-guest-worker program within the factory. From within this artist guest-worker role, we work on the factory floor, maintaining the same hours as the other workers. Our task is to develop and produce a product line in response to the situation of our own labour and the labour of others around us [tourists, tour guides, glass workers, administrators, shoppers, sales people, museum staff, etc].
Like many contemporary industries, the Rejmyre Glass Factory has turned to auto-exhibitionist tourism to supplement a struggling economic position. Within this context, the workers’ labour becomes 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 project considers how a conceptual performance of labour, about labour, in the context of this hybrid industrial/tourist factory, might be used as a strategy to invoke a parallel state of consciousness in a group of artist-researchers. From inside this state, we attempt to explore the evolving roles of the contemporary labourer.