Infinite Gestures

August 2012

Our 2012 workshop focused on the theme of Infinite Gestures, an exploration of the aesthetics of duration and repetition. The workshop consisted of a combination of work presentations, peer and professional critique and dialogue through making.

This year’s theme for the Post-MFA workshop and seminar has been, will be, was “Infinite Gestures”. We attempt to treat our themes lightly, thematic explorations are tricky in their potential to narrow or even bludgeon. We attempt to treat them as a seed for a plant of unknown origin, to give them just enough, just the amount of attention they need to tell us what they are or might be. We each instill them with our own meaning, make and unmake meaning of them, and this seminar is a part of furthering this process.

For me this theme grew out of a response to the Occupy Movement that swept across the U.S. and the world last fall. I was drawn to many things within the movement as a citizen, the struggle for greater economic justice and the modeling of direct democratic process amongst them. As an artist, I was inspired by the form of the movement, its aesthetic character if you will [the aesthetic character of the movement]. What made the occupations so easy to ridicule in the minds of detractors and skeptics was exactly what made it beautiful to me. Its refusal to become singular, to accept any singular self-image, even as it grew to the epic proportions of a worldwide movement. Like a child that refuses to differentiate, residing just a moment longer in the infinite primordial state of belonging. Occupying was an action that could mean things to many people. To me this instance on an amorphous plurality was its complicated beauty. It showed off this beauty in its durational structure, which was infinite. They/we were occupying, this space was occupied for an indeterminate time, for the infinite now. The appreciation of the beauty of this movement made me want to explore its aesthetic character further, to bring together a group of artists, crafts people, designers, thinkers, and writers to expand on this infinite gesture. I also saw a reflection of our organization in the theme. One of the participants from this year’s workshop said yesterday in our discussion “Artists displace matter, being an artist in Remyre is matter out of place.” Rejmyre Art LAB, is now in its fourth year of occupying Rejmyre, matter rapturously out of place.

Daniel Peltz introducing Infinite Gestures at the seminar that accompanied the workshop [Rejmyre Art LAB research leader

This post-MFA workshop was open to practitioners from both visual art and craft educations from a select group of Nordic and Baltic art schools. Activities of our post-MFA workshops include a combination of individual and collaborative exercises, work presentations, peer critique and living together in community.

Participants had recently completed their MFA degree at The Royal Institute of Art, Sweden, Konstfack, Sweden, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark, Bergen Academy of the Arts, Norway, the Icelandic Academy of the Arts, Iceland, the Academy of Fine Arts [KUVA], Finland, Vilnius Academy of the Arts, Lithuania, the Art Academy of Latvia and the Estonian Academy of the Arts. Participants were selected by nomination from our network of professorial colleagues and through an open call.