Rejmyre Art Lab online seminar

Datum och tid
3 februari 2021 kl 13:00 - 16:30
Typ av händelse
Plats och färdväg

Seminar Zoom link

DETOX - Clean it Up!

What happens when we include artistic investigation as a core competency in remediating a contaminated site? A clean up effort would often begin with consulting experts: soil scientists, geologists, etc. What if we positioned artists as part of this group of expert consultants? What kind of findings does art find? How do these findings alter the act of cleaning up?

This seminar gathers artist participants in the “DETOX-Clean it up!” project along with artists, curators and thinkers who have engaged with related projects.

About the project:
For the past three years, Rejmyre Art Lab's Center for Peripheral Studies has been working on the artistic research project DETOX - Clean it up! Together with a group of Swedish and Nordic artists, we have been conducting an investigation of the contaminated land underneath our feet in Rejmyre. We began by negotiating our position, as official members of the local government's working group charged with studying, developing and executing a plan to 'clean up' this contaminated site.

The soil around the glass factory contains pockets of concentrated lead, cadmium and arsenic, by-products of the 200-year-old glass industry in Rejmyre, that are now recognized as toxic materials. The local government inherited the land from the glassworks in 2015, in one of the multiple factory bankruptcy proceedings. In the process, the waste from the historic production processes transferred from the owners of the business to become a public responsibility. We are now the owners of a major environmental problem that the regional government has deemed so toxic that it must be ‘cleaned up’.


Part 1: DETOX- Clean it Up!

13.00-13.15 introduction to the Detox:Clean it up! project by Rejmyre Art Lab’s Center for Peripheral Studies research director Daniel Peltz

13.15 - 13.30 Cecilia Jonsson (NL/SE), artist, presents her work "The forbidden garden" conducted in Rejmyre 2019-2020

13.30-13.45 Frida Hållander (SE), has a PhD from Konstfack and HDK, presents her work "Fabrikens lunga" conducted in Rejmyre 2018-2019.

13.45-14.00 Daniel Peltz (SE/US), artist and Professor of Site and Situation Specific Practices, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, presents his work "A refuge in Rejmyre”.

14.10-14.25 HarrieLiveart (FI), artist duo Meri Linna & Saija Kassinen, presents their work “Psyche of the land” conducted in Rejmyre 2018-2019

14.25 - 14.40 Sissi Westerberg, Senior Lecturer at Konstfack, artist and co-founder of Rejmyre Art Lab gives a brief overview of the participants and projects from the three-year exploration.

14.40-15.10 Break-out groups / discussion

Part 2: Exploring kinships

15.15-15.35 Vytautas Michelkevicius, curator, Associate Professor of Photography and Media Art at the Vilnius Academy of the Arts and former artistic director of Nida Art Colony discuss Nida’s work in relation to Detox:Clean it up!

15.35-15.55 Per Nilsson, Archaeologist and researcher at Östergötland Museum discusses waste as cultural resource

16.00-16.20 Caroline Mårtensson, environmental artist discusses her practice

Part 3 : Closing the space

16.20-16.45 Taru Elfving, curator and writer, artistic director CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago, Research affiliate Visual Cultures Goldsmiths University of London, respondent


"One of the propositions of artistic research is a repositioning of the artists’ role in society, as one who, through the making of artworks, engenders a process of public reflection and the consideration of contemporary complexities. The core work of this project is to think the act of 'cleaning up.' We began from an interest in the relationship between this project, i.e. the local government being called on to clean up the toxic waste behind the factory after the company has abandoned the site, and the ways artists and artworks are often called on to 'clean up’ in the wake of destructive capitalist endeavors.

If the directionality of this instrumentalized understanding of art’s work is ‘up’, what might it be to respond to the call to: clean it sideways? We approach what has been deemed ‘waste’ as ‘valuable material’, engaging ourselves as artists in the clean-up process allows us to tap into this latent socio-poetic value. In order to ‘clean it sideways’, we need to account for the potential of this waste, as a resource that allows us to consider who we were, who we are and who we might be becoming."

– Daniel Peltz, research leader Rejmyre Art Lab’s Center for Peripheral Studies

Sissi 0709720306

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