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Daniel Peltz - Work Samples

selected works
daniel peltz


a refuge in Rejmyre
2017-present

Seeking an Any Thing from an uncertain time in the ruins of Rejmyre's future
2015-17

performing labour

2015-17

when we dig, things come up
2013-15

Unrealized Gain/Loss
2012

Crossing Non-signalized Locations
2010

Participatory Democracy and the Future of Karaoke
2008

Setsuko Seiji and Hitoshi in Obama, Japan as Obama in Indiana
2008

Tourist Information /
A pilgrim in Rejmyre

2007-10

cameraless videos
2007

Beepez-le
2006

Call and Response
2005-08


bio / contact
















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in the ruins of Rejmyre’s future
performance lecture
Färgfabriken 2017 & Norrköping Konstmuseum 2018

This hour-long performance was first presented in October 2017 at Färgfabriken in Stockholm, Sweden and subsequently at the Norrköping Konstmuseum in April 2018, as part of the opening of Peltz' exhibition coming out of his multi-year, artistic research project Performing Labour. The work is developed and performed with the Romanian performance philosopher and theatre scholar Ioana Jucan, who has written extensively on Peltz' work. Together they experiment at the intersection of live-feed video performance, exhibition, lecture and participatory theatre. The content of the performance lecture mines and extends the objects and videos Peltz is exhibiting in both spaces, including a 100:1 scale model, for a refuge in the glass factory-town of Rejmyre, Sweden for unemployed logging elephants from Myanmar [pictured in the images above] and artifacts from a re-enactment of an historic ice dive to recover an object called Any Thing from the Hunn Lake nearby the glass factory. A refuge in Rejmyre and Seeking an Any Thing from an uncertain time in the ruins of Rejmyre's future, explore a set of overlapping interests in factory towns and the construction of rural publics, the act of giving and taking refuge and experimenting with alternative states of consciousness within which we conduct, analyze and think the act of artistic research that have been central preoccupations in Peltz' recent work.

link to a video document of the performance at Färgfabriken designed to accompany an installation of artifacts from two of Peltz' public projects, Performing Labor [2015-17] and When we dig things come up [2013-15]

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Seeking an Any Thing from an uncertain time in the ruins of Rejmyre's future
2017, Rejmyre, Sweden

During a residency period in the Rejmyre Glass Factory in Östergotland, Sweden, Peltz created an object called Any Thing and inserted it into the historical record of the factory and the region. He began the process by dropping the Any Thing into the Hunn lake, at the site of an ice diving excavation conducted by the Rejmyre Historical Society in 2000 that uncovered elements of an historic cable car system that ran through the forest from the glass factory to the nearest railway station. Peltz then waited for the lake to freeze and staged a re-enactment of this earlier ice dive, along with local divers and the members of the historical society, in which they found the Any Thing at this historic site. The project involved an orchestration of divers, members of the historical society, local audiences and media. It cast members of the historical society (who were involved in the first dive) in performing as themselves, within an altered context. The performance was embedded in local news coverage as a story of an archaeological winter expedition.

The Any Thing [full title: Any Thing, made to be lost, and perhaps later found, perhaps in early spring, perhaps when the ice is still thick and clear] is a glass and metal object produced in the Rejmyre Glass factory as part of a guest worker program, of Peltz' design, aimed at experimenting with a model of artistic research through the making of a conceptual product line of and about labour. The Any Thing was his contribution to this product line and contains a clear vinyl recording extracted from a youtube video. The performance engages with two videos: one produced by a couple, on their honeymoon in Myanmar, visiting a group of soon to be unemployed teak logging elephants, and the other produced by the historical society in Rejmyre and exhibited in the Rejmyre Historical Museum, that documents the 2000 ice dive. The Any Thing constitutes an attempt to bring these two complex sites, engaged with moments of labor transformation, into dialogue across temporal and geographic divides.

read more and view video document

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Performing Labour
2016-18, Rejmyre, Sweden

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 and being paid the same wages as the other workers. The task I have given us 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.]. Ten artist colleagues join me in performing this role, resulting in a ‘product catalogue’ that is added to the other product catalogues on the factory break table.

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 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 complexity of the evolving roles of the contemporary labourer.

an interview discussing the project published in Watching Making edited by Stephen Knott


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when we dig, things come up
2013-15
Tom Price, Western Australia

Commissioned by Spaced for their 2015 biennial, Future Recall, this project emanates from a two-year investigation of the iron-ore mining, company-town of Tom Price in Western Australia. The project began from a sense that my role, as an American artist-in-residence, in a Western Australian town founded on American ambition and greed, was something of a re-enactment. In response to this situation, I developed a writing/mining practice to parallel the other resource extraction activities conducted in the region. This involved mining a series of narrative fragments, from and about “Tom Price”: the U.S. businessman, the former mountain and the present day purpose-built mining town and open-pit, iron-ore mine. I extracted material everywhere I went, in conversations, workshops, solitary walks, meditations and dreams. I then graded the fragments, applying the same minimum quality standards used in the mining industry [65% purity] to the narrative fragments I extracted. The selected, graded fragments of text were then shipped to a Chinese opera company and a landscape painter, following the same trade routes as the iron-ore. These skilled artists refined the narrative fragments and sent back a Peking Opera, for public exhibition in the town of Tom Price, and a series of Chinese landscape paintings, for display in the Western Australia Museum.

video sample from the opera: The Journey of Mount Nameless
Artlink article discussing the project


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Unrealized Gain/Loss

ritual objects, performance and workshop

Unrealized Gain/Loss emerged in the wake of the 2008 global market collapse. I was interested in this moment of narrative rupture, in the ideology of global markets, and specifically in market-driven pension schemes, which suture one's financial future to a set of investments in the unseen world equity markets. The title of the work comes from a term in the financial services industry, it is a way of understanding the value of financial assets, which we have not yet sold, if one were to sell them "now". It is an imagined value as the "now" it refers to is always already in the past. I was interested in what kinds of narrative openings were created by this moment of narrative rupture.

From the residency hosting me in Indonesia, I set about to explore my own faith in relation to the market. I found myself studying Balinese Hindu offering practices in a culture that was largely dedicated to insuring well being in the afterlife. What would it take to insure my well being in the after-work life? The batik sarongs, in the image above, were produced through a series of intensive engagements with my employer-sponsored pension plan. Composed of a symbolic system derived from charts documenting the performance of my assets and allocations, each motif that makes up these cloths is a modification of an existing one in Indonesian batik design. The sarong pair was accompanied by a set of unrealized gain/loss vessels for use in the making of after-work life offerings.

Upon my return to the U.S., the methods of connecting with my retirement portfolio I'd worked with in Indonesia led to the development of a series of human resources workshops for investment professionals. I visited a well known U.S. financial services provider and brought "my wealth". I came to our follow-up meeting, in which they presented their wealth management plan, with a counter proposal in the form of a human resources workshop for their wealth management advisors. The staff agreed to my counter proposal and I started to work with the ethnomusicologist Asha Tamarisa to develop a workshop using percussive techniques and a customized stock ticker to facilitate a process whereby financial advisors connect to their own bodily experiences of gain and loss. The workshops were offered at four financial service providers throughout New England. Each workshop session was documented by the in-house video recording systems, used to insure the company is training their employees to comply with all necessary financial regulatory changes, installed in the conference rooms.

peltz

a client of the firm

video artifact from the human resources workshops
interview discussing the project



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Crossing Non-signalized Locations

public intervention

Commissioned by the Cambridge Arts Council, this project explores what Peltz refers to as the latent poetics of the Cambridge Parking and Transportation Code. It began from an engagement with the co-habitation of the offices of the Arts Council and the Parking and Transportation Division, who share a building in central Cambridge. Peltz proposed the creation of an official artist-in-residence position within the Parking and Transportation Department and stipulated that all the works he produced would take the form of parking regulations and be passed officially through the local government prior to implementation. The support of the commissioner of the Department of Traffic and Transportation and her staff allowed this to happen. He began work on a series of parking regulations, that appropriated the language and forms of parking control, signage and enforcement, reflecting on the structure and contents of encounters between the public and those charged with enforcing this particular form of state authority/public choreography. The new regulations were officially implemented by the city, at the approval of the City Manager, from September-November 2010. 

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Participatory Democracy and the Future of Karaoke

public intervention

Commissioned on the occasion of the 2008 Democratic National Convention [DNC], as part of the curatorial project Dialog:City, this large-scale public project examined the situation of Denver residents at the time of the DNC. The people of Denver played host to an international media event but had the same access to it that anyone in the world would, through television broadcasts coming from the restricted-access convention center. Through the development of a series of custom-designed karaoke speech tracks and the establishment of a network of Karaoke Convention Centers [repurposed karaoke bars where residents could re-speak the words of their would be leaders], the project aimed to create a vehicle through which the residents of Denver could interrupt the transnational flow of media, by passing it through their own bodies.

video artifact: Mayor John Hickenlooper in Denver as Barack Obama in South Carolina
NPR interview


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karaoke image karaoke image

Setsuko, Seiji and Hitoshi in Obama, Japan as Obama in Indiana
a companion video installation to the Karaoke Convention Campaign [see above]

As a companion to the public project in Denver [described above], I traveled to the Japanese town of Obama and met with a business association called the Obama for Obama Support Group. I offered them a custom-made karaoke version of Obama's Primary Speech in Indiana, translated into Japanese. Several of the members delivered this speech/performed the track on the top floor of a karaoke parlor in a hotel in the center of town.


video


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Beepez-le
public intervention

Conducted in the capital city of Yaounde,Cameroon, this project was created with the assistance of a purpose-built collective, The Society for Direct Communication with the Divine. Our work consisted of handmade street signs, in the chalk and luan style of local market signage, advertising a cellphone number for God and inviting people to "beep him." Beeping is a Cameroonian method of communication designed to bypass cell phone providers billing systems, using a sequence of missed calls to create a context sensitive code capable of a broad range of communications. We installed a video projector in downtown Yaoundé that was linked to God's cell phone via a live-feed camera. The members of the SDCD hosted debates nearby the installation, the video link below offers excerpts from some of their interviews with participants.

video

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Cameraless videos

performance / video installation

The Vasa Museum is one of the required sites on a tourist itinerary of Stockholm. It bills itself as the repository of "the world's only fully-restored 17th century ship" and "one of the foremost tourist sights in the world." The museum itself is built entirely around the form of the ship and consists of several tiers of balconies that divide the ship into thirds and move you around its exterior. The primary visitor's ritual at the Vasa Museum is to walk three circles around the Vasa and choose various views to photograph. This is done in the way most photography is conducted since the LCD replaced the viewfinder, by looking at an unrecorded video scan and choosing one moment from that live video to record. I was interested in using this site to explore the bodily performance of digital photography and the unrecorded video practice that accompanies it. I took the visitors themselves as my subjects.

These videos document a series of cameraless videos I created of visitors to the Vasa Museum - moving around them and looking at them as I would if I had a camera. The resultant videos were installed as alternative programming for surveillance monitors at museum security desks.

video


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Tourist Information

performance/video series

This multi-year project grew out of a residency in Rejmyre, Sweden in 2007, as part of the curatorial platform Rejmyre Matters. I've returned every year since and become co-director of a long-term, place-based research project in the town. Each year, I’ve created a new performance document or video work to be displayed in the Rejmyre Tourist Bureau. The videos are presented, like all the materials around them, as tourist information. I’m interested in exploring this genre: the works are the information of a tourist, information for tourists, touristed information, tourist information.



A pilgrim in Rejmyre
tourist information

In my fourth summer in Rejmyre, I find myself spending a lot of time on the computer. I retreat into tourist videos from India, shot by trekkers and uploaded to Youtube. I'm particularly drawn to the image, in the background of some of the videos, of an occasional prostrating pilgrim making his way, one body length at a time, along the same path as the tourist. I study their costume and practice their movements. Borrowing a leather apron from the blacksmith, I set out on my own prostration walk from our group studio to the only food and convenience store in Rejmyre. I'm interested in the embodied experience of mediating this ritualized, Buddhist practice of traveling to a sacred site, by transporting it to a cultural context in which its meaning is far less transparent. It is a mediation of a mediatized ritual, a remake of a genuine gesture, a genuine gesture.

video designed for the tourist information office
more on the Rejmyre residency

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Call and Response

video dialog

Call and Response was an international video dialog project initiated in 2005 by Peltz in an attempt to develop a practice-based response to YouTube and the logics of media making it normalized. The project involved creating a web-based video space that allowed for the visualization and tracking of how ideas are associated across and within cultures of media makers. That is to say, rather than focusing on media making as the creation of material that can be understood in isolation within a box, the project attempts to think 'media making' as the largely invisible practice of creating associations, intended and unintended, between and across existing media elements. Through this project Peltz and his collaborators were seeking to create a dialogic video space capable of simultaneously representing a multiplicity of perspectives and of exploring 'the fullness of dialogue', allowing for such maligned practices as miscomprehension, radical reinterpretation, loss, distrust and impossible desire.

Call and Response began in 2005 [the same year as YouTube was launched]. It took the form of a semester-long video dialog between two groups of media students, one at the Rhode Island School of Design in the U.S. and the other at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon. In 2007, Peltz and his collaborators further developed the project to include a custom-designed interface. It went on to include participants, educators and educational institutions in over a dozen countries, including Argentina, Cameroon, Finland, Jordan, Kenya, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, France and Haiti. It is shown, in the above images, as part of a workshop and installation at the Bildmuseet in Umeå. The project was part of an online laboratory for pedagogic experimentation and research into the possibilities of non-linear, networked video production developed and led by Daniel Peltz, Dennis Hlynsky and Chuan Khoo at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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bio

Daniel Peltz is an artist and international educator. Through public projects, performances and media installations, Peltz’ artworks explore complex social systems, attempting to provoke ruptures in the socio/cultural fabric through which new ways of being may emerge and be considered. To accomplish these goals, he uses a range of intervention, ethnographic and performance strategies. His projects often take the form of existing social systems to directly engage non-art audiences in the language of critical art practice.

Artifacts from Peltz’ public projects and performances have been exhibited in international solo and group exhibitions at institutions including Färgfabriken and Botkyrka Konsthall in Stockholm, the Cable Factory in Helsinki, Galleri F15 in Moss and the Norrköpings Konstmuseum. He has been a resident artist at Yaddo in the USA; Helsinki International Artist Program in Finland; International Artists Studio Program in Sweden; Artspace in Australia; Cemeti Art House in Indonesia; and Spaced in Western Australia.

Growing out of a 2007 artistic-research Fulbright term in Sweden, Peltz is also co-founder and research director of the artist-run, long-term, place-based research project Rejmyre Art Lab’s Centre for Peripheral Studies in Rejmyre, Sweden.