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


On a mild day, in early spring, in the year 2000, a group of people gather on the still frozen Lake Hunn, just a few kilometers east of the Reijmyre Glasbruk in Östergötland, Sweden. The Reijmyre Glasbruk first opened its doors in 1810 and is one of the few remaining sites of refuge for Swedish glass production. The assembled group cuts a hole in the ice, slips into the water and pulls out a series of artifacts buried in the silty bottom of the lake. These included glass products, produced at some uncertain period in the factory’s history, and pieces of a linbanevagn [cable car cart]. The linbana was an early transport system that connected the glass factory town of Rejmyre, located deep in the forest that fueled its furnaces, to the railway station in Simonstorp. At some point in time, this cart went astray and jumped off its rail, falling to the bottom of the lake with its cargo. Recognizing the historic importance of this event, the members of the Rejmyre Historical Society make a short video documenting the proceedings and display the objects they find, and the video they make, in a glass case in the Rejmyre Historical Museum.

On an unusually cold summer day, the American artist Daniel Peltz goes to work at the Reijmyre Glasbruk. he is there as part of a guest-worker program, of his own design, aimed at enlisting a group of artists in ‘thinking labor’ inside the Reijmyre Glass factory, under a particular set of conditions, by making ‘products of and about labor’. In the afternoon, with the assistance of two of the glass workers in the factory, he makes a new product: Any Thing.

The Any Thing, made of glass plates, a steel frame and a clear vinyl recording, finds its way into a display case in the Rejmyre Historical Museum that houses the glass and metal objects discovered during the earlier excavation of the Hunn. After a few months in this state, Peltz takes the Any Thing back to the site on the Hunn, where the other objects in the case had been found, and slips it back into history.

On a mild day in early spring in the year 2017, a group of people gather on the still frozen Lake Hunn outside of Rejmyre, Sweden. They cut a hole in the ice, enter the water and pull out a series of artifacts buried in the silty bottom. One of them is the Any Thing, ready to be opened and played. Over the surface of Lake Hunn, to the forest beyond, the Any Thing releases its sounds [extracted from an eco-tourism video posted to Youtube] of a small herd of now unemployed logging elephants laboring in the teak forests of Burma. This acoustic call launches the next stage in Peltz' research, a plan to bring a small herd of these unemployed logging elephants from Myanmar to Rejmyre, to think, to imagine and to build a refuge for them in this site of historic refuge.

Peltz offers this performance as a presentation of over a decade of research in Rejmyre, as a way to think the space between a struggling Swedish glass factory/craft tourism site, the small factory town surrounding it that is coming to terms with its new status as a refuge for newly arrived immigrants, his own immigration to the site and the forest and lakes that surround them all.