The Other Weaving Mill / Dreamfactory

The Other Weaving Mill / Dreamfactory

Det Andra Väveriet / The Other Weaving Mill

This seminar invites a broad range of artistic practitioners for a temporary grouping, to ask questions concerning the history of, and contemporary conditions of textile production, and the possibilities of a postindustrial, self sufficient production of textile materials and goods. It takes place in a rural village of the Swedish textile region centered around the city of Borås. Uddebo is populated by approximately 300 people, of which about half are down-shifters, creatives and utopians engaged with forming more sustainable culture. Many activities are built on individual, voluntary efforts in self-organised initiatives towards finding service solutions, such as a carpool, a toolpool, collective farming, maintaining cultural centers and so on and so on. One of these projects is the freeshop in Gula Huset that overflows with submitted clothes. As much as we love our freeshop, the mere fact that we have one is witness to an overproduced and undervalued commodity.

Sjuhärad is the area that has been the textile region of Sweden since the earlier stages of the industrial revolution. Most of the industries have left the region. The weaving mill in Uddebo, Väveriet i Uddebo AB, was bought by an investor who lowered the quality to make more profit; which led to it losing commissions and customers and to its eventual closing in 2012.

The general development has meant a resource shift to and concentration in the city and The Swedish School of Textiles, at University of Borås, which focuses on design, technological innovation and smart textiles. This gathering wants to raise other perspectives on development within textile production.

The program of the seminar directs attention towards issues of productionist and consumerist society; and makes visible research and methods of artistic processes that touch upon social and political aspects of the textile field.

Through presentations, discussions and a workshop called Drömfabriken (the Dreamfactory), the seminar aims to share efforts and knowledges with cross-disciplinary approaches through a range of different art practices. The seminars starting point is to articulate perspectives and stories that could help us to think about a more inclusive, kinder reality for textile labor and production.

Drömfabriken is a collective space of experimentation. Its main objective is to produce fantasies about the form in which textile production could recommence in the local context of the community.

The seminar and workshop will be documented and its outcome will be spread via different media, amongst others a booklet and a website that collects works and references, facilitating a continuing of dialogue.
The entire event is for invited participants and the local community and anyone else who is interested. The event is open to the public. Warmly welcome to The Other Weaving Mill!



Drömfabriken / The Dreamfactory

The idea of this workshop has its roots in a letter I wrote to my father after his death in 2004. He had been an agitating industrial welder at Bahco in Enköping during the big wildcat strikes of the 1970s, struggling all his life. I was contemplating how people reach the same heavenly place post mortem, as they have idealised and strived for during life. I imagined how he would now be sitting in a factory of his liking, talking crap and using snus all day, eternally winning the struggle, instead of being fired and blacklisted due to agitation.

The vision of the Dreamfactory sprang from a waking dream I had a few years ago, after I had just moved to Uddebo. The creative, crafty members of the village ran a self-organized workplace in the closed down Weaving Mill of Uddebo, with stations based on their talents and interests. Where a material would wander from station to station and transform. Each station would put their autonomous influence into it. I imagined throwing colour bombs on hundreds of square meters of cloth. This was the desire of my daydream, an emancipated fordist assembly line. I think this waking dream symbolizes a longing for being part of something meaningful, a movement.

Many of the great demands of feminist-, social- and workers- movements have been fought for but still not realized in the world; is there a way to navigate, to know what to demand today? There can be demands on ourselves, on eachother or the world. There can be impossible demands.

Now I have invited you to Drömfabriken. It is a context. Whoever is working here fills it with content and with meaning. This space will serve to practice, reflect or transform what has been surfacing during the seminar Det Andra Väveriet (The Other Weaving Mill).

The joining in at the factory consists of each person claiming their own temporary, autonomous space, their own task or role built upon the internal picture of their dreamfactory. The imperative is to do what you would like to do. You imagine this factory in any way you want, any preference, any conditions and working conditions you can imagine are encouraged.

I offer a simple set of direct democratic tools for dialog and a search for consensus. Each participant has the possibility to call a general assembly; in the middle of the room a space is determined for gathering to present, discuss or reflect on individual matters and visions and perspectives of what is relevant and what the aims of the factory are, addressing them in the collective circle. We try to escape the world of fragmentation and competition for a moment, forget the conditions of the productionist frameworks. Loosely inspired by Andre Gorz among others, I suggest considering the factory something of a holy/wholly (etymologically related) meetingplace, instead of merely efficiently goal-oriented. Could Drömfabriken be a space of constantly learning new skills, methods and meanings, continuously setting new meaningful goals?

Main Partner: Future Utopia Community Key, non-profit organisation


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