Organized by Rachael Rakes and Jason Eppink, Associate Curator of Digital Media
SINGLE STREAM (2013), by Paweł Wojtasik, Toby Lee, and Ernst Karel, explores a materials recovery facility in Charlestown, Massachusetts where hundreds of tons of refuse are sorted and processed daily for recycling. Blurring the line between observation and abstraction, SINGLE STREAM plunges the viewer into the steady flow of the plant, capturing the complex and fascinating processes devised to treat the enormous amount of waste Americans produce every day. As it moves among criss-crossing conveyor belts, industrial paper shredders, and glass-smashing drums, SINGLE STREAM examines the significant material consequences of our society’s culture of excess.
About the artists:
Brooklyn-based filmmaker and video artist Paweł Wojtasik (b. 1952 Łódź, Poland) creates poetic reflections on cultures and ecosystems in the form of short video works and large-scale installations. His investigations into the overlooked corners of the environment have led him to pig farms, sewage treatment plants, and wrecking yards. His current project documents workers in Varanasi, India.
Brooklyn-based artist and anthropologist Toby Lee (b. 1980, Los Angeles) works across video, performance, installation, and drawing. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Film and Visual Studies from Harvard University and currently serves as the Director of the Collaborative Studio program at UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, NY.
Cambridge-based Ernst Karel (b. 1970, Palo Alto) works between experimental nonfiction sound and electroacoustic music. He composes and performs with location recordings and/or analog electronics, often for multichannel environments. Karel teaches a course in Sonic Ethnography in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University.