SINGLE STREAM is a large-scale video installation that takes a close and thoughtful look at the problem of waste. SINGLE STREAM will be installed in the lobby of the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY in the Spring of 2013. We've finished shooting, and now we’re asking for your help to get the project through post-production.
In spite of efforts to raise environmental awareness, we still produce a staggering amount of material waste - 460 BILLION POUNDS A YEAR in the US alone. But most of this trash remains hidden. As individuals and as a society, we go to great lengths to make sure that our waste stays out of sight.
SINGLE STREAM aims to shed light on this blind spot in our public consciousness through a meditative examination of waste. A visual and sonic exploration inside a recycling plant, SINGLE STREAM makes visible a part of our material existence - the after-life of our waste - that usually goes unseen.
We believe that the refuse we produce has a lot to teach us about ourselves and our society. This work will give viewers a chance to reflect on the sheer magnitude of waste that our society produces, the effort that goes into processing it, and our responsibility in this cycle.
The title SINGLE STREAM refers to the highly effective “single stream” method of recycling in which all types of recyclables are initially gathered together, and sorted later at a specialized materials recovery facility, or MRF. Over the past two decades, single-stream recycling has been revolutionary. Because residents, businesses and garbage collectors don’t have to worry about sorting ahead of time, more people recycle, more trash gets recycled, and the cost of recycling goes down.
Our video installation will take viewers inside the Casella single-stream facility in Charlestown, MA - the fourth largest single-stream MRF in the US. Inside a building the size of an airplane hangar, hundreds of tons of recycling are processed everyday in a vast machine complex that looks like something straight out of a modern-day Metropolis. Everything runs like clock-work, with a steady stream of glass, metal, paper and plastic carried on conveyor belts criss-crossing the space, passing through huge machines that sort and separate, and teams of workers in bright neon vests.
It’s a complex ballet of man, machine and movement, producing sounds and images that are overwhelming, but also unexpectedly beautiful, and even revelatory. In a space like this, we come face to face with our waste, its magnitude and its consequences.
This is the experience we aim to create with our 50x8ft video installation in the Museum of the Moving Image. We feel that the large scale of the projection aptly reflects the scale of the facility and, more importantly, the scale of the problem of waste.
We just finished shooting last week, and we couldn’t be more excited about our footage and sound! We were extremely fortunate to work with Emmy award-winning DP SERGEI FRANKLIN, whose work with artist Eve Sussman (89 Seconds at Alcazar, The Rape of the Sabine Women) we’ve always admired. Acclaimed sound artist ERNST KAREL was on the shoot recording sound, and he’ll create a multi-channel sonic environment for the installation. Ernst’s piece Materials Recovery Facility, recorded at the Casella facility in 2011, was the original inspiration for SINGLE STREAM.
We’ve managed to keep our total budget for the project at $15,000 for production and post - which includes shooting on a Red Epic, whose 5K image we needed for the unusual aspect ratio & projection scale, and a Steadicam which helped us navigate Casella’s narrow elevated walkways. Fresh off the shoot, we’re now beginning to edit, and we plan to complete post-production in time to open the installation at the Museum in Spring 2013, after which we hope the piece will have the opportunity to travel to other venues.
Now we’re turning to friends & supporters to help us get this independently-produced project through post (editing, color correction, sound mix and final formatting for the 5-projector installation). We’ve partnered up with friends, fellow artists & ecologically-minded companies, working hard to create a wide variety of unique incentives. Many are in the spirit of recycling, and all are fabulous - cool upcycled products, original artwork, memberships, classes, workshops, and more!
The problem of waste is more urgent now than ever. With SINGLE STREAM, we aim to bring a different kind of reflection and awareness to this pressing issue. Any contribution you can make will be crucial to the project and deeply appreciated!
Pawel, Toby, Ernst
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
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KICKSTARTER IS ALL-OR-NOTHING!
If our $9K goal is not met, your card will not be charged, pledge gifts will not be sent, and SINGLE STREAM will not receive any of the pledged donations.
There is NO LIMIT to how much we can raise on Kickstarter! $9K is just the minimum we need to complete the project and cover the costs of this Kickstarter campaign. Any additional funds raised on this site will go towards further development of the project, and paying back those who have already generously donated their time, energy, services and equipment to the project so far.
ABOUT THE TEAM
PAWEŁ WOJTASIK is a filmmaker and video artist based in Brooklyn, NY. His films and video installations are poetic reflections on our environment and culture. His work has been exhibited at numerous festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, MoMA PS1, MASS MoCA, Smack Mellon, and Carnegie Hall, among others. Wojtasik was a featured artist of the 2009 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar. He received an MFA from Yale University in 1996. From 1998 until 2000 Wojtasik was a resident at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Buddhist monastery. His work is represented by Video Data Bank.
TOBY LEE is an artist and anthropologist based in Brooklyn, NY. She works across video, performance, installation and book arts. She is completing a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies at Harvard University. Her dissertation, an ethnographic and historical study of the Thessaloniki Film Festival, examines how the relationship between public culture, its institutions and the state shapes notions of place and cultural citizenship. She is currently Collaborative Program Director at UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, NY.
ERNST KAREL works with analog electronics and with location recordings to create audio pieces that move between the abstract and the documentary. Karel’s audio work includes electroacoustic improvisation and composition; sonic ethnography; sound work for public radio and nonfiction film and video; solo and collaborative sound installations. Current music-sound collaborative projects include the long-running electroacoustic duo EKG and the New England Phonographers Union. Films for which Karel has edited and mixed sound include Sweetgrass (Barbash and Castaing-Taylor, 2009), Foreign Parts (Paravel and Sniadecki, 2010), and Leviathan (Castaing-Taylor and Paravel, 2012). Karel currently manages the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, where as Lecturer on Anthropology, he teaches a course in Sonic Ethnography.
Risks and challenges
The only challenge involved is that we have a lot of work ahead of us! Editing a piece for a 5-projector installation is tricky, but Paweł has a lot of experience creating complex, large-scale video installations (Below Sea Level, At the Still Point), and the Museum has a team of engineers to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Other than that, we already have our footage (some of which you saw in our video!) and our venue, so we just need to make it through post - with your help!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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