e-flux presents Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory
Ernst Karel, Toby Lee, and Pawel Wojtasik, Single Stream | Part Four – Reading the Earth
Sunday, September 27—Saturday, October 10, 2020

Ernst Karel, Toby Lee, and Pawel Wojtasik, Single Stream (still), 2014.

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of Ernst Karel, Toby Lee, and Pawel Wojtasik's Single Stream (2014), on view from Sunday, September 27 through Saturday, October 10, 2020.

Single Stream takes a close look at the problem of waste, through a visual and sonic exploration of a recycling facility. The title refers to the “single stream” method of recycling in which all types of recyclables are initially gathered together, then later sorted at a specialized facility. With Single Stream, viewers enter one of the largest of these materials-recovery facilities in the US. Blurring the line between observation and abstraction, Single Stream is a meditation on our society’s culture of excess and its consequences.

Single Stream is presented here as one of five films in Part Four | Reading the Earth: Vibrant Matter and Human Hubris, the fourth of six programs in the online film and discussion series Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory programmed by Lukas Brasiskis for e-flux Video & Film.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. The films in Part Four will screen for two weeks, and subsequent parts will follow bi-weekly, with new films screened every other Sunday. 

Ernst Karel works with sound, including electroacoustic music and experimental nonfiction sound, with an emphasis on performance and observational cinema. His recent solo projects are edited/composed using unprocessed location recordings; in performance he sometimes combines these with analog electronics to create pieces which move between the abstract and the documentary. Recent sound projections have been presented at Sonic Acts, Amsterdam; Oboro, Montreal; EMPAC, Troy NY; Arsenal, Berlin; and the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York. His sound installations in collaboration with Helen Mirra have been exhibited at the Gardner Museum, Boston; Culturgest, Lisbon; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Audiorama, Stockholm; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; and in the 2012 Sao Paulo Bienal. His audio-video collaborations include Expedition Content (2020, with Veronika Kusumaryati), Ah humanity! (2015, with Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel) and Single Stream (2014, with Toby Lee and Pawel Wojtasik). From 2006 until 2017 he managed the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, doing postproduction sound for films including The Iron MinistryManakamana, and Leviathan. He developed and has taught a practice-based course in sonic/audio ethnography both at Harvard and through the Center for Experimental Ethnography, University of Pennsylvania.

Toby Lee is an artist, anthropologist, and Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She works across film, video, drawing, and text, and her work has been been exhibited at the Locarno Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Museum of the Moving Image (NY), and the 2014 Whitney Biennial (NY). Her research interests include visual and media anthropology, the anthropology of cultural institutions, cultural citizenship, expanded documentary, and cultures of surveillance and documentation. She is currently writing a book on the politics of cultural production in contemporary Greece. She has a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies from Harvard University, where she was a member of the Sensory Ethnography Lab. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Dan David Foundation, the Film Study Center at Harvard University, the Flaherty Film Seminar, and the New York State Council on the Arts. From 2012 to 2014, she was the Director of the Collaborative Studio program at UnionDocs: Center for Documentary Art in Brooklyn, NY.

Paweł Wojtasik creates poetic reflections on cultures and ecosystems in his films and large-scale installations. His investigations into the overlooked corners of the environment have led him to pig farms, sewage treatment plants, wrecking yards, autopsy rooms and cremation sites. Wojtasik received his MFA from Yale University. From 1998 until 2000 he was a resident at Dai Bosatsu Zendo Buddhist monastery. His work has been shown at festivals such as Berlinale, New York Film Festival, and Hong Kong International Film Festival where his film Pigs won the Grand Prize in the short film category in 2011. Wojtasik was a featured filmmaker in the 2009 Flaherty Film Seminar. His installation work includes the immersive 360° Below Sea level, about post-Katrina New Orleans, exhibited at MASS MoCA and included in Prospect.2 Biennial; as well as Single Stream, shown at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. The cinema version of Single Stream was presented at the 2014 Whitney Biennial and at Ann Arbor Film Festival. His first feature film End of Life (co-directed with John Bruce) premiered at DocLisboa in 2017 and had its US premiere at the 2018 New York Film Festival. Paweł's most recent feature film Every Pulse of the Heart Is Work, shot in Benares and Kerala, India, will have its NYC premiere at The Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of Doc Fortnight 2020.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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