Monday, March 2, 2015

3/04 Single Stream & Other Aural Affairs - Ernst Karel in-person

Ernst Karel makes experimental nonfiction sound works and electroacoustic music.  His recent projects are edited/composed using unprocessed location recordings; in performance he sometimes combines location recordings with analog electronics to create pieces which move between the abstract and the documentary. Recent nonfiction vilms on which he has done sound work include Detour de Force, The Iron Ministry, Manakamana, and Leviathan.  He  is a Lecturer in the Anthropology Department where he teaches a production course in sonic ethnography, as well as managing the Sensory Ethnography Lab and the Film Study Center at Harvard University. Karel's work has been exhibited in the 2012 São Paulo Biennial, MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Morning and Other Times (2014) 37 minutes
by Ernst Karel
is a 5.1-channel sound composition which was recorded over the course of a month in early 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The piece takes as its starting point the voices of nonhuman participants in the urban environment, shortly before the Thai military coup of May 2014. 

Single Stream (2014) 23 minutes
by Pawel Wojtasik, Toby Kim Lee, and Ernst Karel

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, and sorted later at a specialized facility. With Single Stream, viewers enter one of the largest of these materials recovery facilities in the US. Inside a cavernous building, a vast machine complex runs like clock-work, sorting a steady stream of glass, metal, paper and plastic carried on conveyor belts criss-crossing the space, dotted with workers in neon vests. The interwoven movements of human and machine produce sounds and images that are overwhelming, but also beautiful, and even revelatory. Blurring the line between observation and abstraction, Single Stream is a meditation on our society's culture of excess and its consequences.

Installation version (50' x 8' image, four horizontal audio channels, 2013): Museum of the Moving Image, July-Nov. 2013

Cinematic version (4K CinemaScope, 5.1 surround sound, 2014):
2014 Whitney Biennial
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Festival del film Locarno
Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia

Paweł Wojtasik creates poetic reflections on cultures and ecosystems in the form of short 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 and autopsy rooms. His work has shown in venues such as PS1/MoMA, Reina Sofia Museum, Berlinale and New York Film Festival.

Toby Lee is an artist and scholar based in New York, working across video, installation, drawing and text. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies from Harvard University, and she is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.