Single Stream

  • United States
Audio Tracks

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.


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  • Original Title
    Single Stream
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Paweł Wojtasik, Toby Lee, Sergei Franklin
  • Music
    Ernst Karel
  • Sound
    Ernst Karel
  • Runtime
    23 min (16-30 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • BAFICI, Apr 2015
    • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Mar 2015
    • MassArt Film Society, Mar 2015
    • Tracing Waste, Princeton University School of Architecture, Feb-Mar 2015
    • Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, Feb 2015
    • International Environmental Film Festival (FIFE), Paris, Feb 2015
    • First Look, Museum of the Moving Image, NYC, Jan 2015
    • Unknown Pleasures: American Independent Film Festival, Berlin, Jan 2015
    • Filmmaker Festival, Milan, Dec 2014
    • Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennial, Dec 2014
    • Les Rencontres Internationales, Paris, Dec 2014
    • Bucknell University, Nov 2014
    • RIDM (Montreal International Documentary Festival), Nov 2014
    • CPH:DOX, Nov 2014
    • Artisterium, Tbilisi, Nov 2014
    • FICValdivia, Oct 2014
    • Film Festival Locarno, Aug 2014
    • Traverse City Film Festival, July 2014
    • Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 2014
    • Whitney Biennial, March 2014


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