“The Grind” follows the everyday workings of a recycling plant in a series of video loops, documenting delivery, sorting, and shredding of discarded things. As the camera follows continuous flow and breaking down of objects into materials, the repetition is punctuated by unexpected bursts of colorful dust, an occasional runaway office chair, or a household object stuck in the teeth of an excavator. Human presence is only gleaned through visual cues: time punch cards, key chains, small graffiti on the sorting line.
Slowly, the crushing sound lets in hissing and whizzing of the walkie-talkies, and with them, truncated conversations, questions, and indecipherable messages. Just like the physical matter, the language is chopped up, shredded, and processed. But, woven in between is a narrative of anecdotal stories about unexpected finds, surprising discoveries, and disturbing suspicions. Slowly, the narration uncovers a deeply hidden desire to find meaning in the everyday grind, and, if lucky, the purpose of life.