In November 2010 I was invited as an artist-in-residence to Buenos Aires for 2 months to produce "Buenos Aires Recyclers". My studio was in San Telmo, the oldest barrio of the city, famous for its colonial buildings and its lively neighborhood. I walked for hours through all the different parts of the city in order to collect waste, sounds and photo-series. Back in my atelier I animated the film.

Tango can be heard everywhere in Buenos Aires and is the main tourist attraction. The song in the first scene was recorded in La Bocca at an outdoor tango festival. Two women were dancing together. Some men were shocked by that. “Falta un hombre”, one was shouting. The song is interrupted by screaming football fans, driving-by, on the way to Bocca stadium. To sum it up: this scene is about tango, sex and football.

Every Sunday the streets of San Telmo turn into a market-place, full of stalls, tango-shows, street-musicians and of course: tourists. On the sidewalk an old lady was sitting and knocking against lids of spray-cans with a stick. "Show me the money, no money, no photo no music!”, she cried. I created the "money-showing-creature".

Buenos Aires has a huge variety of alarm sounds, different ones for cars, houses and parking houses. I designed a face that constantly changes its appearance according to the different alarm sounds.

Drums are popular instruments in Argentina, played at demonstrations and celebrations. Once a group of drummers played in the streets of San Telmo and everybody around freaked out dancing. This inspired me to a maniac, dancing trash-creature. 

Metal pieces, shaped like an "E", are components of the lamps that the Cartoneros collect in order to obtain the cooper inside. This "E" shaped piece of metal is worthless, so they throw it away again. In Buenos Aires no recycling system exists and homeless people make their living searching the litter in the streets for valuable materials, like carton and cooper.

The transforming creature in this scene should describe my experience in Buenos Aires. The first days of my stay I was very curious and impressed by this amazing, sunny city. 

After a while I got more and more disturbed by the terrible traffic noise around me.

My aggression increased...

... until finally the noise around me didn`t bother me any more.
Buenos Aires is the second loudest city in the world, beside New York. The collectivos are run by private companies and drive day and night in very short intervals. Nearly every corner of BsAs can be reached and the fare is fairly cheap. The streets are mostly packed with these extremely noisy bastards. Only on weekends they don't drive as regularly and there is a chance of silence for a while. During one of these breaks I had the chance to record the sound of a horse-carriage riding through San Telmo. This sound is used for the “in-between” before the next scene.


The piano song in the last scene is played by Jorge Lopez and Domingo Agnese who I met in BsAs. I sat on the roof and enjoyed the sunset and secretly recorded their song, when they were practicing.  
This was the most disgusting thing I animated:

But luckily it was dead, it only moved by animation!

Animation · 6:10 min · Stereo · 16:9 HD/digiBeta
Direction | Animation | Sound: Nikki Schuster
Mixing: Sebastian Müller
Financing: Land OÖ & own resources
© Nikki Schuster, ARG/DE/AT 2011

Buenos Aires - tango, ear-splitting traffic noise and a treasure trove for litter. „Buenos Aires Recyclers“ portraits the cultural, social and urban fabrics of this city by means of experimental animation. The viewer is guided to urban hideouts where little creatures dwell. These are digitally composed with collected trash and typical local products. The clatter of the limbs of these creatures interacts with the soundscapes of Buenos Aires.

sixpackfilm, Vienna (www.sixpackfilm.com)

I have presented the "Recyclers" project at Inspiration Fest 2010 in Buenos Aires and in the gallery La Guarda in Salta. The response was great, people even recognized their argentinian waste!

2011 Balkanima Belgrad (RS)
2011 Carton Int. Animation Festival Buenos Aires (ARG)
2011 Istanbul Animation Festival (TR)
2011 ASIFA Austria Animationsfilmfestival Wien (AT)
2012 Transmediale Berlin (DE)
2012 Tricky Woman, Vienna (Austria)
2012 Vilnius Film Shorts (LT)
2012 Lakino Berlin (DE)
2012 Cutout Festival (MEX)
2012 Cinekid Amsterdam (NL)
2012 Latin American Film Festival Utrecht (NL)
2012 Alucine Festival Toronto (CAN)
2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL)
2013 Dallas Video Filmfestival