Peggy Ahwesh and Margie Strosser, Strange Weather, 1993 (still)
In this lecture and screening, artist Peggy Ahwesh will discuss the technology and aesthetics of PixelVision, a black-and-white video camera that recorded and played images and sound on audiocassette tape. This inexpensive format arrived in the guise of a children’s toy when Fisher-Price introduced the PXL 2000 camera in 1987. It was a commercial failure, but by the early 1990s, a number of artists began to experiment with PixelVision, exploiting its lo-fi images and intimate scale. Ahwesh’s talk will survey some of these projects, including Strange Weather, her own feature-length film in PixelVision made in 1993.
Strange Weather (Peggy Ahwesh, Margie Strosser, 1993) follows a group of crack addicts at home in Florida, while a storm brews outside. Through Ahwesh’s camera work, PixelVision’s gritty close-ups give an intimate and unnerving view of addiction and intoxication that troubles the conventional separation between documentary and fiction.
Peggy Ahwesh is an artist who works in the fields of experimental film and video. Using a range of approaches, her work elaborates on the aesthetics of 1960s and ’70s American avant-garde film with an investigation of cultural identity and modes of subjectivity in the present. Her work has been shown widely, including at the Filmmuseum, Frankfurt, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Museu d’Art Contemporani Barcelona (MACBA), the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among other venues. She is Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at Bard College.