Peggy Ahwesh

April 1997

Strange Weather. This Side of Nowhere. Peggy Ahwesh i Margie Strosser. USA, 1993, 54'.

Under the title Low Tech we present Peggy Ahwesh´s Strange Weather, a video with an essential place in reference to "low technology". This piece helps us break through the cliche which always associates "low tech" with low budget, short length, slight production, spontaneity, etc., so that we may begin to consider domestic technology through its own language, its references and meanings, which make it compatible with complexity.

In general, domestic technology nowadays is more an aesthetic choice, or an explicit rejection of high technology --as a reaction to the often simplistic fascination it provokes--than a circumstance imposed by a lack of means. In the case of Strange Weather, the use of Pixelvision, a format developed by Fisher-Price Corporation in video cameras for children, allows us to question even more the fiction or reality of the images it contains. The portrait of four drug addicts inside a house in Florida watching the news of the arrival of the strongest hurricane in recent years is filmed entirely with this camera, which would hardly be used in a documentary. In this case it also situates the camera operator so close to the protagonists that it doesn´t seem to be filmed by an outsider.

Strange Weather offers up preconceived notions about drugs and media imagery. If you think the image represent a fiction you won´t worry about how the filmmaker uses the so-called “victims,” or what their lives are like. If, on the other hand, the images aren´t fictitious, they will provoke feelings and position taking. The decision to fictionalize a story (based on the experiences of the sister of the co-author of the piece, Margie Strossner) in video format, lets us continue to reflect on the “truth” of our images, which is as much as saying our landscape, one of the most interesting debates we can attend nowadays.

  • Low Tech : Strange Weather