|PROGRAM 5 AN OCEANIC FEELING|
Direction: Peggy Ahwesh
"The Blackest Sea" takes Ahwesh’s longstanding interest in found footage into the age of the internet and the Anthropocene, transforming animated news clips produced by the Taiwanese company TomoNews into an eerie indictment of contemporary existence and, more particularly, the circulation and consumption of images of crisis. Accompanied by the melancholic grandeur of Ellis B. Kohs’s “Passacaglia for Organ and Strings,” images of oceanic emergency unfurl: water is contaminated, schools of fish float dead to the surface, and boats of migrants capsize at sea. Here, Ahwesh protests the airbrushing of reality, what she has called “the cutefication of our world.” Recognizable images of recent atrocities reappear as digital animations drained of specificity, as Ahwesh questions the easy digestibility of that which should sear our minds and stick in our throats.