HalfLifers: The Complete History, 1992 - 2010

HalfLifers

02:07:30

Collection: Single Artist Compilations

Tags: Body, Death and Dying, Food, Future, Humor, Media Analysis, Performance

HalfLifers: The Complete History, 1992 - 2010

HalfLifers is an ongoing collaborative project created by longtime friends and fellow media artists Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony M. Discenza. Embracing a gestural improvisation-based performance style and championing a rigorously low-fi aesthetic, HalfLifers engages a shifting region of speculative fictions, from play therapy and improvised crisis re-stagings to zombie architectural systems and psychic sandwich surgery.

This 2-disc compilation gathers together for the first time all of the HalfLifers single-channel work produced between 1992 and 2010, and features rarely-seen documentation of several large scale media installations. Also included are excerpts from early projects created prior to the official formation of the collaboration, along with the complete text of a 1999 Film Comment essay, "Quest for What: Jim Supanick Locates the HalfLifers in the Video Badlands."

HalfLifers projects have been presented at venues around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Pacific Film Archive; the New York Video Festival; the Chicago Underground Film Festival; Video_Dumbo; the Impakt Festival; the Stuttgart Filmwinter Festival for Expanded Media; EMAF; and many others. Their work was recently included in the book, Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the Bay Area, 1945 - 2000.

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Included Titles
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HalfLifers

Fear of Rescue

1997| 00:10:00

In this attempt to resolve the on-going crisis, Burns and Discenza find themselves in, variously, a childrens adventure playground, a garage and a yard. They utilize a mechanical digger to dig the…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor

Burns and Discenza continue to battle invisible forces with the use of various children’s toys, cars and a mechanical digger, a paddling pool, rubber rings and ladders. Eventually they escape the…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor, Performance

HalfLifers

Rescue Parables

1994| 00:04:30

Various scenarios are envisaged where a rescue might be possible. Props include a hoist, a trolley, various doors and windows, ladders and a length of hose. It is unclear whether our two heroes…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor, Performance

HalfLifers

Aquatics

1997| 00:06:30

Actions speed up, slow down, and run at regular speed. The usual props are there, as is a wet dog. Subtle nuances are revealed as the behavior of the anxiety-laden protagonists is rendered, for once…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Performance

HalfLifers

Actions in Action

1997| 00:10:30

This first work in the HalfLifers' Action Series plunges into a world of frantic heroes trapped in a continual crisis of dissolution and reification. An ordinary domestic setting is recast as a…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Expedition/Travel, Food, Future, Humor

HalfLifers

Control Corridor

1997| 00:11:00

In a fictional conduit space, language and function are recontextualized as the HalfLifers struggle to re-assess the nature of their mission while engaged in an eternal cycle of maintenance and…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor

I.S.L.A.N.D.S. #1: In Residence Dual trajectories through lush innerscapes propel us into color-saturated action-scenarios where the mission to re-establish identity and sustain communication…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor, Performance

HalfLifers

Homesteaders

1999| 00:16:00

A HalfLifers journey to a lush interior landscape where some domestic chores and an unexpected encounter provoke a crisis at Mission Control, paving the way for a seasonal reflection upon the meaning…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Family, Humor, Performance

HalfLifers

Mess Hall

1999| 00:10:00

The third installment in the Action Series. Two characters engage Ann Hamilton's Headlands kitchen-space and create temporal resonances. To survive they must break the fast (a midnight snack) and…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Camp, Food, Humor, Performance

HalfLifers

Harvest

1999| 00:12:00

An alternative earth music video. An epic last stand. A portrait of two utilitarian workers engaging in a collaboration with Karen, manifesting improvisational geographic friendships...This title is…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Humor, Music, Performance

The HalfLifers exhume cinema’s favorite incarnation of mindless, decaying mortality, the Zombie, in the hopes of breathing new life into this misunderstood figure. From a panel discussion in an old…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Body, Death and Dying, Humor, Media Analysis, Myth, Performance

Exhibitions + Festivals

LACE, Los Angeles, January 20, 2011

Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, February 18, 2011

Chicago Underground Film Festival, June 6, 2011

Zombie-Proof House, DiRosa Gatehouse Gallery, Napa, CA, June-September, 2011

HalfLifers: And Who Shall Rescue the Rescuers?, Video_Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY, September, 2011