HalfLifers: The Complete History, 1992 - 2010

02:07:30 | 2 DVDs

Collection: Single Artist Compilations

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

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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.

Included Titles

Rescue Parables
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 help or hinder one another. What is certain is that...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor, performance

Return to Rescueworld
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 scene of their distress in a hatchback car. This...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor, performance

HalfLifers
1997 | 10:00
Fear of Rescue
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 soil, they toil at skipping and pogo-ing, they...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor

HalfLifers
1997 | 06:30
Aquatics
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, in real-time. This title is also available on...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: performance

Actions in Action
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 psychoactive landscape in which the concept of function...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: expedition/travel, food, future, humor

Control Corridor
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 communication routines.

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor

I.S.L.A.N.D.S. Series
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 linkage is never-ending. I.S.L.A.N.D.S. #2: Operation...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor, performance

HalfLifers
1999 | 16:00
Homesteaders
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 of "home." This title is also available on...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: family, humor, performance

HalfLifers
1999 | 10:00
Mess Hall
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 service the meal. This title is also available on...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: camp, food, humor, performance

HalfLifers
1999 | 12:00
Harvest
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 also available on HalfLifers: The Complete...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: humor, music, performance

HalfLifers, Afterlifers: Walking and Talking
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 TV studio to a quarantined helicopter high above...

 

Collection: 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

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