Artists: Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza
HalfLifers is an ongoing collaborative project developed in 1994 by Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza. Working primarily in video, but also in large-scale installations, HalfLifers employs a lo-fi aesthetic, nostalgic of cathode ray televisions and VHS camcorders. The videos reveal Burns and Discenza performing as anyone but themselves, producing a sincere absurdity that reflects on the contemporary issues of anxiety and identity in the technological age.
Having just completed a two-set DVD collection of their past work from 1992–2010, HalfLifers look to reinvestigate the past 18 years of the collaboration. HalfLifers will employ the vernacular of an experimental research and training center, in which the HalfLifers’s oeuvre is being subjected to ongoing study. The exhibition will serve as a facilitator for a number of invited artists to respond to or reinterpret a specific HalfLifers’s work. The invited artists’ responses may take many forms, including sculptural objects, relational food-based art, new video work, and curated events such as performances, readings, or screenings. This re-examination induces a critical visual dialogue that re-evaluates HalfLifers’ past work. By subjecting themselves to reinterpretations and responses by other artists, HalfLifers are both questioning their present relevancy and continuing to be relevant through a willingness to adapt. HalfLifers are looking to collaboration, not to necessarily create something new, but to search for a type of rediscovery.