Gallery 400 Blog

Pkd 150x150

HALFLIFERS channels Philip K. Dick's alternate realities

This video blog acts as an extension of Gallery 400’s current exhibition, I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT SEQUENCE: THE LEGACY OF HALFLIFERSIn the video, a computer-generated Philip K. Dick recites the first half of the key materials, sources, influences, and other touchstones that appear in the book THE LAST KNOWN PHOTOGRAPH OF THE HALFLIFERS. Both the video blog and the book exist as an alternative self-portrait of HALFLIFERS—the collaborative team of Torsten Zenas Burns and Anthony Discenza.

Philip K. Dick has been an important inspiration throughout the trajectory of HALFLIFERS’ work. In fact, Burns and Discenza took the name HALFLIFERS from Dick's novel Ubik, in which Dick uses the term "halflife" to refer to an alternate reality that dead characters experience while in a state of cryogenic suspension. This condition of a phantom reality has been integral to HALFLIFERS’ ongoing explorations, in which speculative fiction operates as a sublimated present, imbued heavily with the psychological weight therein.

This video is part one of a two part series. In the forthcoming video, the zombie piñata heads of Burns and Discenza, created by artists Kevin and Jennifer McCoy and on view in the current exhibition, come to life in order to recite the remaining objects from the book. 

Look for part two of the video and an accompanying interview with HALFLIFERS in the coming weeks!