Monday, October 09, 2006


HalfLifers is a collaborative entity which seeks to chart the stress
fractures of a world growing ever more complex. Encased in our
protective gear, armed with a variety of adjectives, splatstick
routines & biorganic products, HalfLifers is ready to plunge into
reimagined zones of concern and construct healing rescue narratives.
Synthesizing our tools from such disparate models as speculative
fiction, docudrama TV, play therapy, and the local hardware
megastore, HalfLifers forges ahead on a never-ending mission to
recover the self from the constant threat of psychic disintegration,
and generate new evolutionary scenarios.

While the HalfLifers project exists as an accidental juncture of
fairy tale, 22nd century sitcom, and emergency training seminar
gone awry, the goal of the project is ultimately empathic and
restorative. Simultaneously embracing physical humor and a
sense of nostalgia for alternate realities and timelines,
HalfLifers imagines a futurological slapstick which provides a
cushion against the alienating and disempowering effects of
the modern technologic state.
Within the HalfLifer cosmos, an endless series of cyclical crises
unfolds, in which the distinctions between mental and physical,
animate and inanimate, ritual and disaster are collapsed; a
tragicomic zone of perpetual mishap abutting regions of deep
seated anxiety and loss of identity. The frenzied inhabitants of
this zone exist in a permanent flux of emergency and recovery,
where therapeutic calamities are catalogued and explosively
re-staged in a continual attempt to maintain psychic cohesion.

The HalfLifer working process is spontaneous and improvisational.
Performative scenarios evolve out of specific props or locations
that suggest the presence of unresolved conflicts. By entering
these spaces and triggering improvised "crisis re-enactments",
ordinary activities and settings are transformed into interior
landscapes charged with potential hazards. Temporal turbulence,
loss of memory and/or identity, equipment failure, and complete
physical collapse are just a few of the obstacles that may be
encountered. Only through healthy physical movement and the
repeated application of organic by-products can communication
pathways remain open and our mission sustained.
The residual electronic transmission, or video,
resulting from these procedures functions as a psychic poultice,
absorbing latent anxieties and transforming them, via absurd
humor, into restorative parables.

At precipitous moments, the turbulent energies which fuel
these transmissions acquire enough force and/or financial
support to create temporarily solid manifestations within
normal space time. These tulpoidal environments, occasionally
forming within institutional and commercial exhibition space,
offer viewers a chance to physically interact with the normally
intangible structures of HalfLifer space. Within these zones,
as in our video work, the concept of "functionality" is
recontextualized as a metaphor for an ongoing process of
internal restoration.

HalfLifer Themes/Operating principles/Concerns:
The world in flux, crisis: The accelerating pace of
technological advance results in individual
disempowerment and fosters a pervasive underlying anxiety.
Out of this collective anxiety springs an obsession with
the impotent body and fetishistic fantasies of control which
in turn propel further technologic acceleration. Our
fascination and faith in technology is not rational at all,
but rather reveals a kind of primitive magical thinking
which holds us in thrall even as we refuse to acknowledge it.

The establishment of ritualized activity, play_acting,
semi_dramatic re_enanctments as a technology of control
over psychic and physical realities.Endlessly deferred resolution;
cyclic crisis; a morbid obsession with the failing vitality of the
body and the deteriorating health of mental processes; a constant
attempt to re_integrate body and mind. The state of the body is
projected outward onto space and manifested sympathetically by
animate and inanimate objects alike; attempts to heal these objects
thus represents a ritualistic technology designed to heal the self.
Thought processes based on magical thinking or sympathetic
magic a "law of similars" in which the representation is fluidly
interchangeablewith the represented, or in which the part
holographically figures the whole; for example, a toy hammer can
be used as a psychic focusing lens to enable the mind to produce
the effects of a real hammer, a single leaf stands in for an entire
tree.The collapse of boundaries between linguistic and/or functional
categories; for example: Organic object as technological device;
food as transportation medium; physical injury as memory.
Substition of mental or physical state with spacial location, and vice
versa _ hence illness, loss of memory, identity crisis, etc. as "regions"
in which we get stuck; and movement through space equivalated with
movement towards a psychic reintegration.
Micro/macro _ a confusion of scale; an interchangeability
between toy scale and "real" scale.
The conceit that mental processes can manifest themselves
tulpoidally, that is, as physically solid projections perceivable
by others and independent of the subconscious conflicts from
which they arose.
A fascination with multiple planes of reality, alternate futures
and pasts existing co_terminously.
Nostalgia for fictitious histories and futures, nostalgia as a
fetishization of memory; memory as the foundation of
consciousness and thus identity
Slapstick / Splatstick as play therapy or a kind of
ritualized restorative activity.
Plenty of fake blood.......