Program the Dead, Program the Dead Album Cover, 2005 (20/20)
© StormStudios

Program the Dead, Program the Dead Album Cover, 2005 (20/20)

By Storm Thorgerson
About the image
"Program The Dead are a hard and heavy rock band from LA, who were very interested in a thing called a Verichip. Their music was deceptive, seeming at first rather aggressive, but on later exposure, revealing a much greater variety and depth (in our humble opinion) feelings of despair, thwarted romance, all set in the future perhaps, shades of the movie Logan’s Run.

    The Verichip, is indeed veri-interesting- it’s a chip that can be implanted in the human body and can send out radio information, and is the basis therefore of the electronic tagging of prisoners and of truant children in California. It is favoured by Brazilian businessmen to reduce the threat of kidnapping, and also by Spanish teens who obtain illicit alcohol by purloining the Verichips of adult drinkers. The California children were initially encouraged to wear Verichips to deter truancy but the parents and the kids themselves complained that it was an infringement on their civil liberties (a complaint which was later upheld). It is much used for pets, about whose rights society is not quite so liberal. This is why the Verichip poses such a complex dilemma - keep track or keep control?

    The verichip business also reminded me of the clones in Bladerunner, so we dreamed uo the dance where the women, like stepford wives are the picture of compliance and despite not having to dance normally are seemingly lifeless or dead(as in program the dead), naked for gods sake but not giving a damn. Obedient, sheeplike as if programmed. The mannequins lent a sinister jaded atmosphere to the preceedings, like a neutered helmut newton, or an Edvard Munch painting, where their movements can be controlled by others, a dance that is not really a dance at all, more a dance of the dead.”

Release Notes:
Storm created a series called "20/20" comprised of 20 of his favorite images in limited editions of only 20 pieces (plus 2 Artist Proofs) each. Most certainly a play on the phrase "20/20" referring to perfect vision, the set was designed to showcase some of the pieces he valued most, including many of his more obscure album cover images.

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Program the Dead, Program the Dead Album Cover, 2005 (20/20)
Program the Dead, Program the Dead Album Cover, 2005 (20/20)

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