Laurie Anderson
Musician, performance artist, singer
Laurie Anderson
Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s. Throughout the 1970s, Anderson did a variety of different performance-art activities.
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200 Artists From Around The World Launch Initiative To Fight Fascism Through Art
Huffington Post - 4 days
For HuffPost’s #LoveTakesAction series, we’re telling stories of how people are standing up to hate and supporting those most threatened. What will you stand up for? Tell us with #LoveTakesAction. Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson, Ed Ruscha, Matthew Barney, Rosalind Krauss, Hank Willis Thomas, Catherine Opie and Yinka Shonibare are among the artists, writers, musicians and curators from around the world committed to using art as a mode of resistance. Over 200 international creatives have signed on to the global art coalition “Hands Off Our Revolution,” which implores artists of all media to channel the anger, sadness, hope and empathy ignited by present affairs into their work, providing viewers, readers and listeners with models of revolt and visions of a harmonious, peaceful future. The initiative came together in response to recent events ― including Brexit, President Donald Trump’s election and the ongoing refugee crisis. As artist Adam Broomberg explained to ...
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Huffington Post article
9 Artists Honor the Man Who Put Brooklyn on the Map
NYTimes - 7 days
Philip Glass, Mark Morris, Laurie Anderson and others remember Harvey Lichtenstein, who revived the Brooklyn Academy of Music and died on Feb. 11.
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NYTimes article
How Laurie Anderson And Philip Glass Were About To Change The World
NPR - 26 days
The performance artist reflects on Philip Glass' generous spirit, his perpetually fresh ideas and the grand experiments hatched in the lofts of SoHo in the '70s. (Image credit: Susana Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)
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NPR article
Famous Writers Plan A 'Literary Protest' On The Steps Of The New York Public Library
Huffington Post - about 2 months
PEN America, an organization built around a desire to defend open expression in the U.S., is preparing a “literary protest” in the most likely of places: the steps of the New York Public Library. “Writers Resist: Louder Together for Free Expression” is the name of the protest, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. in New York City. The event is open to members of the public, who are welcome to join “hundreds of writers and artists and thousands of New Yorkers” in a gathering planned on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. “Stand with PEN America to defend free expression, reject hate crimes and uphold truth in the face of lies and misinformation!” a Eventbrite listing, shared with PEN followers on Wednesday, proclaims.  The “protest” will consist of two parts. First, there will be a series of readings outside the NYPL, including performances by American poet laureates Robert Pinsky and Rita Dove, who will each share “inaugural” poems with the crowd. A full list of “featured ...
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Huffington Post article
Laurie Anderson's 'Heart of a Dog' finds a home at Criterion Collection
LATimes - 3 months
Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog,” her first film in nearly three decades, is a wondrously personal and ruminative work — a collage of musings on memory, language, grief and post-9/11 malaise, all refracted through a loving tribute to the director’s dearly departed rat terrier, Lolabelle. It is...
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LATimes article
After the Apocalypse (with Alter-reviews)
Huffington Post - 3 months
My recent columns: America Now Has (at Least) 9,999 Problems How Trump's Media Cheerleaders Turned Campaign Coverage Into a Total Disaster What We Talk About When We Don't Talk About Climate Change Alter-reviews: 1) David Bromberg Live David Bromberg has a fine new album out, which I believe I recommended in my last "Altercation." Last week (or so) I caught him with his Big Band at the Society For Ethical Culture. I've been seeing David now for 40 years and unlike most of us, he just gets better. He's a great guitarist, a musicologist, a polymathic performer and an incredible ham. And the new album, released 'The Blues, The Whole Blues, And Nothing But The Blues' is a perfect showcase for all these talents. I ...
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Huffington Post article
Hammer Museum Honors Laurie Anderson, Todd Haynes While Trump's "Locker Room Talk" Dominates Chatter
Yahoo News - 5 months
At the Bottega Veneta-sponsored affair, guests praised a pair of groundbreaking artists while also giving pause to the current political landscape, largely taking aim at the Republican nominee. "He's a despicable person," said Viveca Paulin-Ferrell. "I'm kind of speechless about everything he has said and done and what he stands for."
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Yahoo News article
Laurie Anderson and Todd Haynes are honored at Hammer Museum gala, where the talk turns political
LATimes - 5 months
At the Hammer Museum’s annual Gala in the Garden fundraiser, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s race for the White House dominated the cocktail chatter Saturday evening as A-list artists and museum officials mixed with a celebrity contingent that included recent Emmy winner Sarah Paulson, Emma...
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LATimes article
How The New 'Hamilton' Cast Made A True Believer Out Of A Skeptic
Huffington Post - 7 months
You can be highbrow. You can be lowbrow. But can you ever just be brow? Welcome to Middlebrow, a weekly examination of pop culture. Sign up to receive it in your inbox weekly.   “Hamilton” has won almost too many awards, too much acclaim, too many rapturous public testaments to its life-changing power, not to entice pushback. So, of course, it has: Historians have substantively criticized various aspects of the musical, inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton. One article argued that the show doesn’t even pass the Bechdel test, a conclusion which requires a highly unforgiving interpretation of the “The Schuyler Sisters,” in which Angelica and Eliza Schuyler first appear and take in the revolutionary atmosphere in the streets of New York. Then there are the more personal reactions, all the more insistent because everyone else loves the show. Musician Laurie Anderson told The Atlantic that she had to leave after Act I: “It’s history lite, and musical lit ...
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Huffington Post article
My Bookshelf, Myself: My 10 Favorite Books: Laurie Anderson
NYTimes - 8 months
The titles the musician and artist would most want with her on a desert island.
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NYTimes article
Laurie Anderson, Todd Haynes to share honors at Hammer Museum's Gala in the Garden
LATimes - 10 months
The Hammer Museum will honor multimedia artist Laurie Anderson and filmmaker Todd Haynes at its 14th annual Gala in the Garden scheduled for Oct. 8, the museum announced Thursday. The event serves as one of the museum's biggest fundraisers. Last year's edition pulled in $2.5 million. Proceeds support...
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LATimes article
ArtsBeat: Opera and Punk Come Together in Conversation Series
NYTimes - 12 months
Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk are among the artists who will appear as part of National Sawdust+.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Laurie Anderson
  • 2016
    In July 2016 she was named as a member of the main competition jury for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details Anderson has invented several experimental musical instruments that she has used in her recordings and performances. The tape-bow violin is an instrument created by Laurie Anderson in 1977. It uses recorded magnetic tape in place of the traditional horsehair in the bow, and a magnetic tape head in the bridge. Anderson has updated and modified this device over the years. She can be seen using a later generation of this device in her film Home of the Brave during the "Late Show" segment in which she manipulates a sentence recorded by William S. Burroughs. This version of the violin discarded magnetic tape and instead used MIDI-based audio samples, triggered by contact with the bow. The talking stick is a 6-foot-long baton-like MIDI controller. It was used in the Moby-Dick tour in 1999–2000. She described it in program notes as follows:
  • 2013
    In November 2013 she was the featured Guest of Honor at the B3 Biennale of the Moving Image in Frankfurt, Germany
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    In June/July 2013, Anderson performed "The Language of the Future" and guest curate at the River to River Festival in New York City.
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    Anderson received the Honorary Doctor of Arts from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2013.
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  • 2012
    Anderson was named the Inaugural Distinguished Artist-In-Residence at The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center(EMPAC)at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in May 2012.
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  • 2011
    She appears as a guest musician on several tracks from experimental jazz musician Colin Stetson's 2011 album New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges.
    More Details Hide Details Anderson developed a theatrical work, entitled "Another Day in America". The first public showings of this work-in-progress took place in Calgary, Alberta in January 2012 as part of Theatre Junction GRAND's 2011–12 season and One Yellow Rabbit's annual arts festival, the High Performance Rodeo.
  • 2010
    She performed "Only an Expert" on July 15, 2010 on the Late Show with David Letterman, and her song "Gravity's Angel" was featured on the Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance the same day.
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    In May/June 2010, Anderson curated the Vivid Live festival in Sydney, Australia together with Lou Reed.
    More Details Hide Details Her new album Homeland was released on June 22.
    Anderson was honored with the Women's Project Theater Woman of Achievement Award in March 2010.
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    In February 2010, Laurie Anderson premiered a new theatrical work, entitled Delusion, at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
    More Details Hide Details This piece was commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and the Barbican Centre, London.
  • 2008
    They were married on April 12, 2008 in a private ceremony in Boulder, Colorado.
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  • 2007
    Anderson was awarded the 2007 Gish Prize for her "outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life."
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  • 2006
    Anderson also performed in Came So Far for Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute event held in the Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, on October 4–5, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details Recent releases include a re-release of her first album, Big Science on Material from Homeland was performed at small work-in-progress shows in New York throughout May 2007, most notably at the Highline Ballroom on May 17–18, supported by a 4-piece band with spontaneous lighting and video visuals mixed live throughout the performances by Willie Williams and Mark Coniglio, respectively. A European tour of the Homeland work in progress then took place, including performances on September 28 and 29, 2007, at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin; on October 17–19 at the Melbourne International Arts Festival; in Russia at the Moscow Dom Muzyky concert-hall on April 26, 2008. The work was performed across the Atlantic in Toronto, Canada, June 14, 2008, with husband Lou Reed, making the "Lost Art of Conversation" a duet with vocals and guitar, with his ambling style contrasting with Anderson's tightly wound performance. Anderson's Homeland Tour performed at several locations across the United States as well, such as at the Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta, Georgia; The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; and Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois, co-presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
    She narrated Ric Burns' Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film, which was first televised in September 2006 as part of the PBS American Masters series.
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    In 2006 Anderson was awarded a Residency at the American Academy in Rome.
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    In 2006, she contributed a song to Plague Songs, a collection of songs related to the 10 Biblical plagues.
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  • 2005
    In 2005, her exhibition The Waters Reglitterized opened at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details According to the press release by Sean Kelly, the work is a diary of dreams and their literal recreation as works of art. This work, created in the process of re-experiencing or re-working her dreams while awake, uses the language of dreams to investigate the dream itself. The resulting pieces include drawings, prints, and high-definition video. The installation ran until October 22, 2005.
    In 2005, Anderson visited Russia's space programme—the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre and mission control—with The Arts Catalyst and took part in The Arts Catalyst's Space Soon event at the Roundhouse to reflect on her experiences.
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    She mounted a succession of themed shows and composed a piece for Expo 2005 in Japan.
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  • 2004
    She was part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, she collaborated with the choreographer Trisha Brown and filmmaker Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo on the acclaimed multimedia project O Zlozony/O Composite for the Paris Opera Ballet. The ballet premiered at the Opera Garnier in Paris in December 2004. Anderson has also collaborated with William S. Burroughs, Jean Dupuy, Arto Lindsay, Bill Laswell, Ian Ritchie, Peter Gabriel, Perry Hoberman, David Sylvian, Jean Michel Jarre, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Nona Hendryx, Bobby McFerrin, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Dave Stewart, Peter Gordon, Adrian Belew, Hector Zazou, and Lou Reed. From the late 1990s Anderson and Lou Reed collaborated on a number of recordings together. Anderson contributed to "Call on Me" from Reed's collaborative project The Raven, on the tracks "Rouge" and "Rock Minuet" from Reed's Ecstasy, and "Hang on to Your Emotions" from Reed's Set the Twilight Reeling; Lou Reed contributes to the tracks "In Our Sleep" from Laurie Anderson's Bright Red and "One Beautiful Evening" from Anderson's Life on a String.
  • 2003
    In 2003, Anderson became NASA's first artist-in-residence, which inspired her performance piece, The End of the Moon.
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  • 2001
    Anderson went on tour performing a selection of her best-known musical pieces in 2001. One of these performances was recorded in New York City a week after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and included a performance of "O Superman."
    More Details Hide Details This concert was released in early 2002 as the double CD Live in New York.
    In 2001, she recorded the audiobook version of Don DeLillo's novel The Body Artist.
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    Life on a String appeared in 2001, by which time she signed a new contract with another Warner Music label, Nonesuch Records.
    More Details Hide Details Life on a String was a mixture of new works (including one song recalling the death of her father) and works from the Moby Dick presentation.
  • 1996
    In 1996, Anderson performed with Diego Frenkel (La Portuária) and Aterciopelados for the AIDS benefit album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin produced by the Red Hot Organization.
    More Details Hide Details An interval of more than half a decade followed before her next album release. During this time, she wrote a supplemental article on the cultural character of New York City for the Encyclopædia Britannica and created a number of multimedia presentations, most notably one inspired by Moby-Dick (Songs and Stories from Moby Dick, 1999–2000). One of the central themes in Anderson's work is exploring the effects of technology on human relationships and communication.
  • 1992
    Anderson started dating Lou Reed in 1992, and was married to him from 2008 until his death in 2013.
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  • 1991
    In 1991, she was a member of the jury at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year, Anderson appeared in The Human Face, a feature arts documentary directed by artist-filmmakers Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson for BBC TV. Anderson was the presenter in this documentary on the history of the face in art and science. Her face was transformed using latex masks and digital special effects as she introduced ideas about the relationship between physiognomy and perception. Her varied career in the early 1990s included voice-acting in the animated film The Rugrats Movie. In 1994 she created a CD-ROM titled Puppet Motel, which was followed by Bright Red, co-produced by Brian Eno, and another spoken-word album, The Ugly One with the Jewels. This was then followed by an appearance on the 1997 charity single Perfect Day.
  • 1989
    Release of Anderson's first post-Home of the Brave album, 1989's Strange Angels, was delayed for more than a year in order for Anderson to take singing lessons.
    More Details Hide Details This was due to the album being more musically inclined (in terms of singing) than her previous works. The single "Babydoll" was a moderate hit on the Modern Rock Charts in 1989.
  • 1987
    She also hosted the PBS series Alive from Off Center during 1987, after having had produced the short film What You Mean We? for the series the year before.
    More Details Hide Details What You Mean We? introduced a new character played by Anderson: "The Clone", a digitally alerted masculine counterpart to Anderson who later "co-hosted" with her when she did her presenting stint on Alive from Off Center. Elements of The Clone were later incorporated into the titular "puppet" of her later work, Puppet Motel. In that year, she also appeared on Peter Gabriel's album So, in the song "This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)".
  • 1986
    She next starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave and also composed the soundtracks for the Spalding Gray films Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box.
    More Details Hide Details During this time she also contributed music to Robert Wilson's "Alcestis" at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • 1984
    She also appeared in a television special produced by Nam June Paik broadcast on New Years Day 1984, entitled "Good Morning, Mr. Orwell" (the title being inspired by Orwell's novel 1984).
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  • 1981
    Anderson became widely known outside the art world in 1981 with the single "O Superman", originally released in a limited quantity by B.
    More Details Hide Details George's One Ten Records, which ultimately reached number two in the British charts. The sudden influx of orders from the UK (prompted partly by British station BBC Radio 1 playlisting the record) led to Anderson signing a 7-album deal with Warner Bros. Records, which re-released the single. "O Superman" was part of a larger stage work titled United States and was included on the album Big Science. Prior to the release of Big Science, Anderson returned to Giorno Poetry Systems to record the album You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With; Anderson recorded one side of the 2-LP set, with William S. Burroughs and John Giorno recording a side each, and the fourth side featured a separate groove for each artist. This was followed by the back-to-back releases of her albums Mister Heartbreak and United States Live, the latter of which was a five-LP (and, later, 4-CD) recording of her 2-evening stage show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
  • 1980
    In 1980 Anderson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute.
    More Details Hide Details In 1982 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts—Film.
  • 1978
    In 1978, she performed at The Nova Convention, a major conference involving many counter-culture figures and rising avant-garde musical stars, including William S. Burroughs, Philip Glass, Frank Zappa, Timothy Leary, Malcolm Goldstein, John Cage, and Allen Ginsberg.
    More Details Hide Details She also worked with comedian Andy Kaufman in the late 1970s.
  • 1970
    In 1970, she drew the underground comix Baloney Moccasins, which was published by George DiCaprio.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1970s, she worked as an art instructor, as an art critic for magazines such as Artforum, and illustrated children's books—the first of which was titled The Package, a mystery story in pictures alone. She performed in New York during the 1970s. One of her most-cited performances, Duets on Ice, which she conducted in New York and other cities around the world, involved her playing the violin along with a recording while wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into a block of ice; the performance ended only when the ice had melted away. Two early pieces, "New York Social Life" and "Time to Go," were included in the 1977 compilation New Music for Electronic and Recorded Media, along with works by Pauline Oliveros and others. Two other pieces were included on Airwaves, a collection of audio pieces by various artists. She also recorded a lecture for Vision, a set of artist's lectures released by Crown Point Press as a set of 6 LPs.
  • 1969
    Her first performance-art piece—a symphony played on automobile horns—was performed in 1969.
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  • 1947
    Anderson was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on June 5, 1947, the daughter of Mary Louise (née Rowland) and Arthur T. Anderson.
    More Details Hide Details She graduated from Glenbard West High School. She attended Mills College in California, and eventually graduated from Barnard College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, studying art history. In 1972, she obtained an MFA in sculpture from Columbia University.
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