Laurie Anderson: “I’m an enigma to many artists”

Thursday, December 1 (8:00 p.m.)

Has your sculpture training made you a sculptor of songs, words, images and landscapes?

In effect. I am also a music artist and a painting musician… (she smiles) I do not differentiate between all these art forms. Whether I’m performing, singing, or painting, the physical gesture is very similar. Then I sit down and ask myself the same questions: is it enough Is it complicated enough? Is it adventurous and beautiful? All these questions come up, be it notes or colors.

Does your business need to be organic too?

No, I like fragile things, sharp and fragile, soft and sticky: it all depends. I love doing different projects without a pre-set model. I might be drawn to the stories, but it’s not even certain.

Is music a kind of second life experience for you?

Second digital life sounds pathetic to me. But I don’t feel like I have a unique self that I have to stick to and adopt a style. A me that holds me back, clings to me and imprisons me. I am an enigma to many artists, especially the youngest artists who spend their time telling themselves what they need to find to become a brand image. This is a very creative way to create works. I have sympathy for them and at the same time I feel strangely responsible for creating this diverse universe that my several months, including the “cartoon,” imagined..

“I am also a music artist, a musician of painting… I do not distinguish between all these artistic forms.”

Laurie Anderson


As a young artist breaking into the world of pop music in the era of Big Science and the early 1900’s O Superman single, I myself had to bow to trademark law. 80. Music industry experts have asked me what my branding strategy is. I replied, “Are you kidding me? I made this track just for fun!” But these men weren’t kidding: they were operating in terms of strategy and image.

Laurie Anderson – Oh Superman [Official Music Video]

As NASA’s first artist-in-residence, are you a fan of Pythagoras’ Music of the Spheres, which matches the musical intervals of planetary distances?

Of course. Any system that makes sense appeals to me. On the other hand, one of the most interesting books I’ve read in recent months is by the Chilean writer Benjamin Labatut (published in French under the title Blind Lights in Seoul, Editor’s Note). A wonderful book it mainly deals with mathematics and quantum physics, but in some ways it is very close to music.and Zyklon B (used in gas chambers, editor’s note) and permeates the thinking of scientists such as Fritz Haber, a German-Jewish chemist who invented a method for extracting nitrogen from the air: so a scientist who makes a point Nitrogen, the main driver of the gas and fertilizer industries that killed millions, allowed the world’s population to grow from less than 1 billion to less than nine in a century..

“I love fragile things, sharp and fragile, soft and sticky: it all depends.”

Laurie Anderson


An interesting book betrayals of scientists at the dawn of their great discoveriesthe uncertainty principle of Heisenberg, another science luminary, is applied in this novel to the human quest for knowledge itself.

When we read this, the ground crumbles under our feet: We lose confidence in our professional success, our ability to highlight our good deeds, our sense of social equality… In short, why are we here?

Musically speaking, which New York punk influenced you more, Steve Reich’s repetitive music or Brian Eno’s ambient?

All three attracted me. When I started making music in the mid-seventies, New York was full of genres. and I drew in Brian’s quiet music echoing Steve as well as in the rage of the punks.

John Zorn, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson – Concert for Japan

How do you feel about the slam scene?

This jazz of words can be interesting. I really see it as the kind of jazz that needs to be created right nowit comes out spontaneously like a slam, but it comes out frequent restatements… musical. Lines that everyone knows and repeats, with little riffs here and there. Unlike free jazz, you have to improvise from a theme in many ways. I’m probably one of those who do this sport, thanks to John Zorn, who introduced me to it. (she smiles) I miss the structure of the songs, that doesn’t mean it’s not great, but improvisation is much more fun to discover.

“I don’t know why, but performers have to stay in their own lane. It goes back to branding: don’t confuse the audience.”

Laurie Anderson


Do you feel close to Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, artists who are both visual artists and musicians… or vice versa?

Yes, we are a weird club because we shouldn’t act like that. I don’t know why, but the performers have to stay in their swimming lane. We return to the brand concept: we must not confuse the public. But I don’t think people’s brains are overloaded just seeing that we can swim in different disciplines. (she smiles)

Laurie Anderson attends a film festival on February 1, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

How much has Lou Reed, your husband, influenced your work and vice versa?

We inspired and influenced each other in many ways. Lou was a formidable lyricist and writer who often criticized me for not being precise enough, advising me to use specific words rather than vague concepts. “Don’t say it looks like him, but say it,” he would tell me. Sage advice that I must remember and continue to follow…with that in mind.

Did you in turn influence him?

Yes, I think so. I tried to make fun of his leather jackets anyway. (smile) I said, come on, throw this stuff away, it’s so vulgar. Lou knew I was telling the truth and could have taken it out in a second.

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, Interview by Charlie Rose (2003) – Part One

How did 9/11 affect your later work, recording a live album in New York just a week after the attacks?

Great. We all felt vulnerable and vulnerable like never before. This occupation is an important stage in our history. We were only invaders, we were not invaded. Having such an experience gives you a bit of empathy for those who have suffered a similar fate. Americans who have not experienced this kind of terror cannot fully understand Ukraine.nervous or worried about being attacked by a neighbor (Laurie Anderson will perform a benefit concert for Ukraine with John Zorn in New York on December 9 this year).

Did receiving twelve roses at the age of twelve from CF Kennedy, the founder of America’s lunar program, affect you?

Somehow it changed my life (she laughs): love and power combined… everything is said!

Interview with Laurie Anderson: A Life of Story

Posted in Art

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