Oct 13, 2010

A Book in Code

"The very key to [Eu em Tu / I in U] is a little book which is a book in code. I used to - and still do - write down a lot of dreams because I find that it's an interesting way to know this certain insane part of yourself, [where] you have the privilege of being quite crazy.

I write them down and I thought, well, I wonder really if there is a code to understand [the dreams]. So I put them in a code. I used a code that's similar to codes that were used in World War Two, encryption, and the way encryption was done was with poems.

The message is in a kind of poetry. I feel that language itself is a kind of coding system. It is very hard to really say what you actually mean - you have to go through so many formalities to try to get to [what you mean to say].

The line of poetry I used to encrypt these dreams was one of my favourite poems, a line from George Herbert, who is a 17th century English metaphysical love-poet. He wrote a poem to music:
"Now I in you / without a body move". And it was just the way music comes into your body and moves around - but not in a tangible way. In a very physical way, but not a tangible way.

I love this poem because it's how I feel about images and music and words - that they have ways that they can invade you that you can't quite describe so well. But it's the physicality of it that I like as an artist."

(Laurie Anderson in São Paolo, Brasil, October 2010)