Nov 26, 2010

'Transitory Life' in Bilbao

'Transitory Life' in Bilbao, Spain, last night:

(FYI: this video is available in HD, too - if you click to it more than once, it will direct you to the Youtube page)

Nov 25, 2010

I in U in the 'Metropolis'

"[...] To tell a story: this is really my art form, not technology."
(Laurie Anderson)

Brazilian cultural tv show 'Metropolis' featuring I in U / Eu em Tu:

Since the the Portuguese overdub was mixed to the left side and Laurie's voice on the right side in the stereo sound, I luckily managed to "extract" her voice and made a collage of the interview excerpts that had been made it o the show. They are sometimes disjointed, sometimes without end of sentences but, at least, listenable. She talks about how she feels being called a performance artist; making the paintings for the exhibition; Duets on Ice, Lou Reed's help in the making process of 'Homeland', Bob Dylan and politics:

Nov 24, 2010

Vapor. Lawyers. Calcium. Imbrication.

No idea what the heck those words in the title mean? They are part of a list of words that have never been used in a song lyrics so far. In that way, they are also part of Laurie Anderson's Music Therapy in which the therapee's task is to write lyrics using solely words that have never been used in a pop song lyrics before.

"I think failure is probably the thing that's taught me the most about what I want to do, so I really value the moments when things really completely fall apart."
(Laurie Anderson, 2005)

The citations above are from Youtube's latest video of Laurie Anderson (a truly epic one!) - a lecture she did as an artist-in-residence at the New School in New York City, 2005, originally aired as a webcast (hence the fragmented video stream). The lecture touched on subjects like the idea of space, using the right tools; rectangles, mental hospitals, different kinds of therapies for people who have been using too much technology, taboos like sleeping in public; night courts and the 'Institutional Dreams' series, the 'Life' project (where the live webcast image of a prisoner was projected into an art museum), the fake hologram and different points of view, Alexander the Great, turning points in Laurie Anderson's career, pieces of advice for beginner artists, separating art and politics, form and content; voyeurism, hiding in the spotlight on the stage, using the wrong sense, being an artist-in-residence at NASA, and so on.

(FYI: Contrary to the description of the video, it does not contain the screening of 'Hidden Inside Mountains', Laurie's HD movie made for the Japan EXPO.)

Videos from Estoril

(At least try to) watch Laurie Anderson reading an excerpt from Don Delillo's "Point Omega" in Estoril, November 2010:

Part II is a video of questions and answers:

The videos were posted by the blogger of A montanha mágica - by clicking to the url you can find another photo of the reading there.

Nov 22, 2010

Lots and Lots of Photos

... from I in U / Eu em Tu, Laurie Anderson's retrospective in São Paulo, Brazil, on Ana Viaja's blog.

Nov 21, 2010

"Like Fine Wine"

Read Cheryl Martlage's review of 'Delusion' in Florence, Italy (in English), along with a neat description of Laurie Anderson's art,  the specifically Italian atmosphere of the event, plus a stage photo and video.

"I dreamt that I was living in a billboard...

... and I was living there because the city had become so crowded that billboards were the only places left..."

This is the beginning of Laurie Anderson's introduction to the episode on Place of PBS's 'Art in the Twenty-First Century' documentary series where "artists explore the idea of place by questioning commonly held assumptions about land, home and national identity".

Watch the video for more Andersonesque pondering on, for example, how she uses places as jumping-off points in her art or why we fall in love with places.

Nov 20, 2010

Just Because It Was There #2

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed in Groningen, November 2008
photo source: Reyer Boxem / Redux

Nov 19, 2010

"Anatomical Study of the Soul of Laurie Anderson"

A review of 'Delusion' in Firenze in the Italian Rolling Stone Magazine - thanks to Google, we can read the English translation of it. Also worth checking out the photo gallery along the article.

Nov 17, 2010

Another Unconventional Reading

What a coincidence: I have just found another recording of a public reading by Laurie Anderson - this time from the PEN event 2004 State of Emergency: Unconventional Readings. So, Dearreader, enjoy this old/new eight-minute-long treat, a free podcast from the PEN archive:

Nov 16, 2010

Una meditazione sulle parole e le cose, sulla vita e il linguaggio

Intoscana's report about the Italian premiere of 'Delusion' in Firenze (dubbed in Italian):

Nov 15, 2010

Goodness from Estoril

Last Sunday, Laurie Anderson did a public reading of excerpts of Don Delillo's new book 'Point Omega' in Portugal, as part of the Estoril Film Festival's closing ceremony. Unfortunately there's no audio recording of the event available but Carlos Vargas was so kind as to provide me with his photos from the reading:

Obrigado, Carlos!

(FYI: by clicking to the photos, they'll open big in a new window.)

For the Auditively Inclined

A recent ear candy for those who "would listen, enraptured, to Laurie Anderson read the phone book"*: listen to the podcast of American writer Hannah Tinti's short story "Milestones" read by Laurie Anderson as part of this week's 'Selected Shorts' programme on National Public Radio. The story was inspired by a Miles Davis piece of the same name.

* Yes, the source of the citation is the same as in the previous Delillo blog post: it's from a comment by an enthusiastic viewer named mytmyt, under the Youtube video of Laurie Anderson's part in 2004 Dramatic Reading of the U. S. Constitution. Amen again.

'Delusion' in Firenze

'Delusion' in Firenze, November 2010
photo by giagir / Flickr

For more photos of 'Delusion' in Firenze, click to giagir's album.

Nov 14, 2010

The Consequences of Crucifixion

A remake of a Laurie Anderson joke, told in 'Transitory Life', too:

(P. S.: Having heard this in Chorzów, I could not decide whether the laughter of the Polish audience was genuine or not... nevertheless, I found it hilarious)

Nov 13, 2010

Laurie Anderson Has Become an Internet Meme. Period.

Source: Muaddib734 on cheezburger.

Laurie Anderson in the Vitrine

Brazilian tv's reportage of I in U / Eu em Tu, Laurie Anderson's retrospective exhibition in São Paulo, along with descriptions of various works of art of Laurie by curator Marcello Dantas, plus interview excerpts with Laurie Anderson:

'Transitory Life' in Bucharest

Read here the English translation of Catavencu's blogger's Perfect Night with Laurie Anderson and 'Transitory Life' which left him near to...

'Belfast' and Laurie Anderson in Bucharest, Romania, Nov 2010

... speechless.

'Transitory Life' in Chorzów

Laurie Anderson's 'Transitory Life', Chorzów, Nov 2010
Photo by Adam Jędrysik /

Click here for more concert photos from Chorzów, Poland.

More from Florence

Italy luvs Laurie and that's alright. :)

Laurie Anderson in Florence, Italy, November 2010
Photo by Emanuel Anuvoli,

'Delusion' Debut in Italy: Florence

Laurie Anderson in Florence, November 2010
Photo by Guido Mannucci

Click here for a whole gallery of photos of today from Florence, Italy (source: la Repubblica FIRENZE).

Nov 12, 2010

Playing for the Genius of the Carpathians...

According to the English translation of this article in Romanian, Laurie Anderson once performed 'Duets on Ice' in front of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu. Ha!

Super Cranky Opening Act for Laurie Anderson

Last night in Bucharest, Romania. No comment needed :)

Laurie Anderson in Bucharest

The frantic instrumental beginning of 'Transitory Life' in Bucharest last night (yes, the sound is that overwhelming):

Nov 9, 2010

From Chorzów with Luv

Teatr Rozrywki in Chorzów, Poland

Nov 8, 2010

From Katowice with Luv

ASP Katowice, Poland

Signing off.

Nov 7, 2010

Overlapping Realities: or, Who the Hell Is the Body Artist and Why You Should Experience It

There exists a book titled 'The Body Artist',written by Don DeLillo. But what does this have to do with Files on a String?

  • First, Laurie Anderson herself has got some inclinations for "body art" (see page 109 of the Nerve Bible: 'What Is Body Art?'), mentioning that, in the late '70s, her work was described as (among others) "body art" or "performance art"

  • Amelia Jones writes about Laurie Anderson's body art at length in her book 'Body Art / Performing the Subject', page 32:

  • The body artist in the book's title is named Lauren (Hartke). She lives in New York.

  • In 'Body Time', Lauren's performance piece, there's an "anonymous robotic voice of a tele­phone answering machine delivering a standard announcement" featured prominently, as "sound accom­paniment".

  • Moreover, during the performance above, Lauren dramatically alters her (body and) voice and ends up at speaking in a male voice.

  • Laurie Anderson mentions the writer of the book, Don DeLillo in 'The Cultural Ambassador' (track 17 on 'The Ugly One with the Jewels and Other Stories').

  • Last but not least: in 2001, Laurie Anderson has recorded an unabridged audio version of the book*; it's entirely read by her; which means almost three hours** of pure treat for those who "would listen, enraptured, to Laurie Anderson read the phone book"***.

* Mnemosyne has got her copy from Ebay. Good luck.

** "Three f*cking hours. Why not four? Why not seven? Why not eight? she says" - sorry, I could not resist this citation from 'The Body Artist' by Don DeLillo, page 107.

*** comment by an enthusiastic viewer named mytmyt, under the Youtube video of Laurie Anderson's part in 2004 Dramatic Reading of the U. S. Constitution. Amen.