O Superwoman: Laurie Anderson launches Ars Musica into space

© Ebru Yildiz

At 75, performance and multimedia artist Laurie Anderson continues to experiment unabated. Ars Musica has now invited the American vanguard artist for what could be called an audiovisual retrospective but which at the same time is a glimpse into the future.

Fifty-three years after she met American minimalist Philip Glass and began fabricating sound sculptures of her own that launched her as a standard-bearer of the New York avant-garde, 45 years after her passage at the Documenta in Kassel, 41 years after her innovative vocoder-edited world hit“O Superman” and nine years after the death of her husband Lou Reed, not only will she introduce Bozar visitors to the VR installation To the Moon and the films Home of the Brave and Heart of a Dog. Along with the Brussels Philharmonic, she will also perform the world premiere of All the Animals, while a day later the symphonic sounds give way to an electronic set of improvisations only accompanied by Rubin Kodheli's cello and a more recent passion, Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In fact, this is no surprise for an artist who called the record on which“O Superman” ended up Big Science and later became artist in residence at NASA. She was personally present at the US space agency headquarters when the first Mars Rovers landed.“Others like trees or water, I loved the sky as a child. I always looked up, as if I realised that’s where I came from,” she once described her fascination with the universe, which she currently explores mainly through virtual reality films with Taiwanese multimedia artist Hsin-Chien Huang. They made the immersive installation To the Moon 50 years after the moon landing and, once you put on your VR glasses, it lets you glide through virtual space like an astronaut, complete with space debris left behind by humans. An at once poetic and confrontational experience.

LAURIE ANDERSON
15/11 > 8/1, Bozar, www.bozar.be

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