Laurie Anderson is the undisputed heavyweight of performance art.
Granted, to most, this title carries slightly more weight than say “high queen of turkey basters”—but make no mistake, Laurie Anderson is one of the most unique artistic geniuses of our time. Don’t believe me? Stick any one of the following statements into your most turkey-like orifice and give it a good squeeze.
Laurie Anderson was the first artist-in-residence at NASA.
Laurie Anderson collaborated with Interval Research Corporation, a research and development laboratory founded by Paul Allen and David Liddle, to invent a groundbreaking musical instrument called “the stick.”
Laurie Anderson wrote the entry about New York for the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Laurie Anderson is often seen in the company of Lou Reed.
As a young woman, Laurie Anderson stood on a block of ice, playing her violin while wearing ice skates. When the ice melted, the performance ended.
Laurie Anderson created a full-length multimedia stage performance based on Moby Dick.
Laurie Anderson may or may not be designing an amusement park on a hill somewhere near Barcelona with longtime collaborators Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel.
Laurie Anderson wrote the soundtrack to Spaulding Gray’s classic film Swimming to Cambodia; she wrote songs for the Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and Far Away, So Close.
Laurie Anderson has shared a stage with Cab Calloway, toured with William Burroughs, studied art history with Meyer Schapiro, and covered a presidential election for National Public Radio.
Laurie Anderson graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Art History from Barnard College in 1969.
Laurie Anderson once wrote ultra-reclusive prankster/author Thomas Pynchon asking permission to create an opera based on his postmodern Bible of nonsense and metaphor Gravity’s Rainbow. Amazingly, he wrote back and granted her permission. His only stipulation? She write it for solo banjo.
In the summer of 2001, Laurie Anderson took a job at a McDonald’s in an effort to jolt herself out of her own preconceptions.
Laurie Anderson was tight with guerrilla-comedian Andy Kaufman. Once, after a few whiskeys, she agreed to “fake” wrestle him on TV. Only when she was in the ring did she realize Kaufman had no intention of faking anything.
In her 1986 feature film Home of the Brave, Laurie Anderson wore an “electronic drum suit” that allowed her to bang out rhythms by tapping on various parts of her body.
Laurie Anderson’s ultra-bizarre hit single “O Superman” reached number two on the UK charts in 1981. Its lyrics, “Here come the planes/They’re American planes. Made in America/Smoking or non-smoking?” led some of her more rabid and delusional fans to pronounce her a prophetess after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Laurie Anderson voiced one of the characters in The Rugrats Movie.
Laurie Anderson toured a show titled Happiness in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, while she herself was still reeling from the destruction in New York City by planes that had flown over her apartment on the way to their target.
In 1984, Laurie Anderson created a seven-hour multimedia extravaganza called United States, which combined music, photography, film, drawings, and animation with text.
Four years ago, in an effort to escape technology, Laurie Anderson moved in with an Amish family only to discover they’d lost their ability to communicate with each other.
Laurie Anderson did a film in the 1970s about sex in the 1940s.
ANDERSON’S SPECIAL PERFORMANCE TO BENEFIT THE PRESERVATION OF THE HENRY MILLER LITERARY ARCHIVES HAPPENS 8pm THIS TUESDAY, JULY 26, AT THE HENRY MILLER LIBRARY IN BIG SUR. $50/REGULAR PRICE; $100/ “SUPPORTER PRICE” (INCLUDES COMMEMORATIVE POSTER). FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HENRYMILLER.ORG OR CALL 667-2574.