Laurie Anderson is known best for her chart-topping song "O Superman," an avant garde phenomenon that oddly crossed-over into popular consumption in 1981. It even scored her a seven-album recording deal with Warner Brothers, back when those kinds of offers mattered.
But she's far more than a one-hit wonder. Anderson's 1983 performance piece America, an eight-hour opus of video, spoken word, violin, hand-crafted electronics and commentary as told through the bizarro world counterculture lens, is a masterwork of contemporary performance art.
Her labors in experimental composition rose from that freaky, jazzy intersection of people who made important shit in 1970s New York: John Cage, Andy Warhol, Philip Glass and other big minds were dear friends and collaborators.
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She's an early adopter of technology and incorporates each new push into her work, then uses the stuff to comment on our methods of communication and interact with her audiences. Whether bending film projections, creating fake holograms, wiring mouthpieces or electrifying door jams, she merges body, conceptual, performance and multimedia arts into a fluid look at who we are and how we wound up this way.
Her book Night Life is a stunning documentation of an eight month stint of hyperactive dreaming, penned during waking fits in various hotel rooms. It's an equal parts astounding/depressing read as you realized that Anderson's most mundane vision holds more humor and beauty than anything you've ever conjured. It's dedicated to her late husband, Lou Reed.
So naturally, you'd hoped to see Laurie Anderson this March at the Kessler as part of WordSpace's visiting artist series. The show has been postponed. Wordspace has announced a new date, October 23, 2014. Set your Google Calendar for the new ticket sale date, August 23, 2014.
Hey, while you're at it, set a reminder for March 13: That's the day Wordspace releases tickets for another glorious eccentric, John Waters. You'll find tickets on Prekindle.