Laurie Anderson's commencement speech on art, science and space


29 Responses to “Laurie Anderson's commencement speech on art, science and space”

  1. Surely the video uploader could have chosen a more flattering thumbnail frame?

  2. miasm says:

    to paraphrase: “You need to make something to find out what you want to make.”
    Truer words were never spoken. Probably.
    This comment is a working model.

  3. Jesus says:

    While NASA doesn’t have an official “artist in residence” program, they sort of skirt that by calling the position a “visual strategist,” but the roles are actually pretty similar. Check it out.
    Dan is by all means an artist, employed by NASA for the sole purpose of contributing artistic work in support of the mission.

    • jan angevine says:

      A visual artist in support of a mission is totally different from an artisit-in-residence who is not tasked for visuals for a mission. The “visual stategist” may be an artist, true. But this is not an artist-in-residence.

  4. nixiebunny says:

    It’s a pillow speaker, which being a voice-coil speaker, also works as a microphone that fits in your mouth. 

    • wrybread says:

      Are you sure that’s what’s happening? I thought it was a bit simpler than that: the speaker was playing a pre-recorded piece, which she was altering by altering the shape of her mouth. 

      • nixiebunny says:

        I just watched it again. The device is an old-fashioned iPod, and it appears that she is playing the song and modulating the sound from the speaker with her lips. There is a bit of delay between a new note and her mouth opening. So yeah, you’re right.

    • leaded says:

       my wager-  she played the notes on a small keyboard through the pillow speaker and bent the notes through mouth shape, like a harmnica.

  5. robcat2075 says:

    I nominate William Proxmire as my suspect for “the unnamed senator.”

    Whenever he needed attention he’d issue a “Golden Fleece” award to berate some science project.

  6. Sad about NASA no longer having an artist in residence, but you know what? It’s 2012 and a new day has already dawned for private space exploration. I wonder if Space X has an artist in residence program?

  7. Bob Knetzger says:

    I was there in person and enjoyed Laurie Anderson’s talk and performance piece.  The highlight for me, tho, was seeing my daughter Laura Knetzger graduate with honors from the School of Visual Arts! 

  8. I am surprised that an artist who has scrupulously avoided bearing any really serious witness to her time is now exhorting young artists to do so. Better late than never, I guess. Still, no surprise that she’s taken with Occupy, another all signifier and no cattle kind of undertaking. Like her work.

    • Diogenes says:

      Oh, get over yourself.  She does what she wants, and many people like what she does.  What ground have you broken that you feel you can piss on her?

      • I guess there might be some substance in your reply if my comment were about her failure to break new ground or over whether or not a lot of people find her gimmicky, shallow work interesting. Reread and try again.

    • jan angevine says:

      Either you are a nihilist or you know nothing about her work. She has always been a witness to her time in the most challenging ways. But her work is much more than that, she has continually worked to reveal our deepest, most troubling communal delusions. 

  9. Amelia_G says:

    and I have to say this, though I don’t really get it… Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed have apparently been extraordinarily tolerant or kind with my schizophrenic kindergarten friend when he travels to New York. Conversely, when I travel to the homedorf, my schizophrenic kindergarten friend makes frequent sense.

  10. Amelia_G says:

    omg, she’s hilarious as usual! Merci, Laurie

  11. Birko says:

    Brilliant speech!
    Thanks for posting Cory.

    My all time favourite performance is Laurie Anderson doing Home of the Brave in Melbourne, Australia, on 27 March 1986.
    The show was delayed by an hour, to allow people through the city to get to the Arts Centre.
    Melbourne had it’s first taste of what’s now described as “terrorism”that night.
    The show was more poignant to me, as my hometown also lost it’s perceived innocence.

  12. ChicagoD says:

    So, I’m sitting at graduation and the speaker starts going “huh huh huh huh huh huh” and then says “O, Superman . . .” and I’m thinking, wait, am I tripping balls, or what?

  13. Rosin Ffield says:

    What’s wrong about being “esoteric”? Even science is obliged to go “esoteric” (Quantum Physics, 100th Monkey Phenomenon, Zilberbaum’s matrix, etc.).

    What does LA have to teach us about “art”? She has been widely promoted and glamorised — she has no subvesrive or fresh feel to her “art”, she is from an old age of blue-eyed, artificially promoted elite-pleasers.

    As for NASA, who frigging cares about NASA: ALL of us see (and often interact) with entities zig-zagging and appearing disappearing in the skies, who the hell gives a flying fig about a fake institution designed as a facade covering the truth about extraordinarry technology (and other facts…)being conealed from the people… (and my anger is not directed at Corry guy who’s articles i do appreciate greatly..)

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