Serpentine Galleries and the London Review Bookshop present an evening with Laurie Anderson on the occasion of the publication All the Things I Lost in the Flood: Essays on Pictures, Language and Code. Anderson is in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, to discuss her latest book, her relationship to language in live performances, stories, dreams and songs, misunderstandings and new meanings.
An icon of performance art and the indie-music world, Anderson has written the first book on her full career to date. She is one of the most revered artists working today, as prolific as she is inventive. Anderson is a musician, performance artist, composer, fiction writer, and filmmaker. In this landmark volume, the artist brings together the most comprehensive writing about a collection of her artwork to date, some of which has never before been seen or published. Spanning drawing, multimedia installations, performance and new projects in virtual reality, the extensive volume traverses four decades of her ground breaking art up to, and including her 2017 “Chalk Room” installation at Mass MoCA.
Each of the eight chapters includes thought-provoking commentary written by Anderson in which she explores the influence on language of politics, technology, poetry, and the difference between stories and songs. The personal essays explore how language relates to images and raise questions about beauty, time, reality and memory, elucidating these theories by showing ways they are expressed in her work.
Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned, creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she is a visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist and instrumentalist. A true polymath, her interest in new media made her an early pioneer of harnessing technology for artistic purposes long before the tech boom of the early 21st century. Anderson has toured the United States and internationally numerous times with shows ranging from simple spoken-word performances to elaborate multimedia events. Major works include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995) and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick, a multimedia stage performance based on the novel by Herman Melville. As a composer, Anderson has contributed music to films by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme; dance pieces by Bill T. Jones, Trisha Brown, Molissa Fenley and a score for Robert LePage’s theatre production, Far Side of the Moon. In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance “The End of the Moon”. Anderson has exhibited widely around the world, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Musée d’art contemporain, Lyon, France; Fondazione Tramontano Arte, Naples; the Park Avenue Armory, New York; and MASS MoCa, North Adams, Massachusetts.