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  Last changed - (French time): 2016/09/27 08:25     > Recent changes


This revision is from 2016/08/30 05:56. You can Restore it.

listening, auditoria, audiences / écoute, auditeurs, auditoriums : — Studies


étude / study


Cette série explore les œuvres prenant la notion d'auditorium comme principe /
This series is a study about works based on principles of auditoria.

• COMPOSING THE NOW (Michel Waisvisz) - 2003 — read /lire
• JULES VERNE - (Auditoires, Noise et Aventures Acoustiques / ''Audiences, Noise and Acoustic Adventures'') - XIX° — read /lire
• BREATH (Gerald Shapiro) - 1971— read /lire
• THE HANDPHONE TABLE (Laurie Anderson) - 1978— read /lire

cliquez sur les images pour les agrandir

My childhood was spent listening to other members of the family telling stories about what happened to them. We even have family songs, composed by my twin brothers. Everyone liked playing with words. — (Laurie Anderson)Laurie Anderson commence à étudier le violon à l'âge de cinq ans. Elle est née le 5 juin 1947, à Wayne, dans l'Illinois. Dans sa jeunesse, elle joue au sein de l'orchestre Chicago Youth Symphony. En 1966, elle se rend à New York afin de poursuivre des études d'art. Trois ans plus tard, elle obtient une licence au Barnard College puis, en 1972, une maîtrise à l'université Columbia. Pendant deux ans, elle enseigne l'histoire de l'art à la City University de New York. Afin de financer ses performances, Laurie Anderson collabore à ARTnews et Artforum, des revues d'art pour lesquelles elle écrit des critiques et mène des interviews. Dès 1974, elle obtient plusieurs subventions qui lui permettent de poursuivre plus aisément ses expérimentations artistiques.

I was part of a group of artist/pioneers that included Gordon Matta-Clark, Gene Highstein (sic), Susie Harris, Tina Girouard, Richard Nonas, Dickie Landry, Phil Glass, Keith Sonnier and several other sculptors and musicians. We often worked on each others’ pieces and boundaries between art forms were loose… We were very aware that we were creating an entirely new scene (later known as ‘Downtown’). — (Laurie Anderson)
Born in 1947, Laurie Anderson grew up with four brothers and three sisters in a Chicago suburb. She studied violin and played in the Chicago Youth Symphony but abandoned the idea of becoming a violinist.
After her graduation in 1969, Anderson moved to New York City. In 1970 she had her first solo exhibition at Barnard College (art history studies), where she experienced also the 1968 campus revolt sparked off by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. At the School of Visual Arts, her teachers included Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt. In the early 1970s, while immersing herself in Buddhist texts and the writings of the phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty at Columbia University where she studied sculpture until her graduation in 1972.
Anderson circulated in the downtown New York art scene, making the acquaintance of Joel Fischer, Philip Glass, Gordon Matta-Clark, Keith Sonnier and others. Her sculptures of the period were influenced by the formal idiom of Eva Hesse. Anderson wrote art reviews as a freelance critic for small art magazines in New York City, taught in schools as art history instructor at various colleges, and exhibited at various galleries and museums. Her debut as a performance artist came in 1972 in Rochester, New York, with The Afternoon of Automotive Transmission.

1971-1979 — New York Times horizontal/China Times vertical(Edit)

En 1972, les premières sculptures de Laurie Anderson sont des tressages de journaux dans lesquels les trames textuelles apparaissent et disparaissent. Elle crée ses premières sculptures entre visuel et concept, dans lesquelles la structure formelle et la relation au monde sont intimement imbriquées, en tressant divers journaux (le New York Times et le Sunday pour Seven Weekends in March (1972) (composée de journaux réduits en pâte à papier, sculptés en forme en briques disposées en ligne sur le sol), ou encore le New York Times et le China Times).

— — New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical was constructed by weaving strips of each newspaper together. In 1972, Anderson showed a diaristic piece, Seven Weekends in March, composed of pulped newspapers formed into bricks and laid out in a line on the floor.

Laurie Anderson's "New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical", 1976 (first conceived 1971) woven newspaper - Laurie Anderson / National Gallery / Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Collage composed of cut, pasted, and woven newspaper strips, 575 x 368 mm
Laurie Anderson's "New York Times, Horizontal / China Times, Vertical" , 1971/2000, woven newspaper backed with mylar, 572 x 343 mm - Laurie Anderson / Sean Kelly Gallery NYC

Laurie Anderson's "New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical", (Coca-Cola Comes / China (For Bobby), 1972-79)
Photo : John Kannenberg

Click the picture for more detail (close-up) (file : 4,3Mb)
or download the picture (file : 4,3Mb)
Laurie Anderson's "New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical", (Coca-Cola Comes / China (For Bobby), 1972-79)
Photo : John Kannenberg

Click the picture for more detail (close-up) (file : 4,3Mb)
or download the picture (file : 4,3Mb)


-Studied Merleau Ponty with Arthur Danto, art history with Meyer Shapiro and printmaking with Tony Harrison
-Learned about mudra
-Spent the winter wearing no coat
-Graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in sculpture
-Wrote art reviews for various art magazines "Artforum," "Art News," and "Art in America"
-Taught Art History at various colleges in New York City
-Included in "Story Show" John Gibson Gallery
-Wrote OCTOBER 1972 (published in 1976, 60 pages, Holly Solomon Gallery, New York City) and HANDBOOK
-Began to work on THE TALKING BOOK
-Compiled ECOTECTURAL FABLES, a series of collages about the relationship between animals and architecture

OCTOBER 1972 (1972-1976)
— — — — ../files/articles/anderson/1972_october72_1.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1972_october72_2.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1972_october72_3.jpg — — — — (Click to enlarge)

HANDBOOK (aka Manual) (1972-1974-2005-2012)
handwritten, spiral-bound
a large manual, whose subject is the turning of its own pages.
Laurie Anderson created a "Handbook" with a phrase handwritten on each page, designed as a manual for turning pages.
— — — — ../files/articles/anderson/1974_handbook3.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1974_handbook.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1974_handbook2.jpg — — — — (Click to enlarge)

THE TALKING BOOK (1972-...-1994)
Laurie Anderson notes that Stories From the Nerve Bible (published in 1994 - the volume chronicles her works from 1972 to 1992) is here Talking Book, a project she abandoned in the Seventies : a wildly free-form anthology of stories on tape which included fragments of songs, letters, theories about motion, history, and vision. As the narrator spoke and sang, her voice constantly changed into other people’s voices. … —— "I could never really figure out exactly who was talking or how to organize this cacophonies talking orchestra. When I finished Stories From the Nerve Bible, I realized this was the Talking Book". — (In Kirstin Jean Cronn-Mills - Performance and problematization in rhetorical culture_ the example of Laurie Anderson - 1997)

1972 — Handwriting (Mudra)(Edit)

Toujours en 1972 Handwriting, à partir du langage des gestes bouddhiste, est une compression en papier mâché du New York Times : tous les mots sont agglomérés en un seul signe : une main qui signifie écrire. À la manière de John Baldessari et de Ed Ruscha, elle entreprendra de faire son propre papier pour ses propres livres.

—— The idea of Anderson as a storyteller has footing in both her live performances and her early sculptural work. While she was a student at Columbia studying sculpture Anderson began incorporating Buddhist hand gestures called “mudras” into her pieces. These gestures could have small meanings, like specific words, “writing,” for instance or larger meanings, like higher planes of consciousness.
Anderson’s earliest sculptural works, such as
Handwriting (Mudra) (1972) and New York Times, Horizontal/China Times, Vertical (1971), her interest in incorporating the body and language was already evident. These works were made from manipulated newspaper. Anderson created Handwriting by pressing her hand into newspaper pulp, creating a Mudra, so a Buddhist hand gesture. The pieces therefore have more than even a double meaning being highly conceptual as they are actually words (the mudras) made from other words (the printed information on Anderson’s daily copy of the New York Times).

1972 — An Afternoon of Automotive Transmission(Edit)

En 1972, Automotive, l'une de ses premières performances, consiste en un concert de klaxons de voitures présenté dans le parc de la ville de Rochester, dans le Vermont.

Rochester, Vermont - concert of automobile horns
In the early 1970s, she started creating and presenting her first performance pieces such as
Automotive, a “concert” of car horns in an open space in 1972. There was a symphony for car horns and autoparts entitled An Afternoon of Automotive Transmission.
Renting a house in the North Hollow with downcountry friends, she exhibited her creative way of looking at things by drawing together 10 automobiles, which she called
the Horn and Engine Society, and leading them in a "musical" performance that required them to blow their horns at the correct time. The concert was held Aug. 26, 1972. Despite threatening skies, the day’s program was attended by about 50 of the curious. Two other composers listed on the program that day included Peter Schneider and Geraldine Pontius.
The White River Valley Herald newspaper headlined "Automotive Orchestra Bows/ In Stunning Rochester Debut," and judged that "Laurie Anderson [...] has been catapulted to recognition as the world’s foremost composer of work for automotive orchestra." "No less curious than the audience was the music," The Herald reported. "Written especially for the tonal possibilities of the autos represented, it was limited to seven notes; and because the Fords all tooted in thirds, the harmonic construction was limited." The Herald reported also that to find her orchestra, Anderson "took to the streets with a tape recorder, asking startled local motorists to toot into her machine. [...] The absense of another vehicle sent the organizers scurrying down the line of assembled spectators, blowing their auto horns until an E-natural was found and pressed into service."
(M. D. Drysdale, Laurie Anderson Gave First Concert On Rochester Park, In The Herald, Jan. 20, 2005 - [Source]
— — An Afternoon of Automotive Transmission, which Anderson describes as ‘really horrible’, was her first outdoor spectacle. Performed in Rochester, New York, this happening was envisioned as a summer concert for automobile and truck horns. The whole event has a humorous tone featuring musical compositions such as: ‘The Well-Tempered Beep’, ‘Concerto for Land Rover with Six-Cylinder Backup’, ‘Six-Part Fugue for the Well-Fueled Heretic’, and ‘Auto-Da-Fé’ — “Peter Schneider, attired in a full tuxedo with black tie but without socks, directed his ‘Horn Pipe for Horn and Pipe’ while Geraldine Pontius conducted her ‘Well-tempered Beep.’” — (In Drysdale, “Automotive Orchestra Bows in Stunning Rochester Debut,” White River Valley Herald of Randolph [Rochester, VT], August 31, 1972) —. Even though mostly preoccupied with sound, this performance also inverts common spatial delineation by reversing the traditional relationship between the audience and the performers. Every summer regular musical concerts would be held in the Rochester Park, with musicians playing in the park’s gazebo and the audience seated on the surrounding grass. Also part of the local custom has been that the audience applauds the summer concerts by blowing their car horns. Anderson places the audience in the gazebo and the performers – drivers and their cars – around it. Reversing the positions and performing the concert of car horns, Anderson subverts the conventions of a traditional communal event and turns it into a happening of avant-garde defamiliarisation.(Silvija Jestrovic, From the Ice Cube Stage to Simulated Reality: Place and Displacement in Laurie Anderson’s Performances, [Source])
— — On one level, Anderson’s Automotive reacts to the dominance of the automobile in American culture, a fact criticized and brought to national attention by Helen Leavitt’s Superhighway - Super Hoax (1970). On other levels, the piece offers a wry reply to the high culture of orchestras and to a regular local event in Rochester. During Sunday evenings in the summer of 1972, the town of Rochester convened on its town green. The high school brass band played in the gazebo, while the audience parked their cars around it and sat there to hear the show. Anderson explains, "The strange thing was that they never got out of their cars. After each number, they honked their horns as applause […] The applause sounded better than the concert". Inspired by the "rich, resonant, loud" sounds of the horns, she decided to write a piece for car horns. Anderson auditioned local owners of cars, trucks, and motorcycles — If you would like to participate in the first Automotive Orchestra please call 767-5331. (No previous orchestral experience necessary). We hope to rehearse and perform this piece soon so please call before August 20. —, and Automotive was performed on Sunday evening, 27 August 1972, on Rochester’s green. She reports, "The concert was performed on the town green but this time the relationship was reversed : the audience sat in the gazebo and the orchestra surrounded it. […] On of the pieces sounded more or less like barking seals but another had the magnificence of an enormous traffic jam" (Laurie Anderson, In Stories from the Nerve Bible)(Philip Nel, The Avant-garde and American Postmodernity, University Press of Mississippi, 2002)

It sounded great. WBAI has broadcast it a few times. I sent them a tape after the concert and said, Here are some nice cars in harmony. If you ever want to play it, you can.(Laurie Anderson, Interviewed by William Duckworth)

1972-74 — Chord for a Room(Edit)

April 18-19-20-21, 1974 - About 405 East 13th Street (#2), organized by Jean Dupuy


Flyer, About 405 East 13th Street#1, 19,8 x 30 cm, mai 1973

— — — — In a number of works, such as Chord for a Room (1972) and The Window, The Wind, Oh (1976), Anderson incorporates architectural elements to produce sound.
Chord for a Room was conceived for the Jean Dupuy's exhibition "About 405 East 13th Street #2", in 1974 — [About 405 East 13th Street #1", 1973].

— — (In 1972, Dupuy left his gallery to live as a form of art, free of the constraints of the art market. Seeking to work outside of a market that he felt reduced artistic objects to a base monetary value, he began exploring intangible, ephemeral approaches to performance and experiential practice. A year later he held his first collective event, "About 405 East 13th Street (#1)", where 30 artists participated. Dupuy considered collective work to be a “sampling of contemporary creation” and considered the mix of artists involved to be like a salad, each bringing their own unique voice and creative abilities to the mix. In 1973, Jean Dupuy invited thirty-four artists to participate in the exhibit. The aim of this collective project titled “About 405 East 13th Street #1”. was to intervene, modify or document the interior and exterior spaces of Dupuy’s loft –following a process that he termed as “spatialisation”. In critic Laurie Anderson’s words, it explored the “description and manipulation of several interior, exterior, and interfacial aspects of the loft. The microscopic and telescopic realignments destabilized the conventional subject-object relationship.” (Laurie Anderson, “Spatializing, About 405 # 1” In Art Forum, September 1973, pp. 88-90). As an example, Gordon Matta-Clark, one of the invited artists, proposed to simply clean one of several window’s pane of glass, thus subtly modifying the relationship between interior and exterior spaces, a gesture that ensured the introduction of light.
(In Xavier Costa, Moments and Situations: The Pavilion and Its Archive, Northeastern University)

— — For the second year in a row, a show called About 405 East 13th Street has been held at 405 East 13th Street, in the loft of Jean Dupuy. Unlike the majority of independent exhibitions tied to no gallery or institution, which generally show the work of a single individual, this is a group show including the works of some 38 persons, six of who live in the building, the rest artists who nonetheless have addressed themselves to the building/loft. […] The idea of Laurie Anderson - to stretch tension wires from floor to ceiling in such a way that each wire across the length and width of the loft [of Jean Dupuy] at the ceiling in such a way that each wire would resonate on a different tone when plucked, based upon the dimensions of the loft - was in theory a fine adaptation to the space.(P.I. Greene, About 405 #2, In Jean Dupuy, Collective Consciousness, Art Performances in the Seventies, Edited by Jean Dupuy, Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1980, p.115)
Dans plusieurs de ces œuvres dont Chord for a Room (1972) et The Window, The Wind, Oh (1976), Laurie Anderson incorpore des éléments architecturaux pour produire du son.
Chord for a Room a été conçu pour l'exposition organisée par Jean Dupuy à New York en avril 1974, About 405 East 13th Street #2 — [About 405 East 13th Street #1] — [About 405 East 13th Street #1 - page 2]
Jean Dupuy organise, en mai 1973, son premier événement collectif, une exposition, « About 405 East 13th Street (#1) », pour laquelle il invite trente artistes à intervenir dans et à propos de son lieu (un loft, espace à la fois de travail et de vie) : des interventions minimales, imperceptibles, pour la plupart, où les œuvres présentées ne sont pas à vendre. Les événements « About 405 East 13th Street (#2) » et « About 405 East 13th Street (#3) » se dérouleront en 1974 et 1975. Par exemple en avril 1975, le Philip Glass Ensemble joua Two Pages et Music in Contrary Motion, deux œuvres de Philip Glass).
Pour l'événement « About 405 East 13th Street (#1) » Laurie Anderson écrit un article dans Artforum Spatializing.

— — En 73, le marché de l’art dépassait toute mesure, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire. En 1973, j’organisais, en invitant trente-quatre artistes (deux générations), un show collectif, chez moi, au sujet de mon loft 405 13th Street situé près du ghetto portoricain. Rien n’était à vendre. Lors de la première expo [il y eut deux autres sessions #2 et #3 les deux années suivantes], une partie des oeuvres faites in situ, était quasi invisible. Par exemple, Lizbeth Marano avait collé sur la porte d’entrée, une réplique photographique à l’échelle 1/1, de la porte d’entrée. Gordon Matta-Clark avait lavé un carreau d’une des huit fenêtres – ça n’avait jamais été fait depuis cent ans – situées côté Ouest. Antoni Muntadas a rempli quatre tiroirs d’un meuble, de produits naturels odoriférants pris dans le quartier. Nam June Paik projeta une vidéo du plafond sur le plafond. Richard Squire suspendit dans l’espace la maquette du loft faite à l’échelle 1/20. Irene Winter accrocha une terre cuite (2 000 B.C.) sur le mur en brique (2 000 A.C.). Chris Murphy fit un calque du plafond pour le coller au plancher. J’ai ouvert le plancher pour voir le dessous, et le plafond, le dessus. Gian Franco Mantegna montra des photos et des affiches rapportant des scènes de mai 1968, à Paris, prises cinq ans avant. Charlotte Moorman vint de temps en temps dans le loft pour jouer en play-back une partita de violoncelle, avec un masque de Pablo Casals sur le visage… et cætera. Trente-quatre oeuvres, et même un peu plus, éphémères et pas signées. La peinture brillait par son absence. Les artistes ont dû, à tour de rôle, faire les guides pendant les huit jours de l’expo, pour signaler aux visiteurs ce qui était invisiblement exposé et donner le nom des auteurs. La presse fut étonnée : tout était contraire aux galeries de SoHo. Artforum, représentant pourtant « The art business », a publié un article très descriptif de quatre pages signé Laurie Anderson sur cette première expo et l’année suivante, sur la deuxième, un article de Alan Moore. Le troisième et dernier opus de ce festival se passa chez Jayne Bliss, au quatrième étage. — (Jean Dupuy, Extrait de l'entretien avec Éric Mangion paru dans le catalogue de l'exposition À la bonne heure, Semiose éditions / Villa Tamaris Centre d'Art / Villa Arson Nice, 2008)

Pour la deuxième année consécutive, une exposition intitulée About 405 East 13th Street a eu lieu au 405 East 13th Street, dans le loft de Jean Dupuy. Contrairement à la majorité des expositions indépendantes organisées en dehors du circuit des galeries et des institutions, qui montrent en général le travail d’un seul individu, il s’agit d’une exposition de groupe présentant les travaux de trente-huit artistes. Six vivent dans l’immeuble, mais les autres ont également travaillé sur la spécificité de l’immeuble/loft. […] L’idée de Laurie Anderson - tendre des fils métalliques du sol au plafond, et de long en large du loft au niveau du plafond, de telle sorte que chaque fil résonne sur un ton différent lorsqu’on le pince, selon les dimensions du loft - était, en théorie, une excellente façon de s’adapter à l’espace. — (P.I. Greene, About 405 #2, In Jean Dupuy, Collective Consciousness, Art Performances in the Seventies, Edited by Jean Dupuy, Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1980, p.115)


-Took sculpture classes with Sol Lewitt and Carl Andre at the School of Visual Arts
-Made a series of talking boxes on stilts
-Walked around Rome for two weeks with Sol Lewitt
-Met Vito Acconci and was struck by the intense emotion in his performance
-Met Phil Glass; joined other artists who sat in on Phil's rehearsals which resembled meditation exercises

1973 — O-Range(Edit)

Dix performeurs avec un mégaphone crient des histoires différentes à travers un grand stade vide.


Town Green, 1973
Lewisohn Stadium, City College of the City University of New York, 1973
sponsored by Vito Acconci
— — "Megaphones were used as the sound system in a large empty sports stadium [ — the Lewisohn Stadium of the City University of New York on 138th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, a large amphitheater demolished only a few months later]; ten performers [Anderson’s students] shouted stories across the field."
(Laurie Anderson)
— — As with the Town Green in Rochester [the Automotive performance], listening was inscribed in the history and architecture of the Stadium, which boasted a history of large-scale musical performances for audiences of thousands between 1918 and 1966. The New York Philharmonic’s program from 26 June 1935 presents a representative medley of pieces: the prelude to Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger is followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, and Three Dances from the ballet The Three-Cornered Hat by Manuel De Falla. Another typical program, from 1956, opens with directions “in the event of air raid alarm” and features the Stadium Symphony Orchestra in an all-Gershwin evening starring soprano Leontyne Price. O-Range positions the megaphone – and the amphitheater, for that matter – not so much as a musical instrument and more as a technology establishing a listening relationship, commanding attention, and creating a sense of emergency. [...] The conventional function of the car horn and the megaphone as sound technologies of alarm is unsettled by the faux-classical style of Automotive and the feminized storytelling of O-Range.(In Lucie Vágnerová, Sirens/Cyborgs: Sound Technologies and the Musical Body, Thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, 2016)

— — Artists Space, then located at 155 Wooster Street, presented her debut NYC show O-Range, titled the same, in 1973 [or in January 1974 ? : Laurie Anderson, Don Gummer, Barbara Kruger January 5 – 26, 1974] and [see below]), for which she was chosen by downtown fixture Vito Acconci for the Artists Select Artists series. For the exhibition, she showed works that paired text and photography in the conceptual style-du-jour with tongue-in-cheek plays on language and food : unframed panels featuring handwritten texts, and black and white photos in a documentation style.

1972-73 — Institutional Dream Series(Edit)

Laurie Anderson qui s'intéresse aux rêves s'installe sur une plage ou un quai de métro, bien fatiguée, pour voir si les siens ont un rapport avec le lieu public où elle s'endort.

../files/articles/anderson/1972_institutionallarge.jpgA personal study of narcolepsy and dreams
In this performance Laurie Anderson slept in various public places to see if the place would affect her dreams. She chose places like public bathrooms, a park bench and the public library.
Institutional Dreams, took place across New York City, including at 100 Centre Street and the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. For this series, Anderson would sleep in public sites, from Columbia University to Coney Island, as an experiment in gauging “if the place can color or control my dreams.” At the night court of 100 Centre Street, Anderson slept in one of the pews and was photographed doing so by her friend Geraldine Pontius. Her handwritten note that accompanies the slouched, sleeping portraits. Anderson notes that her dreamscape was influenced by her peaked knit cap, which alternately obscured and shown the courtroom’s light onto her face; her impressions distinctly affected by the environment in which she positioned herself. Anderson’s rather routine dream descriptions for Institutional Dreams have a resonant charge in their specific connection to impressions of place and the way they distinctly frame her memories and sensations, on both a conscious and subconscious level. Similar references to dreaming and dream states continue throughout Anderson’s work, in both her song lyrics and performances.
Source : http://lmcc.net/place/creative-insiders-laurie-anderson/

Photo by Geraldine Pontius
Coney Island January 14, 1973
I lie down near the water which is at low tide. It is bitterly cold and the sand is damp. I pull my turtleneck sweater over my face. After several minutes I begin to relax and lose consciousness. I am trying to sleep indifferent public places to see if the place can color or control my dreams. At the moment this seems like a crazy idea. I can hear the tide coming in. The water is beginning to cover my frozen feet. I’m not sure whether I’m asleep or awake so I keep my eyes shut tight. After a couple of hours I hear a loud rushing drone. It sounds like giant wave is rolling toward shore. I jump up and start to run. A large helicopter is hovering directly overhead.
Photo by Geraldine Pontius
Photo by Geraldine Pontius
South Street Seaport | The “Lettie G. Howard” starboard berth December 10, 1972.
I lie down in the starboard berth and dream about a white desert in which every plant was labeled in tiny writing.
Photo by Geraldine Pontius
Women’s Bathroom | Schermerhorn Library, Columbia university April 3, 1972
I lie down on the couch where I can see the women coming in and out of the bathroom, I put a notebook over my face and place my contact lenses under my tongue. I dream that the library is an open air market and all the stacks are stalls stocked with vegetables.
Photo by Geraldine Pontius
Night Court
100 Centre Street, December 29, 1972
The first case up is Robbery and Assault. The courtroom is noisy and full of people. I rest my head against a wall running the length of the courtroom. I drift off slowly.I have the impression that dark shadows or clouds are scudding across the courtroom just below the ceiling. When I wake up I realize this sensation is produced by the peaked cap I am wearing which, with me head’s periodic bobbing, alternately obscures and reveals the bright lights which hang near the ceiling. I wake up just as the judge is confiscating our camera. “You understand of course blackmail is illegal,” he is saying. But he only makes a show of taking the film out of the camera and then hands it back.

1973 — Fully Automated Nikon (Object/Objection/Objectivity)(Edit)

Laurie Anderson, en 1973, à 26 ans, est l’objet de commentaires plus ou moins obscènes d’hommes, jeunes et vieux, dans les rues de la Lower East Side (« Wanna fuck ? »). Aussitôt, systématiquement, elle s’arrête et les prend en photo : la situation est renversée, le chasseur devient chassé. On la craint, on la prend pour une policière en civil, elle demande l’autorisation de conserver la photo et d’en faire d’autres, les hommes s’excusent ou nient l’avoir insultée (comme si c’était de la ventriloquie, dit-elle). Elle dissimule leur identité avec une barre blanche sur le tirage définitif, et présente la série Fully Automated Nikon (Object / Objection / Objectivity) avec, pour chaque photo, un petit texte explicatif. L’appareil photo est une arme (comme pour Francis Alÿs) et un bouclier ; l’objet (sexuel, du désir) a soulevé une objection et la relation ainsi crée avec le ‘sujet’, si elle n’est pas nécessairement objective, ouvre en tout cas des voies de réflexion intéressantes.

— — An artist leaves her studio. She is Laurie Anderson. In the course of a day in June 1973, she takes photographs of the ten men who accost her in the street with what she terms "unsolicited comments of the 'hey, baby' type." She asks permission first. Her accosters are mostly pleased and flattered to comply. She answers their pleasure with banter, smiles, and laughter; does her compliance facilitate the easy, close-up portraits she is able to secure? Later in her studio, she responds to her accosters differently, as if now to undermine their ease; like an investigative reporter preparing an evidential dossier, and mindful of the law, she imposes anonymity on her informants: a wedge of white neatly cuts off their eyes. In this case the gesture seems less protective than offensive; in the name of privacy she inflicts blindness, even a kind of objecthood, on subjects who had started out by treating her that way.

../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon3.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon4.jpg
../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon5.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon7.png
../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon8_300.jpg ../files/articles/anderson/1973_Nikon9.jpg


-Received a CAPS (Creative Artists Public Service Program) grant
-Lived in Chiapas, Mexico
-Hitchhiked to the North Pole
-My loft was broken into and almost all my possessions were destroyed
-Joined the Holly Solomon Gallery

LIGHT IN AUGUST (1974-2002)
Light in August [a study, page 1], [a study, page2 was originally published as a set of three books.
In the summer of 1974, a thief broke into Anderson's loft, and stole or destroyed nearly all of her possessions. Stricken with grief, she found solace in Albrecht Durer's
Melencolia I, using the 16th century engraving to illustrate her list of missing treasures. In Light in August, Laurie Anderson lists the items involved in the 1974 break-in, corresponding each item to an image highlighted in red in a reproduction of Durer's Melencolia I. Things that have been stolen, destroyed, or left behind are assigned a new identity within the framework of the engraving. The original work was displayed in an actual book, with a different image on each page, and its corresponding item beside it.

Laurie Anderson decided, rather intuitively, to hitch-hike to the North Pole and subsequently wrote the book, The Rose and the Stone about the journey.

1974 — exhibition at Artists Space, NYC(Edit)

Laurie Anderson, Don Gummer, Barbara Kruger
January 5 – 26, 1974


1974 — AS : IF, performance, Artists Space, NYC(Edit)

April 23 – 26, 1974 — PersonA, collective exhibition, A video and performance series focusing on autobiography, Curated by Edit DeAk, editor of Art-Rite.
Encouraged by Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson attempted to structurally blend different personal stories with oversized projections of words in
As:If (subtitled Tales from the Vienna Wood ?).

Anderson’s performance
As:If (1974) explores the body of the voice from the image of the voice by combining visual projections, audiotape, autobiographical storytelling, and the playing of a water-filled violin. Anderson, dressed in white and wearing ice skates embedded in blocks of ice and a sponge cross around her neck, sits in front of a large slide projection screen onto which images of sets of words appear. Speaking of family, religion, memory, and language, Anderson’s monologue accompanies slide images of words, sounds of phrases from a prerecorded tape and of her altered violin — (In Johanna Frank (University of Windsor), Exposed Ventriloquism: Performance, Voice, and the Rupture of the Visible, Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, vol. 19, Fall 2005-Spring 2006, Issue title: Bodies: Physical and Abstract — — See also : Jean-François Caro & Camille Pageard, «Welcome to PAP, Public Access Poetry»).
On one side of the screen was a word concerned with language, and on the other, separated by a colon, was a word related to water (for example : SOUND : DROWN). In the performance, Laurie Anderson undertakes a de-construction of the feeling of a present self through the launching of a technological device. In a similar way to the development of a minimal music process, Anderson superimposes with a slight lag a sentence pronounced by a live performer with the same sentence registered and reproduced by a recording tape. “The real” time and the time of the record are overlapped, leading to a dislocation of the present time through its echo and, consequently, to a de-centering of the meaning of the sentence.
(In Ainhoa Kaiero Claver, Technological fiction, recorded time and 'replicants' in the concerts of Laurie Anderson, TRANS, nr14, Revista Transcultural de Mùsica, 2010)

— We talked about simultaneously. He said, now
— — Tape: We talked about simultaneously. He said, now
— think about what you’re saying and just
— — think about what you’re saying and just
— say it. But I always seemed to be a little
— — say it. But I always seemed to be a little
— in front of or behind the words. It was
— — in front of or behind the words. It was
— hard to synchronize. Words would surface,
— — hard to synchronize. Words would surface,
— the flow would go on, then other words would
— — the flow would go on, then other words would
— surface.
— — surface.
— My violin teacher told me the same thing.
— — My violin teacher told me the same thing.
— Concentrate on the sound, hear it, play it,
— — Concentrate on the sound, hear it, play it,
— all at once.
— — all at once.

As If, A performance by Laurie Anderson, April 25, 1974 - Exhibition PersonA, organized by Edit DeAk, Artists Space, NYC


Clear plastic tubing
Glass of Water
Bauhaus bath mat from Hotel Bauhaus

Violin and bow
Pine box covered with white sheet
Bronzed baby shoes on white marble slab

The gallery is dark except for one area - against a wall - lit with a spotlight.

Performer slides in, wearing ice skates (their blades frozen into blocks of ice), white clothes, and a paper - thin sponge around the neck.

As performer talks, slides of words are projected on the wall behind. This continues throughout. Each slide is a set of two words separated (or connected) by a colon.

I first performed as Artists Space in 1974, a few months after my exhibition. In the performance, called As : If, I wore all white. The dress functioned as a kind of film screen, upon which images were projected. In early performances like that one, I was interested in the use of one basic form — in As : If it was an arc. Most of the basic shapes are derived from forms near where I live. […] On the evening I performed As : If, I was nervous about whether the microphone I had strapped under my right underarm with an improvised mike-clip would fall out. It really looked ridiculous but I gave it a try. I wanted to have my hands free to do other things. This was before reliable remote wireless microphones. At that time, I did a multimedia show, which meant I used slide projectors, Super-8 film, big cables, and microphones strapped with a belt to my chest. I wasn’t that nervous at Artists Space, probably because I’d done so much public performing when I was younger. As a kid, I used to perform in front of people for the Talented Teens, USA group. I was a dorky American teenager from Illinois, but here I was doing shows for people like the mayor of Brighton, England, or for U.S. sailors on a ship in Nice, France. I would give chalk talks which meant I’d draw really fast on huge pieces of paper on a specific topic, such as American life. Because I was at cartoons, I would ask someone from the audience to come up and I would do caricatures of them while we talked. That was the entertainment - and it was really fun. So, during the Artists Space show in 1974, I felt more vulnerable than nervous. I kept asking myself, why am I saying all these things about my life and my grandmother ! It was a very unusual thing to do then. There was no such thing as autobiographical art, which is what it was called a few years later.(Laurie Anderson, Whirlwind, conversations with Laurie Anderson by Claudia Gould)

William Duckworth : When did you open the violin case again ?
—— Laurie Anderson : 1974
William Duckworth : What kinds of things did you do with it ?
— — Laurie Anderson : Anything but play it. I filled it with water and tried to play it. I didn't use it as an actual instrument. It may have been 1976 that I started recording with it. [...]
As : If was a series of stories, and the metaphor was always water-frozen or in liquid form. The stories were very personal, about my own memories. I was working with tape for the first time, and with cheap equipment I would find on Canal Street. So that was the origin of it. The first time I did this, I used a small speaker that I put in my loft and changed the volume and pitch of things. That was the first time I used film, slides, tape, action, and stories. And I realized that that was what I really wanted to do.(Laurie Anderson, interviewed by William Duckworth)

1974 — Dearreader (How to Turn a Book Into a Movie)(Edit)

Sarah Lawrence College, NYC
Whitney Museum of American Art, Dec 11, 1975 - Jan 7, 1976 - Autogeography programme : Dearreader, 1975, Super 8mm film, 45 minutes

Dearreader [a film/talk] (1974), a film directed by Laurie Anderson and Bob George featuring Geraldine Pontius, involves nine autobiographical stories read in a voiceover by a female narrator. During the presentation of the film, Anderson plays her violin as a live soundtrack and uses her own voice to speak out loud the dialogue of the film. Voice is both a mediatized representation (the instrumental soundtrack) severed from its source (the film), a representational extension (musical sound) that emerges from the actions of an identified source (the violin playing) and a real albeit amplified production (dialogue) that emerges from an identified source (Anderson’s corporeal body) but does not necessarily correspond with the visual display of the filmic projection.(In Johanna Frank (University of Windsor), Exposed Ventriloquism: Performance, Voice, and the Rupture of the Visible, Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, vol. 19, Fall 2005-Spring 2006, Issue title: Bodies: Physical and Abstract)

1974 — In the Nick of Time(Edit)

A performance at The Clocktower, NYC

In the Nick of Time (1974) posits Anderson’s physical body as that which directly interferes with and constitutes spectacle: Anderson moves in and out of the light of a projector and traces an outline of the projected image on the wall that served as the screen. When the film ends, the red traced object remains on the bare wall and silence engulfs the room.(In Johanna Frank (University of Windsor), Exposed Ventriloquism: Performance, Voice, and the Rupture of the Visible, Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, vol. 19, Fall 2005-Spring 2006, Issue title: Bodies: Physical and Abstract)
Anderson uses time to emphasise a structure that regulates an otherwise chaotic world. Images of time In the Nick of Time include clocks. — {small}(Gillian Kime, Laurie Anderson as being a 21st Century storyteller within the performing arts, 1999)

1974 — Self-Playing Violin(Edit)

Self-Playing Violin. 1974. Modified violin with built-in speaker and amplifier (sound). 31 min.
Modified violin with built-in speaker (with internal audio speaker).

As early as 1975 in Duets on Ice [see below], a piece in which Anderson performed on the Self-Playing Violin, a violin with a cassette player installed in its body that accompanies her playing, the violin has been integral to her performances.
Over the years she developed many violins :
self-playing violin (1974),
viophonograph (1976) (with partnership with audio engineer Bob Bielecki) (a violin mounted on a record turntable that moves the bow),
tape bow violin (1977) (which she plays by passing a prerecorded audio tape, strung across a bow, over a tape player’s audio heads, which are mounted in place of the violin strings),
neon violin (1982),
digital violin (1985).

The Tape Bow Violin is rigged with an audio playback head and played with a bow in which the horsehair has been replaced by a prerecorded tape. The Tape Bows for Tape Bow Violin, for example, have sounds and words (sayings and proverbs, usually) recorded on the tape of each bow. Depending on the speed of Anderson’s bowing, she can make the violin “talk.”

Other creations include the
Viophonograph, which has a battery-powered turntable mounted on the body of the violin that is played with a bow with an attached needle; and the digital violin, interfaced with an electronic keyboard instrument, which appeared in Mister Heartbreak and Home of the Brave. Versions of the digital violin have appeared in all of Anderson’s performances. In Stories from the Nerve Bible, for example, Anderson incorporates a dummy size ventriloquist puppet with its own Suzuki violin that produces a processed symphonic sound. Anderson has also used a Zeta MIDI Violin that is linked to an audio system to retrieve sound samples, and a Clevinger Bass. These instruments enable Anderson not only to manipulate music and sound—incorporating alternative sounds and voices into her performances—but also to play further with the relationship between image and sound, body and voice: the violin, the body, and the voice are different from what they appear to be.(In Johanna Frank (University of Windsor), Exposed Ventriloquism: Performance, Voice, and the Rupture of the Visible, Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library, vol. 19, Fall 2005-Spring 2006, Issue title: Bodies: Physical and Abstract)

Audio document : in cd The Record Of The Time (Sound In The Work Of Laurie Anderson), Catalog of an exhibition held at the Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon (France), Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf (Germany), Padiglione d'arte contemporanea in Milan (Italy) and other venues in 2002-2003, with a 2-minute recording of the Self-Playing Violin recorded 1974.

1974 — How to Yodel(Edit)

— — Nov. 30, 1974 — Soup & Tart, organised by Jean Dupuy, The Kitchen, New York

Laurie Anderson performing How to Yodel in Soup and Tart, The Kitchen, New York, 1974 - Photo by Kathy Landman.

Laurie Anderson performing How to Yodel in Soup and Tart, The Kitchen, New York, 1974 - Photo by Peter Moore.

— — — — I’m afraid my memory of Soup & Tart is a little bit foggy… but I know it was the first time I used the Self-Playing Violin. This is a violin with a small speaker inside - and the speaker wire runs to a cassette deck. Half of a violin duet was in tape (coming out of the F holes of the instrument) and the other half was plying simultaneously live.
There were words to the song but I don’t remember exactly what they were.
Soup & Tart was right after my loft on Second St. had been broken into ; I’d just spent the summer hitchhiking to the North Pole and came back to find a huge hole chopped through the concrete wall of my loft. All my films had been burned - books and clothes ripped up, windows broken, and magic marker messages three feet high on all the walls. This was when I really started camping out - wandering around New York, staying at friends’ places. I remember the camouflage song had something to do with the way I felt to be your own walking house.(Laurie Anderson, In Jean Dupuy, Collective Consciousness, Art Performances in the Seventies, Edited by Jean Dupuy, Performing Arts Journal Publications, New York, 1980, p.154)
— — — Je crains que mes souvenirs de Soup & Tart ne soient un peu vagues… Mais je sais que c’était la première fois que j’utilisais le Self-Playing Violin. Il s’agit d’un violon dans lequel est placée une petite enceinte - l’enceinte est reliée à un magnétophone à cassettes. La moitié du duo de violon est sur cassette (diffusée par les ouïes de l’instrument) et l’autre moitié est jouée simultanément en direct.
La chanson avait des paroles mais je ne m’en souviens pas exactement. Soup & Tart a eu lieu juste après le cambriolage de mon loft de Second Street ; je venais de passer l’été à faire du stop jusqu’au Pôle Nord et quand j’étais rentrée, j’avais découvert un énorme trou creusé dans le mur en béton de mon loft. Tous mes films avaient été brûlés - mes livres et mes vêtements étaient déchirés, les fenêtres cassées, des messages d’un mètre barbouillés au feutre sur mes murs. C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai vraiment commencé à faire du camping - j’errais dans New York, je dormais chez des amis. Je me rappelle que cette chanson, sur le thème du camouflage, était en rapport avec ce qu’on ressent, quand on est sa propre maison ambulante. — (Laurie Anderson, In Jean Dupuy catalogue À la Bonne Heure, Semiose éditions / Villa Tamaris Centre d'Art / Villa Arson Nice, 2008, p. 43)

— — — — Comme Jean Dupuy habite dans un grand loft, suite à son arrivée de France en 1967 il invite des artistes, des amis, à faire d'autres propositions. L'idée de performances collectives est née. Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, Laurie Anderson, Claes Oldenburg, Charlemagne Palestine, Georges Maciunas, Carolee Schneemann, Joan Jonas, Philip Glass, Olga Adorno, Gordon Matta-Clark, Richard Serra,... vont enchaîner de courtes actions régulées par la durée et parfois par un dispositif imposé (Whitney Museum, Judson Church). À la Kitchen, il organise la soirée Soup and Tart où 40 artistes font une petite pièce n'excédant pas 2 mns.

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