New Film (a personal essay)
Begun as a 40-minute personal essay for French-German Arte TV, this untitled film by EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson captures a series of interconnected confessional stories set against a soundtrack of original music. Partially filmed at EMPAC, the film has been expanded to feature length, driven by Anderson’s spirit of transformation, embracing uncertainty in her process while allowing the work to take on new properties as it was being made. In crossing the nebulous border between television and feature film, Anderson’s film reveals new insights into each, while also opening a cinematic window into her own life.
The screening will be accompanied by a discussion about Anderson’s artistic process, how making film soundtracks differs from making music, and what it’s like making something that gradually begins to turn into another thing altogether.
One of America’s most renowned performance artists, Laurie Anderson’s genre-crossing work encompasses performance, film, music, installation, writing, photography, and sculpture. She is widely known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings and has numerous major works to her credit, including United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), Stories from the Nerve Bible (1993), Songs and Stories for Moby Dick (1999), and Life on a String (2001), among others. She has taken part in countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.
Anderson has invented several technological devices for use in her recordings and performance art shows, including voice filters, a tape-bow violin, and a talking stick. In 2002, she was appointed NASA’s first artist-in-residence, and she was also part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She has published six books, produced numerous videos, films, radio pieces, and original scores for dance and film. In 2007, she received the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her outstanding contribution to the arts. She lives in New York City.