PaperCity Magazine

September 2014 - Houston

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of BIRTH BY STEVEN HEMPEL LAURIE ANDERSON: DOGS, LOVE, DEATH AND THE BARDO BUT THIS INTERVIEW IS FAR TOO SHORT TO VISIT ALL THOSE SUBJECTS. OOL Laurie Anderson, widow of musician Lou Reed, has performed and exhibited around the world as performance artist, composer and musician. Her diverse range as an artist has seen her produce a single, "O Superman," which rose to #2 on British pop music charts in 1981 and she become the first — and only — NASA artist in residence, which inspired her performance piece The End of the Moon. In 2003, she received the Aurora Award from the Aurora Picture Show. Anderson will be in Houston again for the Mitchell Artist Lecture September 10 at the Moores Opera House, University of Houston. As a run-through, we discussed inspiration, motivation, the beauty of drones, and her nonexistent philosophy on life. What are you observing in the world these days? It is pretty intense. I saw the biggest security camera I've ever seen; it was the size of a stove. I'm making a movie currently. I'm not sure what the title is, but I'm thinking of calling it Security Cameras the Size of Stoves. There are a couple of scenes about the security of NY. Just to see these things is startling. And with the recent events in St Louis, it's pretty unnerving the level of violence that seems to be popping up. Inspiration? Music inspires me all the time. Just about any kind of music — other than musical comedies, which I run from. Music is something that gives you such a positive feeling. What consumes the greatest portion of your artistic time? My film. [The currently untitled] project has expanded as it has moved forward. It began as a 40-minute film and is now 100 minutes. So I'm off to Switzerland next week to try to explain what happened and hope that the producer likes it. I often don't know when I start something if it will stay as a "pencil sketch" or if it will become something much larger. I just trust my instincts. How do projects like your current film come about? [The French television channel ARTE] came to me and asked me to make a film about my philosophy on life. I laughed and said that I don't have one, and even if I did, I certainly would not try to put it in the shape of a film and try to hoist it off on people. But the producer didn't believe me, so he came to a show I was doing in Switzerland and said, "What about all the stories about your dog? Maybe that would make a good movie." So it started off as a dog story, then it expanded into stories about time and love and death and the bardo, and it got much more complicated from there. Thoughts on technology? I think technology is completely neutral. And drones are a great example of that. I used a lot of drone footage in the film I'm doing. I used them because of the amazing images they produce. They have some beautiful images from the lo-res cameras on the underside, and I love the contrast with the more highly resolved images you get from the front. And because I love the way they look. I'm attracted to things that are beautiful and fast. It sounds incredibly shallow but it's true. It's like cars — I love fast cars. How do you focus? It always depends. Right now I have six projects I'm working on: a book, a record, an installation, a movie ... It's really my usual mix of stuff, and it tends to get prioritized by deadlines. Someone comes and tells me I've got to get this done, and that's what I work to finish. Right now it's the movie. Didn't you create an app for music? I have one coming out soon that is based on playing CD-ROM. I worked a long time with CD-ROM, and there is nothing to play that stuff on now. So it's kind of fun, and while the resolution isn't so great, it's good enough for the iPhone, so I've made a little app. What is your mission as an artist? It is a pretty changeable thing for me, depending on the day. I'm a lot less goal-oriented than I used to be, so "mission" sounds a bit too organized for what I'm trying to do. I think a better term is inspired. Right now, I'm inspired by trying to help people. I'm inspired by helping people to see the world in a different way through my art. For them to look at things in a way that isn't so depressing. There's an awful lot of violence in entertainment, and I really feel that it makes people more tolerant of violence, and it would be amazing if there was a way to get people really excited other than just watching people get killed. What kinds of things convey "good feelings"? I'm a great fan of [musician] Arvo Part. When I hear his work, I think, "What a great contribution to the world!" His music is just absolutely beautiful and free. I think that more than anything my motivation in life is to be free, and I think that is a great motivator for many people in a lot of ways. Thoughts about your artistic collaborations. Recently I've been doing improvisation with young musicians. It's kind of an unlikely language for me and a lot of fun to see where we can go with things. I try to be an equal partner with the others. I have some shows planned in Norway in early September with trumpeter Arve Henriksen, who is someone I've never worked with, never met. I was asked if there was anyone I'd like to play with, and I picked him because I love his records. I have no idea what he's really like. I just know that I'll play violin and a bunch of electronics, and we'll see what happens. Artists you regularly seek out? I wouldn't miss work by The Wooster Group, Philip Glass or Bob Wilson. An artist who is truly in touch with the pulse of the world today? Ornette Coleman [2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for music]. He would be the one. Anything you want to do artistically that you haven't done yet? Stand up comedy. I'm collecting jokes now. Laurie Anderson at the Moores Opera House, University of Houston, Wednesday, September 10, 6 pm reception, 7 pm lecture; gratis; registration required; Laurie Anderson COURTESY OF THE ARTIST style spotlight PaperCity Presents 3941 San Felipe, Houston, TX 77027 | 713.522.9101 | | Lilith womenswear, which has a signature bohemian style, was established in 1987 by designer Lily Barreth. The French brand combines beautiful tailoring with uniquely crafted fabrics to create a range of styles and quality not commonly seen. Many of the designs within the Lilith collection have a positively nostalgic feel that take inspiration from vintage styling, albeit with a good dose of contemporary innovation thrown in. is LiLith's excLusive shop-in-shop in the u.s. LiLith ÉtÉ 2015 trunk show wiLL be september 4 through 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. LiLith hiver 2014 is in store now.

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