QsOTD (more) - Anderson, 9/25/00
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 100 20:15:30 -0700
Subject: QsOTD (more) - Anderson, 9/25/00
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"There's this idea that people staring at their [computer] screen is a kind
of lonely experience, and to a certain extent I agree that it is not a
very social hting, but on the other hand you could say that it's antisocial
to stay home and read a book as well."
- Laurie Anderson, "Laurie Anderson," page 168.
"You know, people often ask me whether I'm a filmmaker or a musician and
it always reminds me of that question: So if you could have the choice
between having no eyes no ears which would it be? I could never really
"...the eyes are really kind of primitive. They're like pre-World War II
field cameras. I mean the lenses are very crude--you can't do any zooms.
And the pans look really terrible and the dolly shots are a mess what with
your feet moving up and down like that all the time--it's not too smooth.
"For example, let's say you walk into a restaurant and here's what your
eye is really seeing: the door swings open and there's an awkward jerk
backwards and the flash of somebody's arm. Then a rickety scan of the
restuarant as you look for a table. Suddenly the floor lurches into view
as someone bumps into you.
"If at the end of the day you looked at the rushes of this shoot you'd
immediately fire the camera man.
"But the point is when you think back on the same scene in the restaurant
or when you dream about it, suddenly the camera work has really improved.
You see the establishing shot, a bird's eye view of the restaurant followed
by a two-shot of you and your dinner partner. Things are really well lit
and fairly well cut.
"YOUR MIND HAS FIXED IT ALL UP FOR YOU.
"And it's this doctored-up fake that passes for vision--not the actual
chaos we see through our eyes. And the same thing happens when you try
to picture the past or the future. Things get filtered through your
memories and your expectations and they smooth it all out."
"I've always thought that one of the most serious defects of the human body
was that you couldn't close your ears. You can't point them anywhere or
close them. They just sort of hang there on the sides of your head. But
an acupuncturist explained to me that the pressure points in ears are very
important because the whole body is represented right there in the ear.
The ears, he said are vestigial fetuses--little versions of yourself--one
male and one female, and he showed me: here's the lobe--that's the
miniature upside down head--and this curve here is the spine, and right
here are the little genitals--and that was when I went back to wearing
- Laurie Anderson, "Laurie Anderson", page 155.
"[Performance artist Laurie] Anderson explains, 'The first time I realized
that I could work outside of the avant-garde circuit was 1978. I was
scheduled to do a performance in Houston, and since the museum wasn't
really set up for this sort of thing--no stage, no chairs, no sound
system--the performance was booked into a local country-and-western bar.
The advertisements suggested some kind of country fiddling, so a lot of
the regulars came. They arrived early and sat along the bar, so when the
art crowd showed up--dressed in black and fashionably late--there was
nowhere to sit. It was a strange-looking crowd. About halfway through
the concert, I realized that the regulars were really getting it. What
I was doing--telling stories and playing the violin--didn't seem bizarre
to them... I remember that I felt great relief. The art world was after
all quite tiny and I'd been doing concerts for the same hundred people.
This was a whole new world."
- Laurie Anderson, "Laurie Anderson" by Rose Lee Goldberg, page 154
© 2000 Peter Langston