Laurie Anderson is an experimental performance artist and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960’s.
Anderson is a pioneer in electronic music and has invented several devices that she has used in her recordings and performance art shows.
NASA appointed Laurie Anderson in 2005, as their first official artist-in-residence.
NASA probably had in mind a celebratory and hi-tec output – but Anderson, disturbed by NASA’s revived plans to revisit and exploit the moon, created the performance piece The End of the Moon.
After the success of Anderson’s show End of the Moon, Anderson paid a special flying visit to London to take part in The Arts Catalyst’s Space Soon event at the Roundhouse on Tuesday 12 September 2006 to reflect on her experiences, show her photographs and videos from her visit to Star City, in conversation with the author and critic Kodwo Eshun.
Also in 2005, Anderson visited The Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre (Russia’s space programme) and mission control. This project was in collaboration with The Arts Catalyst and saw a very different side of the human spaceflight story, where the post-Soviet cash-strapped Russian space agency sold flights into space to Japanese dotcom billionaires at $20 million a time.