Laurie Anderson in 60 Minutes

Performance artist shares her thoughts as part of Peak Performances

Photo by Mike Peters

Laurie Anderson with Jedediah Wheeler, executive director of arts and cultural programming


Performance artist Laurie Anderson visited Montclair State University and spoke with an audience of 300 students, faculty, and art fans as part of the Peak Performances spring 2009 lineup.

Fresh from a two-year project as artist-in-residence at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Anderson spoke about her beginnings as part of the New York art scene in the 1970s, the role of art, and her adventures as an accidental pop star.

“At NASA, the people I ended up spending the most time with were the theoretical scientists, the nanotechnologists, and I realized that there is a lot in common between the creative process and the scientific process,” says Anderson, “we’re both moving things around and exploring, not quite knowing what we’re looking for or where it will take us.”

Anderson also spoke of the differences between the United States are Europe in terms of the government’s role in promoting arts and culture. “There’s the ‘BBC-type’ model where culture is handed down from above, but I prefer the U.S. model, where there are lots of people and small groups doing different things, and it’s all very messy and exciting."