Posts tagged ‘performance’

Mach-20 by Laurie Anderson Fragment

This has been sitting in my drafts file for awhile. Made some minor revisions and decided to publish it because it’s 4 a.m. and I have nothing else to do. WordPress doesn’t let me embed you so you can watch Mach-2o here.

Laurie was able to take an idea like information and turn it into a sperm whale race by adopting the conventions of the research paper and folding it into a storybook. Her pieces like Mach-20 aren’t brilliant for their literal conceptual meaning, but the way they shift the topography of our ideas. By simply folding metaphors, changing the track of her thought, and wandering inspiridely through her thinking, she reintroduces wonder into a stale intellectual environment. But it brings me back to Greil Marcus’ Mystery Train, one of Randy Newman’s greater charms according to Marcus is that Newman’s inventive and self-conscious, Laurie Anderson on the other hand is inventive with consciousness. Mach-20 employs a kinda metaphorical thinking similar to the lyrical output of Bob Dylan and Stephen Malkmus, but she is able to move these totemic ideas into constellations that collapse in wonder.  Anyway, she caught a little euraka moment, but even better she manages to share the process of coming to that thought with us.

May 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment


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