Laurie Anderson '72, Groundbreaking Artist and Composer, Will Address the School of the Arts Graduates

March 30, 2022

Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts, has announced that alumna Laurie Anderson '72, groundbreaking artist and composer, will speak at the School’s in-person convocation, hosted on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 4pm. The ceremony will recognize the School’s Class of 2022 MFA graduates in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts + Sound Art, and Writing, and MA graduates in Film and Media Studies along with the Classes of 2020 and 2021.

“Laurie Anderson is one of the most exciting, innovative, daring, and brilliant artists working today," said Becker. "She is also fearless and always ready to address the most important political and social issues of our time. We are thrilled to have her as our graduation speaker this year.”

Laurie Anderson (Composer) is a writer, director, visual artist and vocalist who has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, experimental music, and technology. Her recording career, launched by ‘O Superman’ in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave (1986) and Life on a String (2001).

Anderson's live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances such as Songs and Stories for Moby Dick (1999). In 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance The End of the Moon. In 2010 a retrospective of her visual and installation work opened in Sao Paulo, Brazil and later traveled to Rio de Janeiro.

Her film Heart of a Dog was chosen as an official selection of the 2015 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. In the same year, her exhibition Habeas Corpus opened at the Park Avenue Armory to wide critical acclaim and in 2016 she was the recipient of Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts for that project. Anderson lives in New York City. Anderson continues to tour her evolving performance Language of the Future and has collaborated with Christian McBride and Philip Glass on several projects in 2017.

Anderson continues to work with the activist group The Federation which she co-founded in 2017. In February of 2018 Landfall, a collaboration between Anderson and Kronos Quartet was released through Nonesuch Records. Commissioned by Kronos Quartet in 2013, the work was inspired by the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. 

Most recently Anderson opened her largest solo exhibition at The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. titled The Weather which is open through July 31, 2022.  The Weather debuts more than a dozen new artworks, interspersed with select key works, including Habeas Corpus (2015), from her five-decade career. The exhibition guides visitors through an immersive audiovisual experience in the Museum’s second-floor galleries, showcasing the artist’s creative storytelling process through her work in video, performance, installation, painting, and other media.

Join us here at 4 pm ET on Wednesday May 18, 2022 to watch.