The avant-garde icon talks life and death.
Since the '70s, Laurie Anderson has been a crucial connecting point between the American avant-garde and the world of music. Although she's still synonymous with the 1981 hit "O, Superman," it's her experience in the worlds of performance and multimedia art that define her deep and lasting contribution to modern culture. Descending from the rich lineage of free-thinkers and experimentalists shaping New York's '70s downtown art scene, Anderson says she finds freedom through "making things that break the rules"—something she's done with remarkable consistency across a variety of mediums spanning five decades.
For this week's Exchange she speaks to Jordan Rothlein about the ideas shaping her latest record Songs from the Bardo, a collaborative work recorded with Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith. We hear an Anderson coming to terms with what it's like to live in 2020, covering everything from Tibetan Buddhism to death and the role of art at the end of the world.