Monday, December 11, 2017

laurie anderson at Mass MoCA

a little while back i heard that Mass MoCA was showing an VR exhibit by laurie anderson.

did i ever tell you my laurie anderson story? no?

it was back in the early '80s. i walked into a little thrift store looking for something funky to wear to a party and i was stopped in my tracks by the music playing on the store speakers. it was, i was to learn later, o superman.

"what is that music?" i asked. the young and trendy clerks who could not have been more than a year or two younger than me and yet WAY younger and hipper than me rolled their eyes and made that little clicking sound young hip people make when someone who will never "get it" ask questions.

"it's laurie anderson", one of them said as if i was the last person on earth to have heard of this.
"what album is this?" i asked, because back then we still bought albums.
"big science", they said, as if telling me this information actually caused them pain.
"i have to go buy it now."

and i turned immediately and ten minutes later i was on the other side of town buying it in a record store. you can watch this video, but i recommend just listening to it before you watch the images. or don't. your choice.

so yeah, i'm a fan.

they have her new VR pieces chalkroom and aloft. so my friend barb (who is a good sport about a lot of these adventures) and i made reservations and packed up the car to go november camping. maybe i will tell you more about that later. i fully intend to tell you a lot about the trip but you know, sometimes i forget.

it was amazing and awesome.

when you're in the VR environment you are IN that environment. i won't say it feels real, because what happens is mostly unreal. it's cool to watch other people in it, because if you have been in there, you can guess by their movements what they are seeing.

here's barb in aloft:

i know from just having done it myself that she is in a chair that's flying. and a thing has drifted near her, which she has caught. it's a book, and she has to turn the pages to interact with it.

it's pretty amazing stuff.

here's a washington post story about it.

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