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An icon of performance art and the indie music world, Laurie Anderson is one of the most revered artists working today. As a musician, performance artist, composer, fiction writer, and filmmaker (her most recent foray, Heart of a Dog, was lauded as an “experimental marvel” by the Los Angeles Times), Anderson seamlessly moves between the fine art world and the music world, and her interest in new media has made her an early pioneer of harnessing technology for artistic purposes long before the technology boom. However, regardless of the medium, Anderson’s storytelling has always been driven by language. Now in the first book of her full career to date, All The Things I Lost in the Flood, Anderson curates a comprehensive collection of her artwork—from an opera inspired by Moby Dick to installations addressing Guantanamo and the bombing of Baghdad—and offers an intimate understanding of her creative process. Discussing this landmark volume with award-winning writer Maggie Nelson, Anderson traverses four decades of breaking ground in the art of storytelling.

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned – and daring- creative pioneers. She is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology.  As writer, director, visual artist and vocalist she has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music.

Her recording career, launched by “O Superman” in 1981, includes the soundtrack to her feature film Home of the Brave and Life on a String. Anderson’s live shows range from simple spoken word to elaborate multi-media stage performances such as “Songs and Stories for Moby Dick.”

Anderson was appointed as the first artist-in-residence of NASA in 2002 which culminated in her 2004 touring solo performance “The End of the Moon”.  Other projects include a series of audio-visual installations and a high definition film, Hidden Inside Mountains, created for World Expo 2005 in Japan; the 2007-2008 worldwide tour of her performance piece, “Homeland”, which was released as an album on Nonesuch Records in 2010 and a retrospective the same year of her visual and installation work in Brazil. 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.

Laurie Anderson’s many awards include the prestigious Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; the Pratt Institute’s Honorary Legends Award; and the Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts  for her exhibition “Habeas Corpus.” Laurie Anderson lives in New York City. All the Things I Lost in the Flood is her seventh book.

Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson is the author of nine books of poetry and prose, including the National Book Critics Circle Award winner The ArgonautsThe Art of Cruelty: A ReckoningBluetsThe Red PartsSomething Bright, Then Holes, and Jane: A Murder. She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, an NEA in Poetry, an Innovative Literature Fellowship from Creative Capital, and an Arts Writers Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2016 she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles.

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: Laurie Anderson rehearsing during the Homeland tour, 2008 (Courtesy Canal Street Studio)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.