(American, b.1947) is a performance artist, experimental musician, filmmaker, and sculptor. Born in Chicago, IL, Anderson began performing at a young age, and played the violin as a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony during her childhood. In 1969, she graduated from Barnard College, where she studied art history. Anderson went on to earn an MFA in sculpture from Columbia University in 1972. Inspired by the burgeoning downtown art scene of the 1970s, Anderson began her career in performance art by presenting her work on New York City streets and in makeshift art spaces. One of her early notable performances, Duets on Ice
, involved Anderson playing her violin from atop a block of ice, where she stood wearing ice skates with the blades frozen into the cube. The performance was considered complete only when the ice had melted. Anderson gained a much larger audience outside of the immediate art world when she released the album Big Science
in 1981. Big Science
included the single O Superman
, which rose to number two on the national pop charts in Great Britain.
Throughout her career as a performer, composer, and musician, Anderson has collaborated with William S. Burroughs
, John Cage
, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, and Lou Reed
, among others. In 2002, Anderson became the first artist-in-residence at NASA, which inspired her solo performance The End of the Moon
(2004–2006), and shortly thereafter served as a member of the team responsible for creating the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Anderson’s recent projects and pieces illustrate her interest in dream imagery, as well as her fascination with technology and its effects on communication, relationships, and the arts.
Her films and visual art have been displayed in venues around the world, including at the Sean Kelly Gallery
in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France. Anderson currently lives and works in New York, and was married to fellow musician and songwriter Lou Reed, until his death in 2013.