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Laurie Anderson performing violin during her Norton Lecture

During her Norton Lectures, Laurie Anderson sometimes dances with herself or plays a violin of her own invention.
Screenshot by Lily Scherlis

For decades, Laurie Anderson dreamed of having a late-night radio show. She wanted to reach people during that period of time when “most of the listeners are half-asleep or trying to get back to sleep, a time when reality and dreams just sort of merge and it’s hard to tell the difference between them.” Anderson’s Norton Lectures achieve a similar effect to the 4 A.M. radio show, though they air in the middle of the afternoon. The talks are the 2021 installment of the annual arts and humanities lecture series coordinated by the Mahindra Center for the Humanities. Crafted specifically for Zoom, Anderson’s lectures are slippery montages of anecdotes and eerie virtual landscapes. 

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