Chan Centre – Laurie Anderson


Chan Centre presents
Prolific Experimentalist Laurie Anderson as
Part of Limited Retrospective Book Tour

Concert Hall Sold Out for Multimedia Artist’s Exclusive Performance
Celebrating Release of All the Things I Lost in the Flood

Vancouver, BC – The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is proud to present the special Beyond Words series presentation of Laurie Anderson: All the Things I Lost in the Flood on April 23, 2018 at 8pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. This exclusive, sold-out evening with one of America’s most prolific avant-garde multimedia artists – whose career spans four decades – will incorporate spoken word, video, live music and electronics to investigate the power and perils of language and storytelling.

Anderson will draw from themes explored in her newest book, All the Things I Lost in the Flood, which she refers to as a collection of essays on pictures, language and code. Reflecting on the book, she has said, “…for forty years, I have made drawings, music, paintings, installations, film, sculpture, electronic design, software, opera and theater. At the root of all of these works are stories. They are the engines.”

This event at the Chan Centre marks one of only a select number of performances in celebration of Anderson’s new book, a series of essays released in February 2018 by Rizzoli publishers. As part of the presentation for All the Things I Lost in the Flood, Anderson will reveal images – many previously unpublished – and give an intimate performance with commentary on some of her iconic works through the mediums of voice, electronics, codes, narrative styles and digital language. Audiences will also hear accounts of many of the artist’s projects, operas, installations and inventions and receive an inside glimpse at the artist’s methods, strategies, failures and Plan Bs.

Named the “most famous performance artist in the world” (Globe and Mail), Anderson first emerged into the public eye in the 1970s in New York with the radical performance art piece, Duets on Ice. This early work demonstrated her penchant for employing multiple components in performance; she played violin on ice skates with blades frozen in blocks of ice. The performance only came to an end once the ice had melted away.

It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that Anderson became a household name. She signed to the Warner Brothers label as a recording artist with the 1982 album, Big Science, which included the famed title track, O Superman. This song inspired by the 1885 opera El Cid features Anderson’s voice on vocoder, with overlaid sampled recordings and tape loop. Described as a “stunning electronic opus” (New York Times), it was named one of the ‘Top 10 Tracks of the Year’ by the former New Musical Express.

Since her launch into pop culture, Anderson has been a tireless creator and producer within an array of artistic genres. Over the course of her pioneering and expansive career, she has released seven studio albums, penned six books, and directed/co-directed five film projects, including 2015’s Heart of a Dog, which was picked up by HBO. Inspired by the life and death of her terrier Lolabelle, and dedicated to her late husband Lou Reed, this haunting collage of text, image and sound received critical acclaim. Anderson also composed scores for such filmmakers as Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme.

In the realm of visual arts, Anderson’s works have been presented at renowned galleries, including The Musée Art Contemporain of Lyon in France, and Museum of Modern Art in New York. Within technology, she’s regarded as a groundbreaking leader, having famously collaborated with Interval Research Corporation to develop a digital musical instrument known as the Talking Stick. In 2003, NASA named her its first artist-in-residence.

Limited copies of Anderson’s new book All the Things I Lost in the Flood will be available at the April 23 performance at the Chan Centre, and a book signing will take place following the performance.

Chan Centre Connects Events (
A series of ancillary events programmed in conjunction with Chan Centre performances, exploring the role of arts and artists in society.

  • Film Screening of Heart of a Dog – Thursday, April 12, 2018, 7pm @ The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St). Visionary multimedia artist Laurie Anderson tells a dreamlike tale of loss and love, primarily starring her beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle. Narrated by Anderson and dedicated to her late husband Lou Reed, the documentary muses about trauma and grief, relationships with loved ones, and the fragility of life—all with a poetic, rather sublime intonation. Super 8 footage as well as original art and animation are interspersed throughout Anderson’s profound yet relatable series of thoughts.

  • Pre-Show Talk – Monday, April 23, 2019, 7:15pm @ Royal Bank Cinema, the Chan Centre. Author and UBC lecturer Dina Del Bucchia looks at the impact and influence that Laurie Anderson has had on the literary world, while giving her own insight into expression, creative practice, and how artists ultimately arrive in places that allow them to create. Free for concert ticket holders.

About the Beyond Words series
The Chan Centre’s Beyond Words series was launched in 2012 to explore the power of storytelling through performance as an agent of change and means of igniting conversation. Previous events have included sold-out engagements with John K. Samson, Brendan McLeod, Shane Koyczan, Ivan Coyote, and Chicago-based performance collective Manual Cinema. In 2016 three pairs of distinguished BC-based writers and choreographers came together for the very first time to create new works combining words and movement. In Fall 2018, the series welcomed acclaimed UK author, cartoonist and activist Kate Evans in a presentation of her graphic novel, Threads: From the Refugee Crisis. On March 16-18, vocalist Tanya Tagaq alongside trailblazing Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory performed three sold out shows.

About The Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC (
Since 1997, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in UBC’s Arts & Culture District has earned an international reputation for its striking design, stellar acoustics, and exceptional programming. Artists, critics, and patrons alike are unanimous in their praise of the facility, winning it a place among North America’s pre­­­­mier performing arts venues. The Chan Centre boasts three unique venues: the superb Chan Shun Concert Hall, the dramatic Telus Studio Theatre, and the intimate Royal Bank Cinema. From classical, jazz, theatre, and opera to world music, the Chan Centre is a vital part of UBC campus life where artistic and academic disciplines merge to inspire new perspectives on life and culture. Past performers and guest speakers include: Wynton Marsalis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Renée Fleming, Dan Savage, Yo-Yo Ma, Buena Vista Social Club, Sigur Rós, Mavis Staples, Anoushka Shankar, Trombone Shorty, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. This season the Chan Centre is celebrating two decades of world class performance. Visit their 20th anniversary archives at for memorable stories and never-before-seen photos from the past twenty years.

LISTING INFORMATION: Chan Centre presents
Laurie Anderson: All the Things I Lost in the Flood
Date: Monday, April 23, 2018 at 8pm
Ticket Prices: SOLD OUT 
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office: 604-822-2697 /
In person at the Chan Centre ticket office

Open Tue-Sat, 12pm-5pm

Download release here: PDF or WORD