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How Did the Universe Get Its Spots?

Laurie Anderson + Janna Levin

Saturday, March 6, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM

Performance artist Laurie Anderson + astrophysicist Janna Levin
The first (and only) artist-in-residence at NASA engages in a free-form conversation with the novelist and professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College. Levin teases apart the implications of black holes and the early conditions the universe; her first novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers.
From O Superman in 1980 to Homeland released just last year, Laurie Andersonis acknowledged as one of today’s premier performance artists. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist. Major works include United States I-V (1983), Empty Places (1990), The Nerve Bible (1995), and Songs and Stories for Moby Dick, a multimedia stage performance based on the novel by Herman Melville. Laurie Anderson’s visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe, including The Missing Peace here at the Rubin Museum of Art. This marks her sixth appearance at the Rubin Museum of Art.
Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. Her scientific research concerns the Early Universe, Chaos, and Black Holes. Her second book – a novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines (Knopf, 2006)- won the PEN/Bingham Fellowship for Writers that “honors an exceptionally talented fiction writer whose debut work…represents distinguished literary achievement…” She is the author of the popular science book, How the Universe Got Its Spots: diary of a finite time in a finite space. Just before returning to New York, she was the first scientist-in-residence at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford with an award from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and Arts (NESTA).