Monday, October 31, 2005

This is what you pay tax money for

From the your tax money at work department.

For two years, NASA paid Laurie Anderson as the agency's "artist in residence." The performing artist was commissioned to perform a theatrical story-telling piece in theaters across the nation, as part of a NASA outreach effort. The artist in residence position was not specifically authorized by Congress

Job Description:

* Create and tour a theatrical piece, educating theater-goers about NASA; and
* " produce a film on the moons of the solar system" for the 2005 World Expo.

Laurie Anderson describes the film in this way, "It's images from above...It begins with this idea of stuttering and how difficult it is to start things. And it's connected to the rocks in many ways."[1]

Additional Employment While Working for NASA

* Preparing for her violin tour;[2]
* Taking long walks around Europe to create an audio diary for French radio; and
* Composing music for a Japanese garden for the 2005 World Expo.[1]When asked how she is working on so many projects while also working for NASA, Anderson replied, "The NASA artist in resident thing is a very small stipend. It's not enough to really do stuff..."[2]

You might not _like_ the idea of a private company getting into and possibly dominating the launch business but you can bet that they won't spend their money on useless works of 'art' - or if they do they'll get a better deal for their money.

Statements by Laurie Anderson in Interviews During Time at NASA:

  • "Congress is the jocks and they're always saying how terrible it is that NASA spends their money on all this stuff."[3]
  • "As sad as I am about being in the United States these days, NASA is genuinely exciting."[4]

  • Suggested to a NASA engineer while touring NASA facilities, "Have you
    ever thought of a different set-up?...I'm on a quest against
  • "...I've been trying to avoid goal-oriented behavior."[2]
  • "I am and always have been a snob."[3]
  • think a lot of people in Washington are extremely suspicious of NASA."[2]
  • "I met many astronauts, and they seemed so out of place."[4]

They'll probably find one that, you know, understands what the f*** space is about at any road.

From NASA's First and Last Artist in Residence? | NASA Watch


[1] "Moon and Stats Align for Performance Artist," Washington Post, June 30, 2004.

[2] "Moon Rocks," NewsweekOnline, July 9, 2004.

[3] Vue Weekly,

[4] "Post-Lunarism," New York Times, January 30, 2005.

[5]"NASA artist in residence tours Ames' key research facilities," Astrogram, July 2003

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