Laurie Anderson

I came upon this in Laurie Anderson’s essay Time and Beauty.


A lot of the art I happen to like seems to have elements that I associate with Buddhism. Somewhere in this work there is an understanding of – or illumination of – impermanence, emptiness, suffering. There is an approach to the world that moves away from symmetry (a kind of duality?) toward a simple and striking, sometimes shocking, single element. It also might involve a suddenness that I associate with the effort to be aware, to be awake.

Is this a kind of Buddhist aesthetic? I can easily imagine the opposite: that real awareness and an ability to be in the moment would allow us to be completely non-judgmental, aesthetic-free. I can imagine a way of seeing in which even our preferences are no longer important. I can imagine being so astounded by the world that there is no time to reject any of it at all.

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