Laurie Anderson Throws Silent Disco Concert for Dogs in Times Square

Show up early for Monday's Midnight Moment.

Laurie Anderson Heart of a Dog still. Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.
Laurie Anderson Heart of a Dog still. Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.

Dog lovers take note: artist and filmmaker Laurie Anderson is hosting a special concert for man’s best friend in the heart of New York’s Times Square on Monday, January 4 at 11:30 p.m. The live performance is paired with a viewing of a three-minute version of Anderson’s new feature film, Heart of a Dog. The documentary will be shown each night of the month on nearly every billboard in Times Square as part of the ongoing Midnight Moment series.

“I love Times Square,” said Anderson of the site of her latest project in a statement. “It’s a dream. Desire, speed, the explosions of color, patterns and energy. What a great way to start the New Year! The ball drops and Heart of a Dog leaps onto all those massive screens.”

Monday night’s live performance will end at 11:57 p.m., just as the Midnight Moment begins. Anderson has also created a special soundtrack to accompany the Times Square version of Heart of a Dog, which audience members can listen to over headphones in the style of a silent disco. Those looking to participate are advised to show up at 11:00 p.m., when headphones will be handed out on a first come, first served basis.

Laurie Anderson <em>Heart of a Dog</em> still. Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.

Laurie Anderson Heart of a Dog still.
Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.

Fittingly, Anderson has also considered our furry friends, and will play the track just for them at a low volume over speakers placed low to the ground. “The idea is that for all of the humans, they won’t really hear anything [without the headphones],” explained Times Square Arts director Sherry Dobbin in a phone call with artnet News.

Times Square Arts hopes that dog owners will turn out with pets in tow for the film, which was inspired by Anderson’s emotional relationship with her terrier Lolabelle. “It is a dog friendly place—for dogs that are very curious!” said Dobbin of Times Square, citing the plethora of sights, sounds, and smells in the busy intersection.

The full-length film contains Anderson’s autobiographical musings on life and death, family and dogs, the passage of time, love, and memory. For Midnight Moment, she’s created a new shortened version that explores the moment between life and death, with a collage of shifting images, many shot from a dog’s-eye view.

Laurie Anderson <em>Heart of a Dog</em> poster. Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.

Laurie Anderson Heart of a Dog poster.
Photo: courtesy Laurie Anderson.

“It sets up the context and experience of a memory,” explained Dobbin. “It’s a condensed snapshot that you would take away from the film.”

Heart of a Dog is currently among 15 shortlisted films vying for a nomination from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the best documentary feature category. Should Anderson win the big prize, it would be the second consecutive year an art world personage has taken the honor. Laura Poitras, who has an upcoming solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, won in 2015 for her Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour.

If you don’t find yourself in Times Square on Monday, the soundtrack will be available on Soundcloud throughout the month, allowing everyone to watch and listen on subsequent nights. The pairing of the two, says Dobbin, is “much more of a visual and a sensory exploration.”

Laurie Anderson, Heart of a Dog, will be on view at Times Square Arts Midnight Moment at 11:57 p.m. each night from January 1–31, 2015.


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