BEST KNOWN AS: a performance artist and avant-garde composer and musician
THE INTEL: After collecting a B.A. magna cum laude in art history from Barnard, Anderson did postgrad work at Columbia, receiving an M.F.A. in sculpture. She wrote her 1981 single “O Superman” through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; the groundbreaking minimalist piece put Anderson on the map (and became, rather improbably, a hit on the U.K. music charts). Anderson has also invented several musical instruments — including a “talking stick” and a “tape-bow violin” — that she uses in her performances.
BRAINIAC RATING, ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 11: 8
EXTRA CREDIT: In 2003, Anderson was named NASA’s first (and last) artist-in-residence.
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