Heart of a Dog

Laurie Anderson

Times Square Advertising Coalition

Laurie Anderson adapted her feature film, Heart of a Dog, which was short-listed for an Academy Award, for Times Square. This unique edition of the film was shown on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 pm to midnight from January 1-31, 2016. This project was a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts.

Heart of a Dog is a collection of stories about dogs, time, family, love, memory and death. In the middle of the film there is a sequence from "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" that describes the transition of energy and consciousness at the time of death. In this portion of the film, which is the section that was shown in Times Square, Anderson created a visual song, filled with a wild collage of images. The video changed point of view frequently, shifting from a dog's eye view to the lens of a surveillance camera to free floating pictures that move through your mind in dreams and memories.

On January 4, 2016, Anderson was on site for a special live performance, joining NYPD canine handlers and their dogs for a gathering that began at 11:30 pm on Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Streets) and culminated in the 11:57 viewing of the work. The event was free and open to the public. Headphones were distributed and the public was encouraged to bring their own dogs.  

Artist Laurie Anderson said, "I love Times Square. 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 at three minutes to midnight. Who could have predicted the unraveling dreams of my dog would be magnified up there like this? And sound too!"


Photographs courtesy of Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts.