“Laurie Anderson: Landfall.” Pioneering multi-genre artist Laurie Anderson is a visiting artist at the University of Texas this semester. In tandem with her residency, the kaleidoscopic exhibition “Landfall,” at the UT Visual Arts Center, showcases Anderson’s artwork, which is a kind of physical and visual manifestation of her intensely rhythmic electronic music. The exhibit traces Anderson’s long-standing interest in storytelling as well as the myriad intersections among art, music and technology in her work. (Anderson will perform with the Kronos Quartet at Texas Performing Arts on Oct. 16.) Exhibition opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Exhibit continues through Dec. 7. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays (Thursday until 7 p.m.), noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. UT Visual Arts Center, Art Building, 23rd and Trinity streets. Free. 512-471-1108, www.utvac.org.
“The Head: A Trouble Puppet Show.” From the ever-clever Trouble Puppet Theater Company comes a darkly funny new show featuring bunraku-style tabletop puppets, each manipulated by as many as three puppeteers. Deep inside one man’s head, an overworked mechanic struggles with the head’s faulty machinery and other cranial residents as he tries to keep the man’s life in order. “The Head” is for adults only. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 12. Salvage Vanguar Theater, 2803 Manor Road. $10-$20. www.troublepuppet.com.
“Thirst.” More than 300 million trees have perished in Texas because of the extreme and exceptional drought of the last few years. To artistically memorialize the loss and call attention to water conservation, a temporary art project will see a 35-foot drought-ravaged cedar elm tree painted white and installed in Lady Bird Lake, its roots seeming to hover just above the water. Sponsored by Women & Their Work, “Thirst” is a collaboration between artist Beili Liu, architects Emily Little and Norma Yancey and landscape architect Cassie Bergstrom. A dedication ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday. “Thirst” remains on view through Dec. 20. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge, Lady Bird Lake. Free. www.thirstart.org.