marina abramovic institute kickstarter reaches fundraising goal marina abramovic institute kickstarter reaches fundraising goal
aug 23, 2013

marina abramovic institute kickstarter reaches fundraising goal

marina abramović launches kickstarter campaign for the marina abramović institute by OMA
marina and study model
image courtesy of OMA



belgrade-born new york-based artist marina abramovic has fully funded the creation of the ‘marina abramovic institute for the preservation of performance art‘ via a successful kickstarter campaign . the building will be designed by OMA  in a former theater in hudson, new york. conceptualized as a ‘laboratory for new ideas‘, the MAI center will fuse innovations in science, technology, art, and spirituality as it seeks to develop new kinds of extremely long-form performance experiences. the campaign also includes the unveiling of the MAI prototype, first seen in toronto’s luminato festival. sited in trinity bellwoods park, the series of interconnected pavilions allows visitors to experience and participate in a series of exercises based on ‘the abramovic method.’ in addition to the prototype’s potential to empower participants to create their own performance, the lasting effect of the interactive work comes in form of a live stream of the micro-performances in various locations as well as the broadcast of the experience via social media. already, the blog #whyMAI contains a series of written responses from people who experienced the MAI prototype.


in the kickstarter campaign, marina abramović reveals some of her plans for the space. after entering, visitors are expected to lock their belongings into a safebox and don lab coats to leave behind any sense of connection to the outside world. after a ‘slow motion walk’, they enter an eyegazing chamber where they will hold eye contact with a stranger for some length of time, recalling abramović’s own ‘the artist is present’ performance at MoMA. from this room, visitors enter a crystal cave to feel the energetic effects of the stones before continuing on to a meditation chamber, where beds are suspended above the floor through magnets.


see the designboom exclusive video of the prototype:



the exclusive video features the artist explaining the motivations and aims of the MAI prototype
video © noah blumenson cook
video courtesy marina abramovic institute



the original building planned for MAI came into existence as the birthplace of the hudson river school, and later became an indoor tennis court, antique warehouse and market before the artist bought the dilapidated structure in 2007. after the planned enhancement, the space will be used as a living archive, preserving and hosting performances of historic pieces as well as a laboratory for exploring the immaterial art of dance, theater, film, video, opera and music.


for the MAI kickstarter campaign, video game designer pippin barr has created a digital MAI museum whose $5 admission fee goes towards the crowdsourcing campaign. other rewards for supporters include special access to live-streamed lessons for her slow motion walk exercise, part of the abramovic method, and one-on-one virtual eyegazing with the artist.



virtual tour of MAI from marina abramovic institute
video © milica zec
video courtesy MAI



armed with 40 years of pioneering background in this genre, the artist also intends to introduce and implement the training of audiences in mental and physical disciplines and experience long-durational work.  new furniture typologies and lighting techniques will be explored and developed by the firm to facilitate the prolonged viewing times.



proposed ‘crystal room’ in the planned marina abramovic institute for the preservation of performance art
image courtesy of OMA


‘MAI’s aim is to protect and preserve the intellectual and spiritual legacy of performance art from the 1970s into the future, and will serve as an homage to time-based and immaterial art.’marina abramović, artist and founder of MAI


‘we are excited to design a new performance typology, unique in its integration of specific parameters for long duration works.’ – shohei shigematsu, partner at OMA




performance in the main multi-use gallery space of MAI
image courtesy of OMA



abramovic method: performing and observing public
image courtesy of OMA



abramovic method: classroom
image courtesy of OMA



performance: artist’s overlook
image courtesy of OMA




staying connected: library
image courtesy of OMA



marina abramovic explains what the ‘laboratory of new ideas’ is designed to accomplish and why cross-collaboration is vital for creative exploration
video © milica zec
video courtesy of MAI



marina abramović and shohei shigematsu with the model
image courtesy of OMA



model at the project unveiling ceremony
image © lauren wohl



model detail
image © lauren wohl



model detail
image © lauren wohl



study model
image © lauren wohl



site model
image © lauren wohl



conceptual models
image © lauren wohl



towers wrapper
image courtesy of OMA



performance hall flexibility
image courtesy of OMA



performance hall and supporting program
image courtesy of OMA




image courtesy of OMA



editor’s note: a version of this article originally appeared on designboom on may 8th, 2012. it has been updated to reflect the starting of the MAI kickstarter campaign.

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