Marina Abramovic has spent decades as a professional performance artist. She's tortured herself in front of live audiences, taking pills prescribed for catatonia and schizophrenia (having seizures and blacking out), and allowing the audience to treat her like a doll, standing passively for six hours with an array of objects people could use on her, including honey, oil, a whip, a gun and a bullet. Someone pointed the loaded gun at her head, and she ended that performance topless, crying, with thorns in her skin.
Developer and philosopher Pippin Barr is tasked with turning Abramovic's ideas into games, with his most recent project called the Digital Marina Abramovic Institute
. It allows players to participate in an hour of experiments set up by Abramovic, or to view pixelated renditions of other artist's performances. It's part of Abramovic's push to open a real-life institute for long-duration art installments, a campaign that raised $660,000 on Kickstarter
"Go, check it out," Barr says
as an introduction to his game. "It's probably not like many things you've tried before. It may not be to your taste. But it also ... may. Be." After trying it out, we agree that it's definitely not
like anything we've tried before – the taste part is up to you.
Barr previously turned Abramovic's work at the Museum of Modern Art, The Artist is Present
, into an eccentric video game where players wait in line in real time to stare into Abramovic's eyes, and he has a history of crafting odd, tedious and insightful
titles. Find out if this is your thing here
(heads up for pixelated nudity if you walk to the left).