Marina Abramović is a pioneer in the world of performance art. Throughout a career that has spanned five decades, her body has been both her subject and her medium, with pain, physical limitations and intentions, and the relationship between artist and audience all formative elements. In the 2010 MOMA retrospective The Artist is Present, a team of trained artists “played” Abramović in various past performance roles, while Abramović herself sat at a small table where visitors to the museum waited turns to sit across from her. Like so much of her work, that performance was a major feat of endurance: Abramović sat stationary every day for three months. Abramović is the founder of the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a platform for immaterial and long durational work and the author of the memoir Walk Through Walls: Becoming Marina Abramovic.
Maria Popova is the highly creative mind behind Brain Pickings. Founded in 2006 as a weekly email that went out to seven of Popova’s close friends, Brain Pickings is now one of the fastest growing literary sites on the Internet. A resource for writings spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more, the site explores how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well. Popova has written for Wired UK, The Atlantic,The New York Times, and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, among others, and is a MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.