Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze
Marina Abramović with Suzanne Dikker and Matthias Oostrik*
Serbia/USA, Netherlands
Real-time brain installation, EEG technology
Marina Abramovic_web
Marina Abramović (RS/USA) with Suzanne Dikker and Matthias Oostrik (NL). Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze, 2011. Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, 2011 Copyright Marina Abramović, 2011. Photo by Maxim Lubimov, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture

In this real-time brain installation and science experiment, the audience takes on the role of performer and scientific subject. Volunteers engage in silent mutual gaze while their brain activity is displayed in real time, giving insight into their evolving internal experience as well as moments of neural synchrony. The installation continues Abramović’s exploration of human connectedness through non-verbal communication. Following her durational performance The Artist is Present (MoMA 2010), it investigates the transfer of energy between performer, public, and participant.

Garage website

Sponsored by Emotiv (c)

* Marina Abramović, Suzanne Dikker, Matthias Oostrik & participants of Art & Science: Insights into Consciousness (Watermill Center, NY)


Marina Abramović (b. 1946, Belgrade, YU) is without question one of the seminal artists of our time. Since the beginning of her career, Abramović has pioneered the use of performance as a visual art form. The body has always been both her subject and medium. Exploring the physical and mental limits of her being, she has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in the quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. As a vital member of the generation of pioneering performance artists, Abramović created some of the most historic early performance pieces and is the only one still making important durational works. Her performance work has been featured in major retrospectives in New York (MoMa 2010), where she performed her durational piece The Artist is Present for more than 700 hours, and Moscow (GCCC, 2011), where she performed in Measuring the Magic of Mutual Gaze.

Suzanne Dikker (b. 1979, Amsterdam, Netherlands) is a cognitive neuroscientist with the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology (Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York). Her work, which has been published in scientific journals such as Psychological Science and Cognition, uses a variety of neuroimaging techniques to examine the human brain’s ability to anticipate language and other sensory stimuli in our environment. Her most recent research investigates the cognitive factors that influence shared brain responses between individuals. Suzanne Dikker received her PhD from New York University in 2010.

In Matthias Oostrik’s (b. 1980, Amsterdam, Netherlands) work the audience is always present. Sometimes as object, sometimes as subject, but always as a starting point for a visual dialogue. He specializes in techniques for visual interaction, resulting in temporary video installations across the world (e.g., Mapping Festival, Geneva / TodaysArt, The Hague), as well as more permanent interactive installations for public spaces (e.g., the Bijlmer Moodwall, which received the Dutch Design Award). He received a degree in Interactive Media and Visual Effects at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in 2004.