Pearson Airport, Toronto, Canada
Marina Abramovic’s MAI prototype represents a first test in the artist’s initiative to develop an institute where visitors can learn the techniques and ideas she has developed in the field of performance art. This mobile prototype consists of 7 connected chambers and an interior courtyard that visitors move through in groups of four. Guided by an audio track created by the artist, the visitors perform a specific set of actions in each of the chambers. Working with Abramovic, we created a system that tracked a specific group of people as they moved through the prototype. The video was streamed to a website and during the Luminato Festival, to an installation at Pearson Airport. The streaming setup used a network of high frequency RFID tags/readers, cameras, and custom controllers linked to a video switcher. As the tagged visitors moved into a specific space, the RFID readers trigger the corresponding camera to activate, creating a continuous stream of the group’s experience. This automated system created a continuous stream of the performance for 12 hours a day.