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Microsoft deletes ad for new ‘mixed reality’ headset featuring alleged satanist

The ad experienced a huge backlash — over 24,000 'dislikes' versus fewer than 700 'likes.'
Tue May 5, 2020 - 8:48 pm EST
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Marina Abramović. Hannes Magerstaedt / Getty Images

May 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Microsoft has deleted a video ad that it had launched on Good Friday promoting a new virtual reality product featuring a controversial performance artist whose public work has for decades presented many of the hallmarks of satanism.  

The tech giant took down the online commercial for its new Hololens 2 headsets after experiencing a huge backlash — over 24,000 “dislikes” versus fewer than 700 “likes” — due to its decision to partner with Marina Abramović, who has devoted her career to being an artist provocateur, frequently incorporating nudity, violence, and satanic symbols into her very public live art displays. 

The video ad was removed from YouTube two days after Easter. 

Reddit capture of Microsoft’s now-deleted Youtube ad.

Over the years Abramović has famously written billboard-sized messages in pig's blood, etched pentagrams into her stomach with razor blades, put devilish horns on her head, and hosted dinners meant to realistically imitate cannibalism.

Performance art “is a form of art where the medium is the body. In the case of Marina, she uses the body to make statements and sometimes be quite violent, and sometimes be provocative,” explained art critic Arthur Danto in a 2012 video about the installation of her artwork — featuring herself — at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.

Now, at age 73, Abramović has entered into a new phase of her career, seeking to immortalize her work via Microsoft’s Hololens 2, a headset similar to virtual reality goggles but that allows users to view digital imagery while still viewing the actual space around them, so the subject appears to be occupying the same space as the viewers. Hololens 2 offers a different type of experience from traditional virtual reality systems, where the real world around the viewer is completely shut out.   

This new technology has been dubbed “mixed reality.” 

“I believe that art of the future is art without objects,” said Abramović in the now-deleted  video ad. “This is just pure transmission of energy between the viewer and the artist.”

In 2013, Abramović, whose fame had previously been limited to avant-garde art circles, leapt into popular culture after Lady Gaga went on a three-day private retreat with her.  

“Fourteen-year-olds who never heard of performance art are now interested in my work because of Lady Gaga,” said Abramović at the time. “That’s how I emerged into the mass culture.”

During the retreat, Abramović had Lady Gaga do a range of exercises, including having the singer strip naked, and then left her alone in the middle of the woods to find her own way back. 

In a video of Lady Gaga practicing the “Abramović Method,” the singer is seen singing out a single note — a primal, mind-emptying mantra — in a variety of circumstances:  Lying alone on a wooden floor; standing in the middle of a stream, with a horn affixed over both eyes; sitting back to back with Abramović in the stream; wandering naked through a field, blindfolded; hunched over in a forest, wearing nothing but boots; and finally posing nude with a giant crystal, and then lying down, her body covered with smaller crystals, her lifeless eyes looking upward, focused on nothing.

“She is a limitless human being,” said Lady Gaga of Abramović afterwards. “She is so boundless.”

Abramović found herself at the center of a media storm just before the November 2016 presidential election when her name showed up in emails released by WikiLeaks, hacked from the account of John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and his art-collector brother, Tony.  

One of the hacked emails was an invitation from Abramović to both Podesta brothers asking them to join her for “Spirit Cooking” at her residence in New York. 

A 1997 “Spirit Cooking” performance recorded on video included the artist using pig’s blood to write “recipes” on walls. The only ingredients called for are bodily fluids: “Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk” and “fresh morning urine sprinkled over nightmare dreams” and “with a sharp knife cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand and eat the pain.”

“The act of spirit cooking involves Abramović using pig’s blood as a way of connecting with the spiritual world, to cook up thoughts rather than food,” according to a 2016 report in the Guardian.

“We know that Marina Abramović is a satanist,” asserted Liz Crokin in another video, “Out of Shadows,” which coincidentally was also released on Good Friday and which at last count has racked up over 11 million views. 

“Google Marina Abramović’s name and ‘Spirit Cooking’ and you will find hundreds of pictures of Marina Abramović’s events where they will have, for example, a cake that looks like a human being and they’ll depict human cannibalism,” continued Crokin. 

“You will find A-list actors and famous politicians” at her events, voiced Crokin over a picture of John Podesta taking a sip of some of Abramović’s “Spirit Cooking.”

Abramović has been called the “grandmother of performance art.”

“My work is really more about spirituality and not anything else,” Abramović told ARTnews in 2016 after the Podesta emails were revealed. “I’ve been doing my work for so long, and this is a misunderstanding. It’s absolutely outrageous and ridiculous[.] ... I mean, this world is really turning to hell. I am completely amazed, something is taken out of context for the purpose of winning. We are living in such a strange world.”

“We had lots of fun,” Abramović recently told The New York Times concerning that particular “Spirit Cooking” event.  “There was no human blood, or baby serving, or sex orgies.”

According to the Times, “when the conspiracy theories started popping up, Ms. Abramovic said, she thought it was ‘just insane.’”

“I am an artist, not a Satanist!” she declared, but five decades of her artwork display all the trappings of a life obsessed with satanism.


  john podesta, marina abramović, microsoft, satanism, spirit cooking

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