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How much would you pay to put on a lab coat and stare at strangers?

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marina abramovic
marina abramovic

Sixty-five-year-old Marina Abramović, widely regarded as the most successful performance artist living today, is asking for $600,000 on Kickstarter to complete the initial design phase of a new breed of art museum. The artist says she was inspired to create the Marina Abramović Institute, or MAI, during her last performance, an emotional 736-hour marathon in which she sat in a chair and invited visitors to sit across from her and look into her eyes.

The institute will host performance art in which the audience participates, as well as lectures and a library of "time-based and immaterial works." Enter, and you'll be asked to sign a contract promising to stay at least six hours. Then you'll don a lab coat and noise-canceling headphones, and put your belongings in a safety deposit box. You'll then be led through a series of exercises including some Abramović favorites, such as sitting across from a stranger and making extended eye contact, and meditating in a cave of crystals.

Abramović may catch some flak for the Kickstarter since she is very wealthy and could presumably raise the money through patrons, but asking for donations is a fitting way to start a project that depends so heavily on audience interaction.