Last Saturday I put on a blindfold and listened to Lady Gaga, not singing, but reading the first few pages of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris. Typical Saturday? There were no limits for Marina Abramovic who gave instructions (via Skype) to all of us who gathered at the Wythe Hotel for a marathon reading of Solaris.

She shared the story about a shepard who closed his eyes every time she asked him a question. When she asked him why he’s doing this, he simply answered that he doesn’t need to see while talking to her. That spoke to her.

Take One: Isolation. Isolate your senses as much as you can so you can receive on a deeper level. A simple change, but an effective one. When readers switched, it was interesting to hear their disembodied voice first before seeing their face. We were all blindfolded so we couldn’t see them. But naturally, I peeked. Couldn’t resist.

Take Two: Limits. “Solaris” is not only a science fiction novel, it’s a piece of literature about love that haunts us and there are no limits to it.

Take Three: Passion. Reader, participants and creators of The Atlas Review (a new bi-annual print journal) who also organized the event seemed to really love fiction and made me realize how underrated it is. I’m amazed by Lem’s incisive picture of the human mind and heart:


Man has gone out to explore other worlds and other civilizations without having explored his own labyrinth of dark passages and secret chambers, and without finding what lies behind doorways that he himself has sealed.

There’s no coincidence in Abramovic’s interest in Lem’s novel.She herself is looking at the corners of dark passages that mirror our fears and desires. Blindfolded or not, these kinds of events open up our senses and stretch our frames of structure that we build within our personal Odyssey.

Abramovic just launched a Kickstarter capaign to raise money for MAI – Marina Abramovic Institute which is right now an abandoned theater in Hudson, New York.

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