In his new book, Self Comes To Mind, Antonio Damasio, who directs the USC Brain and Creativity Institute and is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Honda Prize for scientific excellence, discusses how the brain uses emotion and feeling to create a sense of self in animals in humans, and how the elaborate version of the human self opened the way for creating the tools of culture. The admired neuroscientist, provocative lecturer and best-selling author was in conversation with Marina Abramovic, the celebrated, spirited and controversial artist who, since the beginning of her career, has pioneered performance as a visual art form in a quest for emotional and spiritual transformation.

Marina has long tested the relationship between the audience and the ego of a performer. Her last exhibition/retrospective in New York, staged at the Museum of Modern Art, was “The Artist is Present," a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum’s atrium.

Marina's considers each public appearance an experiment and she never rehearses. This conversation with Antonio Damasio serves as a revelation to the participants as well as the audience.

Note: This video features public domain source material taken from the short film "A Communications Primer" (1953, dir. Eames) provided by the Prelinger Archives courtesy of

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…