Microsoft released and then deleted an ad for its VR technology featuring Marina Abramović, the performance artist infamous for hosting a “spirit cooking” dinner at her house in 2015, to which Clinton campaign manager Tony Podesta and his brother were invited. The ad originally went live on Good Friday.
Abramović, the daughter of high-ranking officials in Yugoslavia’s communist dictatorship, authored a book in 1996 called Spirit Cooking with Essential Aphrodisiac Recipes. The ingredients include “fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk” to be eaten on “earthquake nights.”
In a Spirit Cooking themed performance in 1997, Abramović wrote for “fresh morning urine” to be “sprinkled over nightmare dreams.”
Microsoft briefly hosted a video featuring a VR-powered Abramović art show on its official YouTube channel, where it accumulated 24,000 “dislikes” in approximately three days before being taken down by the tech company. The takedown was spotted by independent journalist and YouTuber Luke Rudkowski.
Microsoft’s video was originally posted on Good Friday.
Microsoft’s video promoting Abramović’s “mixed reality” art exhibit can still be found, with commentary, on Rudkowski’s channel.
Abramović and “spirit cooking” attracted infamy during the 2016 election campaign, when a trove of emails released by WikiLeaks revealed that Clinton campaign manager Tony Podest was invited to a “spirit cooking” dinner at the artist’s home. The story went viral, becoming a major discussion point on social media for the remainder of the campaign.
A recent performance in Poland by the artist attracted a prayer-protest from local Catholics, upset at the artist’s dabbling in Satanic imagery, such as posing with a Baphomet-like goat’s head.
At the time of the Podesta “spirit cooking” controversy, Abramović insisted that it was “just a normal dinner” with “no blood, no anything else.”