R&D Platform

The Serpentine’s Research and Development Platform is a space where the institution’s ‘back-end’ (operations, protocols, in-built values) and ‘front-end’ (what it produces) are brought into experimental realignments. In today’s environment of hyper-production and accelerated change, arts organisations are in need of a reflexive space that allows for thoughtful and conscious advancement.

Historically, art has frequently taken the form of social risk-taking and thus an undercover engine of ‘innovation’, — presenting a distinctly different paradigm for innovation to the fields of science and technology. Meanwhile, the importance of arts organisations as scalable sites for dedicated artist-led research and development is only now becoming apparent.

The R&D Platform at the Serpentine grows organically from the organisation’s long-standing commitment to advancing new forms of cultural production. The R&D Platform is built on inter-operable modules that manifest themselves in capacity-building workshops for the wider sector, round-tables and summits bringing experts from different fields to develop an art-field specific view on innovation, and precedent-setting artworks that challenge conceptions of what art is and where the boundaries of art’s impact lie.

Some of the questions guiding the development of the R&D Platform include:

  • How can art institutions become better at identifying and harnessing their evolving capabilities?
  • What will the core values of cultural production be in 2050?
  • How can greater focus on infrastructural care and design help build a more resilient and socially significant cultural field?
  • What can the full stack of contemporary artistic production (i.e. all stages of a project’s development) teach arts organisations and other fields about innovation?
  • What new organisational processes would be required for the art field to develop more meaningful and long-term relationships with other fields invested in seeking answers to today’s most challenging questions?
  • How does the art field claim an active position in shaping future technologies that yield significant impact on contemporary and future societies?

As a critical module for in-depth engagement with these questions, the R&D Labs provide infrastructural support for collaborative research, targeting specific questions and devising operational propositions. Current labs include Legal Lab, led by Alana Kushnir, Director of Guest Work Agency, Blockchain Lab, led by Ruth Catlow, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Furtherfield and DECAL DeCentralised Arts Lab; Creative AI Lab, led by Mercedes Bunz, Senior Lecturer in Digital Societies at King’s College and Eva Jaeger, Associate Curator, Arts Technologies.

Although emerging from the Serpentine, the R&D Platform is a constantly growing community of individuals and organisations without whom it would not be a reality.

Future Art Ecosystems

Future Art Ecosystems

Online Annual Strategic Briefing Free

An annual strategic briefing for practitioners and organisations with an interest in the development of future art ecosystems.

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Legal Lab Report 1: Art + Tech/Science Collaborations

Legal Lab Report 1: Art + Tech/Science Collaborations

26 July 2021 Free BSL Interpreted Closed Captions

The launch presentation of Serpentine’s Legal Lab Report with Alana Kushnir, Legal Lab’s Principal Investigator, Marie Potel-Saville, founder of Amurabi, an...

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Legal Lab

Legal Lab

Online September 2019 - ongoing

Exploring how the law can better support collaborations across art, science and technology

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Future Art Ecosystems Live: Art x Metaverse

Future Art Ecosystems Live: Art x Metaverse

29 Jul — 4 Oct 2021 Free BSL Interpreted Closed Captions

Join us and our contributors to Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse (FAE2)  as we discuss the metaverse and the opportunities and challenges facing artis...

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Skills for Future Art Ecosystems

Skills for Future Art Ecosystems

Online 24 Jul — 18 Sep 2021 Free

Learn how to make art in the metaverse from artists.

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Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse: Launch Presentation

Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse: Launch Presentation

Online 13 Jul 2021 Free BSL Interpreted Closed Captions

Join us for the launch presentation of Future Art Ecosystems: Art x Metaverse (FAE2).

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Still from forthcoming ML/AI Interfaces Tutorial Series, 2020. Image courtesy of Trust, Berlin

Creative AI Lab

Online 9 Jul 2020 – Ongoing

A collaboration between Serpentine Galleries R&D Platform and the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College.

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Rendered Ghost Mantis

Synthetic Ecologies Lab

Online Oct 2020 – Ongoing

Making with a multitude of species and living systems.

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Credit: Image courtesy of Furtherfield, 2019

Blockchain Lab

Online June 2019 – Ongoing

Supporting network development between visionary artists, cultural workers, blockchain entrepreneurs.

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Doctoral Research Collaborations

Doctoral Research Collaborations

1 May 2020

Supporting doctoral research projects in collaboration with leading research centres and universities.

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