City Hall, London 7 Oct 2017 Free

The 2017 Marathon brought together artists, scientists, activists, engineers, poets, sociologists, philosophers, filmmakers, writers, anthropologists, theologians and musicians to consider the advent of ‘artificial intelligence’, consciousness, interspecies cooperation, machines, trans-humanism and non-linear time.

The Marathon sought to illuminate the ways in which these fields of exploration leave unrecognisable traces and unknowable apparitions in the present. Taking place at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA), it was the 12th in the series of Marathons presented by the Serpentine Galleries.

In 2015, the Transformation Marathon launched the first-ever broadcast of Serpentine Radio, the Galleries’ online radio station, with twelve hours of the event taking place on stage and a further twelve hours on air. The GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon built on this model and extended it, wherein the entire day of talks, readings and performances were conceived for radio and broadcast online.

Participants and contributors included: Etel Adnan, Fatima Al Qadiri, Amnesia Scanner, Ain Bailey, Shumon Basar, Louise Belfrage, Daniel Birnbaum, Black Quantum Futurism, Andrew Blake, James Bridle, John Brockman, Thomas Buckner, Federico Campagna, Jimena Canales, Ian Cheng, Emanuele Coccia, Patrizio Di Massimo, Manthia Diawara, Marcus du Sautoy, Keller Easterling, Richard Evans, Briony Fer, Charlie Fox, GAIKA, Gilbert & George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Boris Groys, Anupam Guha, Juliana Huxtable, Evan Ifekoya, Caroline A. Jones, Hannah Catherine Jones, Isaac Julien, Natalie Kane, Dean Kenning, Alexander Kluge, Paulo Lemos Horta, Esther Leslie, Ranjana Leyendecker, Jason Louv, Louisa Martin, Kenric McDowell, Sarah Morris, Timothy Morton, Walter Murch, NAKED, Philippe Parreno, Micki Pellerano, Gala Porras-Kim, Johannes Paul Raether, Venki Ramakrishnan, Alice Rawsthorn, Raqs Media Collective, Jasia Reichardt, Tobias Revell, Richard Sennett, Murray Shanahan, Himali Singh Soin, Hito Steyerl, Jenna Sutela, Jaan Tallinn, Eduardo Terrazas, Eugene Thacker, Adam Thirlwell, Enrique Vila-Matas, Julia Voss, Marina Warner, Zadie Xa, Joanna Zylinska and more.

On the occasion of the GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon 2017, Raqs Media Collective presented Hollowgram, a new holographic sculpture commission that considered the inner life of power. Situated in Francis Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion for the duration of Frieze Week (3–8 October, 10am–6pm), Hollowgram reflected on majesty and the marble and bronze statues commemorating historical figures in Kensington Gardens. The concept of the GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon was shaped in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective.


Curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Claude Adjil

Ben Vickers

Taylor Le Melle

Kay Watson

Core advisory team

Sophia Al Maria, Lizzie Carey– Thomas, Marcus du Sautoy, Nicoletta Fiorucci, Ed Fornieles, Leo Hollis, Mark Leckey, Kenric McDowell, Andrew O’Hagan, Yana Peel, Lucia Pietroiusti, Alice Rawsthorn and Morgan Sutherland.

Curatorial assistants

Tamar Clarke-Brown

Kostas Stasinopoulos


Saturday 7 October 2017

10am–10pm, City Hall

Chamber Room, Level 2

Yana Peel, Introduction
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Introduction
Raqs Media Collective, Introduction
Gilbert & George, GODOLOGY!
Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Anupam Guha in conversation
Murray ShanahanConscious Exotica
Dean Kenning, Stuck Machine
Jimena Canales, A Short History of AI (in conversation with Siri)
Natalie Kane and Tobias Revell, Haunted Machines
Thomas Buckner sings work by Etel Adnan
James BridleFailing to Distinguish Between a Tractor Trailer and the Bright White Sky
Timothy Morton, Here Come the Lizard People
Paulo Lemos Horta, From Aleppo to Paris: The Origins of “Aladdin”
Joanna ZylinskaThe End of Man: A Tragicomedy


Louisa Martin
, Lossy Ecology Glossary 
Alice RawsthornQuiet please. I am analysing.
Traumatic Phenomenology: The Ghosts in the Machine:
James Bridle and Caroline A. Jones in conversation
Shumon Basar and Fatima Al Qadiri in conversation
Ranjana Leyendecker and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation
Nights and Spirits: Adam Thirlwell and Marina Warner in conversation
Isaac Julien and Walter Murch in conversation, moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Eduardo Terrazas and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation
Philippe Parreno and Esther Leslie in conversation
Panel discussion with Andrew Blake, Venki Ramakrishnan and Jaan Tallinn, moderated by John Brockman and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hito SteyerlBubble Vision


Boris Groys, Becoming Immortal – Becoming a Machine
Gala Porras-KimThe Hidden Voice of the Past
AI and Wisdom Traditions: Kenric McDowell and Jason Louv in conversation
Charlie FoxKarloff
Zadie Xa with Jihye Kim, Perfumed Purple Rice and Sateen Songs for Sadie
Marcus du Sautoy, How to Make a Zombie
Emanuele Coccia, Thinking Matters
Johannes Paul RaetherProtekto.x.x in Identitecture
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Ian Cheng and Richard Evans in conversation
*Evan Ifekoya and Hannah Catherine Jones, Healing Exercises for Limitless Potential (H.E.L.P)
Jenna Sutela, Extremophile, a co-commission with Goethe-Institut and Haunted Machines
NAKED, Total Power Exchange

*Denotes pre-recorded contribution


Ain Bailey
*Amnesia Scanner, AS DARS

Federico Campagna, Angels Outside the Machine
Micki PelleranoOur Lady of the Elementals

Map Room, Lower Ground
Book Launch: Seeing is Believing – On Hilma af Klint and Her Inner World
A book presentation and panel discussion with Daniel Birnbaum, Briony Fer and Julia Voss, led by Louise Belfrage

Committee Room 1, Lower Ground
1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Patrizio Di Massimo, I am not the body, I am not even the mind: a guided meditation, accompanied by Nicoletta Fiorucci on the Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls

*Denotes pre-recorded contribution


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