Map Marathon

Serpentine South Gallery 16–17 Oct 2010 Free

The Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon, the fifth in the Serpentine Gallery’s series of Marathons, celebrated a number of key anniversaries: the 40th anniversary of the Serpentine Gallery, the 10th anniversary of the annual architecture commission, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the 2,500th anniversary of the first original Marathon, in 490 B.C.

This ambitious weekend event brought together over 50 extraordinary artists, poets, writers, philosophers, scholars, musicians, architects, designers and scientists to showcase possible maps for the coming decade.

The Marathon series was conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 2005 in Stuttgart and launched during his first year at the Serpentine Gallery in 2006, when he became Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects. The series is now closely intertwined with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion commission, which was conceived in 2000.

An event of this scale would simply be impossible without numerous maps of various kinds, from plans, plots, directions and instructions, to lists, blueprints and mind-maps. Problem-solving at all levels was what brought this event to fruition. Maps exist for innumerable purposes in life, because they are, always have been and always will be one of the fundamental means by which human beings represent information; with which we translate, codify and make reality intelligible. We are a ‘map-immersed’ world. Maps can make the complex simple, and the simple complex. Although they invariably distort them, maps have a commitment to facts as their raw material to be described and shaped, magnified and contracted, revealed and even hidden.

During the 2010 Map Marathon, the productive encounter between the arts and sciences found physical form, as a link was created between the Marathon and our neighbours at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), with the Institute of British Geographers, by hosting the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon in the RGS’s spaces. We were grateful to Dr. Rita Gardner, Director of the Royal Geographical Society, for this incredible opportunity.

We were deeply indebted to those organisations who have supported the Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon: the Arts Council of England; The Annenberg Foundation; The Kensington Hotel, London; and our media partners, Time Out London and Wired.

Many of the maps presented in this year’s Marathon and the discussion they provoked were included in a book published by Thames & Hudson in 2011.


Curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Sally Tallant

Nicola Lees


Lucia Pietroiusti

Vanessa Boni


Saturday 16 October

Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist Introduction
Julia Peyton-Jones From A to B
Luigi Ontani AuroboruSerpentine
Richard Hamilton and Eyal Weizman Political Plastic
Peter Barber in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Ai Weiwei
Tim Robinson/Folding Landscapes
 A Distressed Map of the Aran Islands
Tania Kovats All the islands of all the oceans arranged alphabetically
Eric Rodenbeck More Exuberant Cartography
Aaron Koblin Re-Embodied Data: Mapping the Unseeable
Mariana Castillo Deball and Amalia Pica Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure
Janice Kerbel with Colin Stinton Ballgame
Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa A Conversation with Dr. Stephanie Lawler
Rosi Braidotti Cartographies of the Present
Jacques Roubaud Main mnémonique (Mnemonic Hand)
Claude Parent and Nathanael Dorent Impérative migration
Annemarie Sauzeau Alighiero Boetti’s Mapping of the World over 25 Years


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Etel Adnan Reading from The Arab Apocalypse
Gilbert & George Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Adriano Pedrosa
 Seção de Mapas, Coleção Paulo A. W. Vieira, Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo
Russell Hoban The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, read by Eleanor Bron, followed by a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Marina Abramović Body Maps
Mona Hatoum Mappings
Timothy Taylor/Krysztina Tautendorfer with Tom Frankland Artificial Ape: Artifice
Suzanne Lacy Prostitution Notes (from a 1974 performance)
Matt Mullican
Cerith Wyn Evans Carte du monde politique/poétique for pianoforte
Anri Sala Maps of found future
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Backwards Spiral

Sunday 17 October

Sunday 17th October

Marcus du Sautoy Mathematical Maps
Adam Chodzko The wrong map. Or, how to pass yourself returning, ocean currents, and missing feet
David Rowan and Hal Bertram When Data Meets Maps: How Datavisualisation is Changing the World
John Brockman with Lewis Wolpert and Armand LeroiEDGE Panel
Marine Hugonnier Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Kader Attia Anarchitecture or Democrature?
Joost Grootens More matter, with less art
C. E. B. Reas Process Compendium 2004-2010
David Adjaye African Metropolitan Architecture
Pancho Guedes My Islands
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri let me make an example
Artur Barrio Sem – Sub, 2008—2010 (L : S 12º53’06”.1 G : W 38º 41′ 39″.0, Documentation-REGISTRO in submarine video)
Michael Craig-Martin Maps and Thoughts
Nanni Balestrini and Morgan Bennett Balestrini ENOUGH DOGS


Amar Kanwar
Simon Fujiwara Mapping the Frozen City
Pedro Reyes Palas por pistolas, 2007—
Julieta Aranda The un-mappable: Breadcrumb trails
Oraib Toukan Talking Heads and/or Other Matters
Susan Hiller
Céline Condorelli
 “Il n’y a Plus Rien” (There is Nothing Left)
John Akomfrah Archaeologies of Desire: Alterity and Narrative Space
Goldin+Senneby Headless: Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews Angus Cameron (Spokesperson of Goldin+Senneby)
Marwan Rechmaoui
Claire Hooper The Genealogy of Nyx
Katie Paterson Streetlight Storm
Dimitar Sasselov
Mathew Sawyer
 Venn diagram for the world
Adrián Villar Rojas Songs During the War


Contributions & Maps

With contributions by:

Mike Cooter
Anish Kapoor
CRASH! Scott King and Matthew Worley
Jürg Lehni and Alex Rich
Klara Lidén
Mateo López
 By Heart / Hecho a Mano (Handmade)

And maps from the EDGE community by:

John Baldessari
Tim Berners-Lee
Sean Carroll
Joan Chiao
Nicholas Christakis & John Fowler
James Croak
Emanuel Derman
George Dyson
Daniel Everett
Joel Gold
Cesar Hidalgo
Bryan Hunt
Jennifer Jacquet
Kai Krause
Armand Leroi
Mark Pagel
Carlo Ratti
Gianluigi Ricuperati
Matthew Ritchie
Douglas Rushkoff
Karl Sabbagh
Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán
Gino Segre
Laurence C. Smith
Bruce Sterling
J. Craig Venter
Lewis Wolpert

Map Marathon 2010


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