Serpentine North Gallery 17–18 Oct 2015 Free

Celebrating its 10th anniversary since the inaugural 2006 Interview Marathon, the 2015 Transformation Marathon addressed cultural, political and physical shifts, asking how significant change can be achieved today. Returning to its 24-hour format of 2006, the second half of the Transformation Marathon took place on the first-ever broadcast of Serpentine Radio.

The Transformation Marathon invited artists, sociologists, anthropologists, writers, musicians, architects, scientists and philosophers to address cultural, political and physical shifts. The Transformation Marathon invoked the hidden knowledge of magic and alchemy. It investigated the strategies of cyborgs, magicians, parasites and storytellers to consider how to represent and effect change in the face of complexity. How can the arts and sciences reimagine aesthetics and politics? How are these individual and collective actions reflective of a precarious landscape? The Transformation Marathon also addressed the history and transformation of the art institution, with a series of interventions devised by Tino Sehgal and Dorothea von Hantelmann.

Returning to the 24-hour format of the inaugural Interview Marathon in 2006, the Transformation Marathon took place at the Serpentine North Gallery on Saturday 17th October from 10am–10pm and continued from midnight until noon on Sunday 18th October on the first-ever Serpentine Radio broadcast, presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, London. The event was live-streamed on the Serpentine’s YouTube channel.

Participants on stage and on air included: Peter Adamson; Etel Adnan; Sophia Al-Maria; Ayşe Gül Altınay; Katherine Angel; Julieta Aranda; Mary Bauermeister; Helen Benigson; Liz Berry; Nick Bostrom; Roy Boswell; Rosi Braidotti; Federico Campagna; Judy Chicago; Ken Cockburn; Gabriella Coleman; Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks (Myvillages); CA Conrad; Hilary Cottam; Aimee Meredith Cox; Elysia Crampton; Andrea Crespo; Jude Crilly; Abraham Cruzvillegas with Mark Godfrey; Keren Cytter; Deep Lab with Kate Crawford, Harlo Holmes, Madeleine Varner, Joana Varon and Addie Wagenknecht; Moussa Dembele; John Densmore; Leah Borromeo and Katharine Round as Disobedient Films in collaboration with Jamie Perera; Marcus du Sautoy; Jimmie Durham; Francine Elena; Tim Etchells; Alec Finlay; Gilbert & George and Victoria; Harry Gilonis; Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster; Adam Greenfield; Robert Grenier; Haunted Machines (Natalie Kane and Tobias Revell); Lynn Hershman Leeson; Helen Hester; Adrian Hon; Charles Hope; Juliet Jacques; Alejandro Jodorowsky; François Jullien; Samson Kambalu; Alexandra Kleeman; Bill Kouligas; Bruno Latour; Gil Leung; Candice Lin; Anthony Arthur Long; Maurice Louca; Gabriel Ann Maher; Jumana Manna; Christien Meindertsma; Lucy Mercer; Patrick Mudekereza; Nil Mutluer; Nkisi; Jaakko Pallasvuo; William Pope.L; Alice Rawsthorn; Rachel Rose; Declan Ryan; Aram Saroyan; Saskia Sassen; Tino Sehgal; Lorenzo Senni; P. Staff; Koki Tanaka; Yıldız Tar; Julia Tcharfas; Territorial Agency; Time Is Away; Jalal Toufic; Dorothea von Hantelmann; Peter Wächtler; Binyavanga Wainaina; Mark Waldron; Grace Wales Bonner; Steven Warwick (Heatsick); Eyal Weizman; Kim West; Holly White and more.

Curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Lucia Pietroiusti

Ben Vickers

Claude Adjil


Etel Adnan, Federico Campagna,

Steffi Czerny, Adam Greenfield,

Leo Hollis, Juliet Jacques, John

Palmesino, Alice Rawsthorn, Tino

Sehgal, Lorenzo Senni, Patrick Staff

and Dorothea von Hantelmann

Curatorial assistants

Chris Bayley

Taylor Le Melle

Sophie Oxenbridge

Cory Scozzari

Nefeli Skarmea

Serpentine Radio production

Ben Vickers

Cory Scozzari

Tabitha Thorlu Bangura


Claude Adjil

Chris Bayley

Kei Kreutler

Sophie Oxenbridge

Lucia Pietroiusti

Graphic design
Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual, Alessandro Busi, Michela Di Cristina, Aaron Gillett, Alice Longo)

Academic partners (Transformation Marathon livestream and online platforms)
Bath School of Art and Design
Birmingham School of Art
Glasgow School of Art
Royal College of Art
University of Edinburgh
University of Leeds
University of Leicester
University of Reading


On Stage: Saturday 17th October

10am–10pm, Serpentine North Gallery

Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks (Myvillages), Company Drinks Serpentine Marathon Bar
Samson Kambalu, Doing Time
P. Staff and Candice Lin
Koki Tanaka, Precarious Tasks #15: Exchange of Our Clothes and Books as Exchanging Our Body and Thoughts

Stage Design
Gabriel Ann Maher, trans_formation sequence


Julia Peyton-Jones, Introduction
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Introduction
Alejandro Jodorowsky, filmed by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Esperanza Koren, Introduction
Dorothea von Hantelmann, Transformations of Art Institutions in Transforming Societies I
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, It Looks Very Chaotic but Somehow It Makes Sense
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Jimmie Durham, Mark Godfrey and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation 
Gabriel Ann Maher with Alice Rawsthorn, Mediated Bodies
Hilary Cottam with Alice Rawsthorn, Only the Lonely—Re-designing the Welfare State
Christien Meindertsma with Alice Rawsthorn, Bottom Ash Observatory


Adam Greenfield in conversation with Aimee Meredith Cox
Adrian Hon, When There’s No Signal
Gabriella Coleman, The Hacker as Parasite 
Juliet Jacques, Before and After
Peter Wächtler, Poem Against War
François Jullien, The Silent Transformations


Etel Adnan
Robert Grenier, DRAWING FORM NATURE: Transforming Letters to Reimagine/Write the World (in time remaining) 
Binyavanga Wainaina
Marcus du Sautoy, Granada, Goldberg and Ghosts
Mary Bauermeister, 1+1=3
Territorial Agency, Transforming the Territories of the Anthropocene
Aimee Meredith Cox, Shapeshifting and a Black Girl Sense of Space
Saskia Sassen, Expulsions
Eyal Weizman, august clouds: in the absence of digital time, physical clocks — such as shadows and clouds — are the only time indicators. this allowed the reconstruction of one day in the 2014 gaza war. 

Gilbert & George and Victoria
Keren Cytter, STALKER
Grace Wales Bonner with Moussa Dembele and Moussa Dembele, Everythings for Real
Andrea Crespo, Polymorphoses (epilogue)
Kim West, 1 Museum 2 Information 3 Transformation 
Dorothea von Hantelmann, Transformations of Art Institutions in Transforming Societies II
Bruno Latour
Bruno Latour, Tino Sehgal and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation
Nkisi, Occult Instability

On Air: Sunday 18th October

midnight-noon, Serpentine Radio

Before Midnight
Steven Warwick (Heatsick), Heatsick: Exclusive mix of new works
Bill Kouligas, Devoid

Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Introduction
Samson Kambalu in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Rosi Braidotti, Language Is a Virus
Katherine Angel and Helen Hester, Technosexuals
Jumana Manna, A Magical Substance by Night
Ayşe Gül Altınay with Nil Mutluer and Yıldız Tar, Feminist and Queer Transformations of Politics, War and Peace in Turkey
Elysia Crampton, March 5th Facebook Post
Jaakko Pallasvuo and Roy Boswell, The Hunchback of South Bermondsey
William Pope.L, Klingon Talk (Attempt #2): The Colony

Deep Lab, Erasing Borders
Nick Bostrom, Reading from Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Selected Excerpts from the Infinity Engine
Haunted Machines, Alchemy
Jude Crilly, Calais Bounce
CAConrad, Magenta Capstone of Apex Poetry Interviews CAConrad, with Mica Sigourney

Alexandra Kleeman and Rachel Rose in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
William Pope.L, Klingon Talk (Attempt #2): The Colony
Federico Campagna with Peter Adamson, Charles Hope and Anthony Arthur Long, Neo Antiquity: Transformations of Philosophy and Poetry
Lucy Mercer with Liz Berry, Ken Cockburn, Francine Elena, Alec Finlay, Harry Gilonis, Declan Ryan and Mark Waldron, Neo Antiquity: Transformations of Philosophy and Poetry
Helen Benigson, Cashino Desert
Aram Saroyan with John Densmore, Sawing the Wood
Patrick Mudekereza, Transformation 

Disobedient Films with Jamie Perera, Climate Symphony
Jalal Toufic, An Outstanding—and Still Crazy—Task: Transforming Ourselves into Gods
Julieta Aranda, Data: Synthetic Recollections of Things that Never Happened
Julia Tcharfas and Holly White, Interspecies Communication
Time Is Away, Neither Created Nor Destroyed
Judy Chicago in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Candice Lin, To Recognise Oneself as Parasite
Koki Tanaka, Sound of Democracy (Field Recording / September 14, 2015 / Tokyo)


Tim Etchells, Time Piece / Interstitials
Samson Kambalu, Why I Am so Clever
Lorenzo Senni, Jingles


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architectural Pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas Marathons and research-led initiatives, explore our past projects and exhibitions.

View archive