The 2018 Work Marathon invited artists, sociologists, anthropologists, writers, musicians, architects, scientists and philosophers to address the complex and timely questions of work, labour, automation and leisure.
Building on 2017’s GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon, which focussed on artificial consciousness and machine learning, the 2018 Work Marathon explored issues including: technological developments leading to automation and its impact on labour; the political urgencies of coerced and invisible labour; and the role of non-human agents, including artificial intelligence, animals and materials, in the context of planetary ecologies.
The Work Marathon was conceived in collaboration with Professor Bernard Stiegler, who gathered experts from around the world to consider economics for an age of planetary-scale environmental crisis, looking to reduce the human footprint on the planet and reverse the phenomenon of entropy that follows. With Stiegler’s advice, the 2018 Serpentine Marathon had the goal of contributing to the writing of a manifesto, the first version of which was issued on 23rd September, and the definitive version of which was sent to the United Nations, in Geneva, on 10th January 2020 – the day of the centenary anniversary of the League of Nations.
Participants included: David Adjaye, *Dani Admiss, *Amal Alhaag, Anne Alombert, Sara Baranzoni, David Berry, Mark Boyle, *Marija Bozinovska Jones, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, *Lily Cole, Beatriz Colomina, Mark Cousins, Alison Crawshaw, Stella Creasy, Adam Curtis, Rana Dasgupta, Aria Dean, Julien Dossier, Marcus du Sautoy, Divya Dwivedi, *Cao Fei, Peter Fischli, Noel Fitzpatrick, Eva Franch i Gilabert, Matthew Fuller, Formafantasma, Fernando García-Dory, GCC, Anna Bella Geiger, Giacomo Gilmozzi, Gaël Giraud, *Goldin + Senneby, Jon Gray, *Miranda Hall, James Harding, Madeline Hollander, *Frances Holliss, Yuk Hui, Anne Imhof, Sam Jacob, *Anab Jain, Amal Khalaf, Josh Kline, Sofia Krimizi, Olivier Landau, *Legrand Jäger, Helen Lewis, Giuseppe Longo, Glenn Loughran, *Patricia MacCormack, *Justin McGuirk, Shaj Mohan, Maël Montévil, Gerald Moore, Clément Morlat, Farshid Moussavi, Oscar Murillo, *Simone Niquille, Precious Okoyomon, *Yoko Ono, Wilson Oryema, Marina Otero Verzier, Nina Power, Vincent Puig, Venkatesh Rao, Pedro Reyes, Daniel Ross, Saskia Sassen, *Susan Schuppli, Emily Segal, Jack Self, Victoria Sin, Nick Srnicek, Patrick Staff, Bernard Stiegler, Alain Supiot, Jamie Susskind, James Suzman, Territorial Agency, *Cassie Thornton, Phoebe Tickell, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Noam Toran, Troika, Katharine Vega, Paolo Vignola, *Marina Vishmidt, Eyal Weizman, Ines Weizman, *Jamie Woodcock, *Nil Yalter and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.
*Denotes pre-recorded or remote participation
In advance of the Work Marathon, the series The Serpentine Podcast: On Work discussed some related themes and topics. The first three episodes, presented by Victoria Sin with Lucia Pietroiusti, were produced in collaboration with the Design Museum, London, Furtherfield, London and WORK, BODY, LEISURE (Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam).
The Work Marathon was curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries; Claude Adjil, Associate Curator; Live Programmes; Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator, General Ecology; Kostas Stasinopoulos, Assistant Curator, Live Programmes; Ben Vickers, CTO and Kay Watson, Digital Curator.
- Ondaatje Theatre, Royal Geographical Society