Serpentine Galleries are staging the 89plus Marathon, the 8th Festival of Ideas, conceived by the Galleries Co-Director Hans Ulrich Obrist, originally inspired by the annual Pavilion Commission, invented by the Galleries Director Julia Peyton-Jones in 2000.
Every year since 2006, the Serpentine has invited the most diverse array of world-leading figures to investigate one topic from all angles over an intensive two-day period. Past Marathons have covered subjects ranging from Manifestos (2008) and Maps (2010) to Memory (2012). In 2013, the 89plus Marathon takes its name and theme from the multi-platform research project 89plus, co-founded by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets, which investigates innovative work the generation born in or after 1989. Following theMemory Marathon in 2012, the 89plus Marathon looks to the future and considers how the internet and new social, political and economic networks are changing the world as we know it. Leading artists, writers, musicians, scientists, entrepreneurs and political activists – born in or after 1989 – come together with world-renowned figures of all generations for a weekend of performances, screenings and debates. It will be the first major public event to take place in the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Those born since 1989 have grown up in a networked society and in an evolving global economy; they belong to a generation whose voices are only starting to be heard, yet are already shaping the world in which we live. The 89plus Marathon offers a moment in time for some of the brightest lights of this generation – who make up almost half the world’s population – to come together with their peers and mentors to consider what the future will look like and, crucially, who will determine that future. Among many issues and questions, the 89plus Marathon will investigate whether new technologies can lead to a global dialogue that will engender difference rather than homogeneity; the effect of growing up during a global economic crisis; how the internet has enabled new forms of political protest and, a question that runs as a motif throughout, who is responsible for the future?
Among the sixty participants confirmed so far are Halil Altindere, whose video Wonderland was a highlight of the 13th Istanbul Biennial; Generation X author and Marathon veteranDouglas Coupland; programmer and entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio, who at the age of 17 sold his search optimisation tool Summly for an estimated $30 million; former member of Anonymous and LulzSec groups Jake Davis; trend forecasting group K-HOLE; rapper, producer and Youtube phenomenon Le1f; Icelandic information freedom activist Smári McCarthy; writer and curator Kevin McGarry; artist Felix Melia, who will be experimenting with social media to create and stream a film live at the Marathon; neuroscientistKathryn Mills, who will talk about the effect of the internet on the adolescent brain; Zachary Sims, founder and CEO of Codecademy and advocate for lessons in computer science and programming as a core part of the school curriculum; and artist Hito Steyerl, one of the most influential thinkers on digital culture. The 89plus Marathon stage will be designed by artist Amalia Ulman.
Audiences can attend specific events – ranging from 15-minute presentations to hour-long performances – or immerse themselves in the entirety of the two-day festival. For the first time, an online 89plus Clubhouse, hosted by HP Cloud, will enable remote participation from anywhere in the world.
The 89plus Marathon is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director Serpentine Galleries and Co-founder of 89plus; Simon Castets, Director and Curator of Swiss Institute Contemporary Art New York, and Co-founder of 89plus; Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries; and Jochen Volz, Head of Programmes at Serpentine Galleries. In previous years the Marathon has been co-hosted by Rem Koolhaas and Olafur Eliasson.
89plus Marathon: Serpentine Gallery 89plus Marathon
Friday and Saturday 18 and 19 October 2013