Serpentine North Gallery 18–19 Oct 2013 Free

The 89plus Marathon brought emerging practitioners, born in or after 1989, together with influential thinkers of all generations.

At this turning-point in history, urgent questions present themselves when considering the artistic, social and political options available today. New languages, models and forms need to be conceived to address the impact networked society and an evolving global economy have had on today’s young generations.

Seeking to explore these possibilities in an optimistic and generative tone, the 89plus Marathon brought together participations from the fields of art, architecture, music, activism, science, technology, literature and theory to find out how to ask – and how to begin to answer – the following questions:

  • Can the potential of emerging technologies lead to a truly global dialogue that is not homogeneous but acknowledges and fosters difference?
  • What options are available to the generations born after the Cold War, growing up through the crisis of financial capitalism?
  • How can we understand new and networked forms of collectivity as examples of new social, economic, political and aesthetic forms?
  • What are the new forms of activism and protest? Has access to the internet changed political action?
  • What is the relationship between individual leadership and the group in the age of non-hierarchical, ‘horizontal’ practice?
  • Who is responsible for the future?

The 89plus CLUBHOUSE was an online platform built to facilitate digital participation in the Serpentine Marathon in 2013, and to give form to a highly distributed conversation across different networks as it emerges live from the event.

The 89plus Marathon was curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Simon Castets, Ben Vickers and Jochen Volz. The Serpentine Gallery Marathon series was conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, in 2006 and is deeply intertwined with the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Commission, launched by Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, in 2000.

The 89plus Marathon was the eighth in the Serpentine Gallery’s annual Marathon series, an ambitious event that brings together the fields of art, culture, science and technology.


89plus is a long-term, international, multi-platform research project co-founded by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist. It is conceived as a mapping of the generation born in or after 1989. Without forecasting artistic trends or predicting future creation, 89plus manifests itself through panels, books, periodicals and exhibitions, bringing together individuals from a generation whose voices are only starting to be heard, yet which makes up nearly half of the world’s population.

The year 1989 saw the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the start of the post-Cold War period, the introduction of the world wide web and the beginning of the universal availability of the internet, as well as the orbit of the first global positioning system satellite. Positing a relationship between these world-changing events and creative production at large, 89plus introduces the work of some of this generation’s most inspiring protagonists.

Since an introductory panel held in January 2013 at the DLD – Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich, 89plus has conducted research in Australia with Kaldor Public Art Projects, Hong Kong with Art Basel’s Salon series, New York through the 89plus Colony Conference at MoMA PS1, and Italy with the Innovation Festival, Bolzano-Bozen and Palazzo Grassi, Venice. 89plus developed a series of residencies with various partners internationally including the Park Avenue Armory in New York and the Tara Oceans Polar Circle Expedition in late 2013.


Serpentine Galleries Marathons conceived by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Julia Peyton-Jones

89plus project founded and curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Simon Castets

89plus Marathon curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Simon Castets

Jochen Volz

Ben Vickers

Curatorial production

Lucia Pietroiusti

Claude Adjil

Jessica Vaughan


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

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