City Hall, London 7 Oct 2017 Free

The 2017 Marathon brought together artists, scientists, activists, engineers, poets, sociologists, philosophers, filmmakers, writers, anthropologists, theologians and musicians to consider the advent of ‘artificial intelligence’, consciousness, interspecies cooperation, machines, trans-humanism and non-linear time.

The Marathon sought to illuminate the ways in which these fields of exploration leave unrecognisable traces and unknowable apparitions in the present. Taking place at City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA), it was the 12th in the series of Marathons presented by the Serpentine Galleries.

In 2015, the Transformation Marathon launched the first-ever broadcast of Serpentine Radio, the Galleries’ online radio station, with twelve hours of the event taking place on stage and a further twelve hours on air. The GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon built on this model and extended it, wherein the entire day of talks, readings and performances were conceived for radio and broadcast online.

Participants and contributors included: Etel Adnan, Fatima Al Qadiri, Amnesia Scanner, Ain Bailey, Shumon Basar, Louise Belfrage, Daniel Birnbaum, Black Quantum Futurism, Andrew Blake, James Bridle, John Brockman, Thomas Buckner, Federico Campagna, Jimena Canales, Ian Cheng, Emanuele Coccia, Patrizio Di Massimo, Manthia Diawara, Marcus du Sautoy, Keller Easterling, Richard Evans, Briony Fer, Charlie Fox, GAIKA, Gilbert & George, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Boris Groys, Anupam Guha, Juliana Huxtable, Evan Ifekoya, Caroline A. Jones, Hannah Catherine Jones, Isaac Julien, Natalie Kane, Dean Kenning, Alexander Kluge, Paulo Lemos Horta, Esther Leslie, Ranjana Leyendecker, Jason Louv, Louisa Martin, Kenric McDowell, Sarah Morris, Timothy Morton, Walter Murch, NAKED, Philippe Parreno, Micki Pellerano, Gala Porras-Kim, Johannes Paul Raether, Venki Ramakrishnan, Alice Rawsthorn, Raqs Media Collective, Jasia Reichardt, Tobias Revell, Richard Sennett, Murray Shanahan, Himali Singh Soin, Hito Steyerl, Jenna Sutela, Jaan Tallinn, Eduardo Terrazas, Eugene Thacker, Adam Thirlwell, Enrique Vila-Matas, Julia Voss, Marina Warner, Zadie Xa, Joanna Zylinska and more.

On the occasion of the GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon 2017, Raqs Media Collective presented Hollowgram, a new holographic sculpture commission that considered the inner life of power. Situated in Francis Kéré’s Serpentine Pavilion for the duration of Frieze Week (3–8 October, 10am–6pm), Hollowgram reflected on majesty and the marble and bronze statues commemorating historical figures in Kensington Gardens. The concept of the GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon was shaped in collaboration with Raqs Media Collective.


Curated by

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Claude Adjil

Ben Vickers

Taylor Le Melle

Kay Watson

Core advisory team

Sophia Al Maria, Lizzie Carey– Thomas, Marcus du Sautoy, Nicoletta Fiorucci, Ed Fornieles, Leo Hollis, Mark Leckey, Kenric McDowell, Andrew O’Hagan, Yana Peel, Lucia Pietroiusti, Alice Rawsthorn and Morgan Sutherland.

Curatorial assistants

Tamar Clarke-Brown

Kostas Stasinopoulos


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.

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