On the weekend of 18 and 19 October – during the Frieze Art Fair – Serpentine Galleries presents the Extinction Marathon, the ninth in the Galleries’ yearly Marathon series. Artists, writers, scientists, film-makers, choreographers, theorists and musicians explore the complex and timely topic of extinction through talks, conversations, performances and screenings.
Felt across the humanities and the sciences alike, the spectre of extinction looms over the ways in which we understand our being in the world today. Environmental degradation, atomic weapons, threats communities and languages, global warming, economic collapses, natural catastrophes, life wiped out by genocide, disease and hunger – the constellation of topics around extinction is ever-expansive and as urgent now as ever before.
Both a reflexive overview and a call to action, the two-day event invites us to respond, together, to a changing world, addressing visions of the future in all their scientific, artistic and literary ramifications. The Extinction Marathon is programmed in collaboration with artist Gustav Metzger, whose work – including his Serpentine Gallery exhibition Decades 1959 – 2009 – addresses extinction and climate change.
artist and poet Etel Adnan; artist Maria Thereza Alves; artist Korakrit Arunanondchai; artist Ed Atkins; conservationist Jonathan Baillie; architect Alessandro Bava; writer and media activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi; designer Irma Boom; Founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and Co-Founder of The Long Now Foundation, Stewart Brand; artist James Bridle; EDGE Foundation founder John Brockman; philosopher Federico Campagna; artist Heman Chong; artist Yve Laris Cohen; model and actress Lily Cole; neuroscientist Molly Crockett; philosopher Helena Cronin; film-maker Adam Curtis; artist Jesse Darling; artist Benedict Drew; artist and poet Jimmie Durham; mathematician Marcus du Sautoy; palaeontologist Richard Fortey; agriculturalist and biodiversity archivist Cary Fowler; artists Gilbert & George; cultural critic and queer theorist Jack Halberstam; artist Susan Hiller; artist and designer Marguerite Humeau; choreographer Mette Ingvartsen; environmental social scientist Jennifer Jacquet; biologist and author Steve Jones; former Royal Navy Rear Admiral Nick Lambert; speculative designer Lisa Ma; biologist Georgina Mace; physicist Chiara Marletto; film-maker Sandy McLeod; artist and activist Gustav Metzger; artist Katja Novitskova; artist Trevor Paglen; artist Cornelia Parker; artist Hetain Patel; anthropologist Elizabeth Povinelli; evolutionary ornithologist Richard Prum; design writer Alice Rawsthorn; astrophysicist Martin Rees; Professor, Operational Research, Jonathan Rosenhead; artist Jeremy Shaw; artist Shimabuku; film-maker Eyal Sivan; writer Adam Thirlwell; environmental lawyer James Thornton; musician and sound recordist Chris Watson; artist Cerith Wyn Evans and artist Anna Zett. Contributions by artist and writer Sophia Al-Maria; sociologist Zygmunt Bauman; artist Paul Chan; artist Tacita Dean; artist Olafur Eliasson; artist Anna Galkina; writer William Gibson; author Daniel Kehlmann; poet Joanne Kyger; concrete poet Franz Mon; philosopher Timothy Morton; artist Yoko Ono; artist and poet Heather Phillipson; film-maker Laura Poitras and designers David Rudnick and Raf Rennie.
The Marathon is live-streamed by thespace.org, which partners with Serpentine for the Extinction Marathon in 2014. The Space hosts two new digital commissions by Gustav Metzgerand Ed Atkins in addition to the online platform EXTINCT.LY, which gathers data about global resource depletion, conflict zones and climate change scenarios as well as artists’ projects and activists’ calls to action, including works by Kari Altmann; Kev Bewersdorf; David Blandy; Benjamin Bratton; Keller Easterling; Femke Herregraven; Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual, Pietro Leoni, Delfino Sisto Legnani, Alessandro Mason); Emily Jones; Maurizio Lazzarato; Lisa Ma; Alex Mackin Dolan; Timothy Morton; Julian Oliver; Tobias Revell; UBERMORGEN; Michael Wang; Liam Young and Anna Zett.
While The Magazine at the Sackler Gallery will present on-stage participations, talks, screenings and performances, the Serpentine Pavilion 2014, designed by Smiljan Radić, presents an installation by Katja Novitskova as well as a series of workshops by artist and curator Julia Tcharfas.
On Sunday 19 October, the Extinction Marathon begins with the London premiere of the documentary Seeds of Time, directed by Sandy McLeod, which follows crop diversity pioneer Cary Fowler on a journey to saving the one resources we cannot live without: seeds. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Cary Fowler and Sandy McLeod at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and is free for Marathon ticket-holders.
Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects; artist Gustav Metzger; Jochen Volz, Head of Programmes; Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator, Public Programmes; Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital and Claude Adjil, Assistant Curator