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Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude

Key cultural and scientific figures gather for day-long prelude to Serpentine’s acclaimed Marathon series, exploring the struggle for environmental justice and balance
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
My Dead Family, 2010

Main image: Credits: Adrián Villar Rojas, Mi familia muerta (My Dead Family), 2010, unfired local clay, cement, 3 x 27 x 4m Installation view in Sierra Chica de Zonda, San Juan, Argentina. Courtesy the artist. Photo credit: Alan Legal

Serpentine has announced Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude, an all-day event that will gather key cultural figures to address pressing questions on environmental issues and set the agenda for the return of the acclaimed Serpentine Marathon programme in 2024.

The Prelude will take place today (14 October), 12.00-20.30, in the 22nd Serpentine Pavilion by Lina Ghotmeh, one of this year’s participants.

A bid to save humanity

Infinite Ecologies Marathon: The Prelude seeks agency in the current times of crisis, focusing on what must be witnessed, remembered and held in facing a climate breakdown which is unequally distributed between different persons – human and non-human alike.

In July 2024, the Infinite Ecologies Marathon will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Extinction Marathon, described as ‘the art world’s bid to save the human race’ (The Guardian).

Programmed with artist Gustav Metzger, the two-day event addressed visons of the future in all their scientific, artistic and literary ramifications and inaugurated the Serpentine’s Ecologies programme, a long-term commitment to artist-led, systems-focused ecological research and initiatives through the General Ecology project and Back to Earth.

‘Since 2006, the Serpentine Marathon has been an institution of interdisciplinarity, bringing together artists, thinkers, researchers, and other creative leaders from myriad fields to interrogate a timely and multifaceted subject.

‘Next year’s Infinite Ecologies Marathon and its prelude held during Frieze Week 2023 will reflect on a formative moment in Serpentine’s trajectory – the founding of our boundary-breaking General Ecology programme – and chart a new course to explore the ever-urgent topics of nature and the environment from many different perspectives for the Serpentine’s Ecologies programme.’

CEO & artistic director, Serpentine Galleries in London

The struggle for environmental justice

This year’s event will gather key figures across disciplines – including Anohni*, Marina Abramović, James Bridle*, Cooking Sections, Gabriela De Matos, Manthia Diawara, Brian Eno*, Formafantasma*, Lina Ghotmeh, Daisy Hildyard, Louisa Hooper, Nabihah Iqbal, Judy Ling Wong, Gabriel Massan, Mariana Mazzucato, Jojo Mehta, Kumi Naidoo*, Ventura Profana, Tomás Saraceno, Nikolaj Schultz, Yinka Shonibare, Natsuko Uchino, Adrián Villar Rojas and Johannes Vogel.

Participants will be addressing pressing questions such as: What is underrepresented on the environmental agenda today? What is not yet on the agenda, but will be in the near future?

‘The Infinite Ecologies Marathon marks the beginning of a new era in Serpentine’s ongoing commitment to ecology and the environment. Firstly, we are re-conceiving the Marathon festival as an open-research platform and a catalyst for action.

‘Beyond raising awareness, culture builds purpose in many ways – in making space for the sacred, the radical and the dissonant in an increasingly alienated, dominant culture; proposing alternative ways of living and imagining life; carrying knowledge and learning across deep time; and getting involved in redesigning broken systems.

‘We embark on a long-durational, Infinite Ecologies project to pay attention to these infinitely vast, infinitely different experiences and possibilities.’

Head of Ecologies Serpentine Galleries in London

Seeking to surface and investigate more underrepresented subjects in the struggle for environmental justice and balance, the Prelude is also part of a Serpentine Ecologies research methodology concerned with multiplicity, and a collective commitment to reparative and just environmental action.


*virtual contribution

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