Recorded Saturday 7 October 2017


Blog Archive ⟶

“The ghost is in the machine, but what is the machine – and who is the ghost?”
Walter Murch

Is art changing in the age of artificial intelligence? What are the emerging relationships between machines and the human spirit? If we don’t know what consciousness is, how can we qualify ‘intelligence’? Are we too late to define the ethics of our machines? Does the future belong to non-human entities? Is the existential threat real?

After a trilogy of Marathons which addressed Extinction (2014), Transformation (2015) and Miracle (2016), the Serpentine turned to the near future, exploring artificial intelligence, inter-species cooperation, machine learning, transhumanism and non-linear time. Over 12 hours in front of a live audience, more than 50 participants addressed the most pressing themes and challenges that underpin the coming age of automation. The GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon brought together artists, scientists, engineers, poets, AI developers, sociologists, philosophers, filmmakers, writers, anthropologists, occultists and musicians to investigate the impact of artificial intelligence and its relationship to human development on planet Earth. Participants questioned the potential role of non-human intelligence under platform capitalism, the biopolitical economies of automation, the divinatory rites of machines, conscientious objection to drone warfare and other spectres that haunt our collective future.

For the first time in its history, the Marathon took over City Hall, headquarters of the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly. The entire Marathon was broadcast live on Serpentine Radio,, an online platform dedicated to the broadcast and distribution of talks, events and performance.

To launch the GUEST, GHOST, HOST: MACHINE! Marathon, Raqs Media Collective presented Hollowgram, a new holographic sculpture commission which meditates on the inner life of power and its fragile abdication from the world, situated in the Serpentine Pavilion from 2-8 October, 10am-6pm. Installed at the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Francis Kéré for the duration of Frieze Week, Hollowgram registered a trace of that which haunts London.

The GUEST, GHOST, HOST, MACHINE! Marathon was curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director; Claude Adjil, Curator, Public Programmes; Ben Vickers, Chief Technology Officer; Taylor Le Melle, Assistant Curator, Public Programmes; and Kay Watson, Assistant Digital Curator.

Core Advisory Team: Sophia Al Maria, Zach Blas, Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Marcus du Sautoy, Ben Eastham, Nicoletta Fiorucci, Ed Fornieles, Leo Hollis, Mark Leckey, Kenric McDowell, Andrew O’Hagan, Yana Peel, Lucia Pietroiusti, Alice Rawsthorn, Marianna Simnett, Victoria Sin, Himali Singh Soin, Morgan Sutherland, Igor Toronyi-Lalic and Zadie Xa.

Curatorial Assistants: Tamar Clarke-Brown and Kostas Stasinopoulos.

Serpentine Radio produced by Reduced Listening and hosted by Legacy Russell.
Live Blog by Andrew Dawson and The White Pube.


Please note: timings below are subject to change

Yana Peel, Introduction
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Introduction
Raqs Media Collective, Introduction
Gilbert & GeorgeGODOLOGY!
Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Anupam Guha in conversation
Murray ShanahanConscious Exotica
Dean KenningStuck Machine
Jimena CanalesA Short History of AI (in conversation with Siri)
Natalie Kane and Tobias RevellHaunted Machines
Thomas Buckner sings work by Etel Adnan
James BridleFailing to Distinguish Between a Tractor Trailer and the Bright White Sky
Timothy MortonHere Come the Lizard People
Paulo Lemos HortaFrom Aleppo to Paris: The Origins of “Aladdin”
Joanna ZylinskaThe End of Man: A Tragicomedy

Louisa MartinLossy Ecology Glossary 
Alice RawsthornQuiet please. I am analysing.
Caroline A. Jones and James Bridle in conversation
Shumon Basar and Fatima Al Qadiri in conversation
Ranjana Leyendecker and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation
Nights and Spirits: Adam Thirlwell and Marina Warner in conversation
Walter Murch and Isaac Julien in conversation, moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Eduardo Terrazas and Hans Ulrich Obrist in conversation
Philippe Parreno and Esther Leslie in conversation
Deep Thinking: On the Promise and Peril of AI: Panel discussion with Andrew BlakeVenki Ramakrishnan and Jaan Tallinn, moderated by John Brockman and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Hito SteyerlBubble Vision

Boris GroysBecoming Immortal - Becoming a Machine
AI and Wisdom Traditions: Kenric McDowell and Jason Louv in conversation
Charlie FoxKarloff
Zadie Xa with Jihye KimPerfumed Purple Rice and Sateen Songs for Sadie
Marcus du SautoyHow to Make a Zombie
Emanuele CocciaThinking Matters
Johannes Paul RaetherProtekto.x.x. in Identitecture
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Ian Cheng and Richard Evans in conversation
*Evan Ifekoya and Hannah Catherine JonesHealing Exercises for Limitless Potential (H.E.L.P) 
*Mark Leckey, Exorcising the [email protected] Rake
Jenna SutelaExtremophile, a co-commission with Goethe-Institut and Haunted Machines
NAKEDTotal Power Exchange

Ain Bailey
*Amnesia ScannerAS DARS

Federico CampagnaAngels outside the Machine
Micki PelleranoOur Lady of the Elementals

Book Launch: Seeing is Believing - On Hilma af Klint and Her Inner World
A book presentation and panel discussion with Daniel BirnbaumBriony Fer and Julia Voss, led by Louise Belfrage

Patrizio Di MassimoI am not the body, I am not even the mind: a guided meditation, accompanied by Nicoletta Fiorucci on the Alchemic Crystal Singing Bowls

*Denotes pre-recorded contribution