Artists, writers, scientists and philosophers come together for a London-wide weekend of live discussion, events and broadcast exploring the themes of miracles, ritual, imagination and magical thinking at the Serpentine’s eleventh annual festival of ideas

For the first time in its history, the Marathon becomes a truly London-wide festival, with the first day taking place at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and the second day taking place at Second Home. For a worldwide audience, the entire Marathon will be broadcast live throughout the weekend on Serpentine Radio, an online platform dedicated to live streaming.


Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, and Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries, said: “In these troubled times, theMiracle Marathon aims to send a strong message of optimism about the power that art and imagination have in shaping change and long-term futures. As Mark Cousins, Andrew O’Hagan and Sophia Al-Maria, our 2016 Marathon advisors, have taught us, the structure of miracles reveals an intense condition of wishing - the wishing of mystics, visionaries and pioneers.”


Rohan Silva, co-founder of Second Home, said: "Second Home is all about nurturing creativity and innovation, which is why we're thrilled to be collaborating with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Yana Peel and the Serpentine team once again. We're already taking last year's Serpentine Pavilion to LA in 2017, and it's brilliant to be deepening our creative partnership in this way.”


The Miracle Marathon will be the eleventh in the Serpentine’s annual Marathon series, an ambitious event that bringstogether the fields of art, culture, science and technology. Conceived in 2006 by Serpentine Artistic Director Hans UlrichObrist, the Marathons to date are: 

Interview Marathon, 2006 (with Rem Koolhaas); Experiment Marathon, 2007 (with OlafurEliasson); Manifesto Marathon, 2008; Poetry Marathon, 2009; Map Marathon, 2010; Garden Marathon, 2011; MemoryMarathon, 2012; 89plus Marathon, 2013; Extinction Marathon, 2014 (with Gustav Metzger) and Transformation Marathon, 2015.


The Miracle

Marathon Weekend  


Saturday 8 October at Serpentine Sackler Gallery, W2 10am – 10pm

Sunday 9 October at Second Home, E1 Midday – Midnight

Live on air

“I believe in the spirituality of the sacred. Not of religion, but of the sacred.... It's the intuition of how we relate to the world. This is what the imaginary is: we feel the rumbling underneath us.”

(Edouard Glissant, writer and philosopher)


Participants confirmed include artists Etel Adnan, James Bridle, Christo, Gustav Metzger, Adrián Villar Rojas andTomás Saraceno; writers Marie NDiaye, Edna O’Brien, Andrew O'Hagan and Adam Thirlwell; thinkers and theorists Timothy Morton, Jacqueline Rose and Eyal Weizman; architect Mark Cousins; mathematician Marcus du Sautoy; poets Bhanu Kapil and Ruth Padel; film-maker and theorist Manthia Diawara; cultural theorist Norman M. Klein; physicist Carlo Rovelli and scientist Riccardo Sabatini. Performances and presentations from Sophia Al-Maria, Es Devlin, Gilbert & George and Genesis P-Orridge among many others.

Now in its eleventh year, the acclaimed Marathon series continues its boundary-crossing examination of timely topics with a focus on the subject of miracles. Following the 2014 Extinction Marathon, which presented environmental and human crises facing the world today, and the 2015 Transformation Marathon, which proposed ways of identifying and effecting change in the face of increasing complexity, the Miracle Marathon focuses on the sacred, ritual, imagination and magical thinking to consider ways in which the imaginary can not only predict, but also play a part in affecting long-term futures. The concept for the Miracle Marathon is developed together with artist Sophia Al-Maria, architecture theorist Mark Cousins, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and writer Andrew O’Hagan.

Participants and contributors confirmed to date: 

Etel Adnan, Sarah Abu Abdallah, Adel Abdessemed, John P. Allen, Sophia Al-Maria, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Francis Alÿs, Kader Attia, Lekan Babalola and The Sacred Funk Project, A. Igoni Barrett, Jan Beccaloni, Mario Bellatin, Rebecca Bligh, James Bridle, Federico Campagna, Anne Carson, Christo, Mark Cousins, Jesse Darling, Kris De Meyer, Pierre Depaz, Es Devlin, Manthia Diawara, Jimmie Durham, Marcus du Sautoy, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Gilbert & George, Daniel Glaser, Douglas Gordon, Kathelin Gray, Boris Groys, John-Dylan Haynes, Romuald Hazoumé, Caspar Heinemann, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Rose Issa, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Bhanu Kapil, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, William Kherbek, Norman M. Klein, Kasper König, Satish Kumar, Syowia Kyambi, Neil MacGregor, Rachel Maclean, Fleur Melbourn, Julian Melchiorri, Gustav Metzger, Walter Mignolo, Timothy Morton, Kumi Naidoo, Carina Namih, Marie NDiaye, Edna O'Brien, Andrew O'Hagan,

Genesis P-Orridge, Ruth Padel, Jussi Parrika, Aarathi Prasad, Paul Purgas, Alice Rawsthorn, Milo Rau, Jacqueline Rose, Carlo Rovelli, Legacy Russell, Riccardo Sabatini, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Tomás Saraceno, Simon Schaffer, Tai Shani, Jim Shaw, Takeshi Shiomitsu, Marianna Simnett, Hito Steyerl, Martine Syms, The Otolith Group, Adam Thirlwell, Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura, Jalal Toufic, Adrián Villar Rojas, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Eyal Weizman and Holly White.

The Miracle Marathon is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Lucia Pietroiusti, Ben Vickers and Claude Adjil.

The core advisory team is Sophia Al-Maria, Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Mark Cousins, Marcus du Sautoy, Daniel Glaser, Andrew O’Hagan and Yana Peel.

Serpentine Radio is produced by Reduced Listening.

For press information contact:

Rose Dempsey, +44 (0)20 7298 1520

V Ramful,, +44 (0)20 7298 1519  

Press images at                    

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA

Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens, London W2 2AR