“Extinction Marathon: Visions of the Future”
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.
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“DE-EXTINCTION”: a conversation with Stewart Brand & Richard Prum with Hans Ulrich Obrist & John Brockman
Does the prospect of “de-extinction” change how we think about extinction? Conservation science is shifting from being species-centric to function-centric, focussing on the overall health of ecosystems. Does the extinction of a species leave a “gap in nature” that can only be filled by returning the species to life and to the wild? Or will a functionally close relative serve? Is a de-extincted species really nothing more than a functionally close relative anyway? If it is too difficult and expensive to revive every extinct species, what are the criteria for deciding which ones to work on? Humans are the ones deciding. What ethics and aesthetics should guide those decisions?
STEWART BRAND is the Founder of the “The Whole Earth Catalog” and Co-founder of The Long Now Foundation and Revive and Restore; Author, Whole Earth Discipline.
Stewart Brand’s Edge Bio Page
RICHARD PRUM is an Evolutionary Ornithologist at Yale University, where he is the Curator of Ornithology and Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is working on a book about duck sex, aesthetic evolution, and the origin of beauty.
Richard Prum’s Edge Bio Page
HANS ULRICH OBRIST is the Co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London; Author, Ways of Curating.
Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Edge Bio Page
JOHN BROCKMAN is the Editor and Publisher of Edge.org; Chairman of Brockman, Inc.; Author, By the Late John Brockman, The Third Culture [photo credit: WOWE]
John Brockman’s Edge Bio Page
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The event is live-streamed at ( http://extinct.ly/ ). 3pm-5pm London; 4pm-6pm Europe; 10am-12pm East Coast; 7am-10am West Coast.
EDGE & SERPENTINE GALLERY
Previous Edge-Serpentine collaborations have included:
“Formulae for the 21st Century” (2007)
“The Table-Top Experiment Marathon” (2007)
“Maps For The 21st Century” (2010)
“Information Gardens” (2011)