Battery City: A Post-Olympic Beijing Mini Marathon is the continuation of Marathon events conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist which have been taking place at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilions since 2006. Through interviews conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist and group discussion conducted by Jiang Jun, chief editor of Urban China, the Beijing Mini Marathon seeks to map the most pressing concerns of the minds of Chinese artists, architects, writers, and intellectuals at this moment, and to re-generate energy for future development within the Chinese context.
Statement from Hans Ulrich Obrist:
1) The Don’t Stop principle: We never stop.
2) NBO (New Beijing Optimism): In the lull of Post-Olympic flagging pep, and in the spirit of our declaration of NLO (New London Optimism) at last October’s Manifesto Marathon at the Serpentine Gallery in London, it is imperative to identify this moment as a force for optimism; we are here to proclaim NBO.
3) Anti-Cyclicality: Having purposely abstained from the rush to concert activities around the Beijing Olympics, we are anti-cyclical; This is it, now: The dawn of the New Year is no incentive for pause.
4) Polyphony of Marathons: This Beijing Mini-Marathon is not the first, but one in a chain of mini-marathons taking place in the city, the first being Beijing Pavilion: this event is urgent.
5) Trans-Disciplinarity: We direct our scope to a plurality of scenes; Chinese art cannot accept boundaries – those of disciplines, of generations, of geographies: Chinese art must have an open mind.
6) Book Machine: the Beijing Mini-Marathon event is a real-time complex dynamic feedback loop; the event will produce a publication, a document, a battery: a machine that generates energy for future development in the Chinese context.
Hans Ulrich Obrist interviews: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Zhang Anding, Xiao He, Zhang Da, Dai Zhikang, Wang Jianwei, Jia Zhangke, Jiang Jun, Ma Yansong, Yangjiang Group, Zak Kyes, Yan Jun.
Sound Performance: Yan Jun THE STETHOSCOPE
Calligraphy creation: Yangjiang Group (Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, Sun Qinglin)
Media Partner: Urban China Magazine, City Pictorial, e-flux
Translator: Venus, Weiwei Wang
Stenography: Ruize Stenography Company
Supported by: Subjam, Zak Group
Time: 31 Dec 2008 2pm – 4am 1 Jan 2009
Venue: the shop Jianwai SOHO West Area Tower15 B1-1503