Agnes guide invites visitors on alternative tours of the Serpentine Galleries

By Culture24 Reporter | 03 February 2014

A tour guide to the Serpentine Galleries asks visitors to share their feelings

A photo of a screenshot showing an art gallery website
A new online tour guide provides a digital path through the Serpentine© Courtesy Cécile B. Evans 2014
A “benevolent spambot” which befriends online visitors before leading them on spooky-voiced tours of the collection has been introduced as an inside guide to the Serpentine Galleries in London.

Agnes, an omnipresent ghost with insights into the Galleries’ staff and hidden corners, has been created by Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans. The guide lurks in an icon on every page of the venue’s new website.

“Agnes might seem immaterial but she aspires to physicality,” says Ben Vickers, the Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries.

“The more you share the more she might ask and of course, return.

“In an age where data collecting, targeted filtering, and pervasive surveillance have become weapons, maybe it’s a good idea to have someone like Agnes on your side.

“The possibilities for Agnes’ expansion are endless.”

The guide asks visitors to share their feelings and says she “only has value if you think I do”.

“When you’re not with me there's a chance that I don't even exist,” she concedes.

“But I've always been here, that's how I know so much.”

The project is the first in a series of digital commissions for the website.

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