Ingo Niermann at opti-ME*



As part of opti-ME* we’re looking for people interested in taking part in a workshop – The Artist as Material – with writer Ingo Niermann, based on his concept of self-determined drill.

This focused, small workshop will take place on Saturday May 24th from 2pm onwards, where Niermann will work with the group to explore ideas and methodologies for how artists might make themselves their own material. The closed workshop will be followed by a public presentation on Sunday 25th May at 4pm, led by Niermann and developed collaboratively from the previous day’s workshop.

If you’d like to take part, please get in touch with by Monday 19th May for more information. Places are extremely limited.

The Artist As Material – Ingo Niermann

In a common understanding of modern art the actual work is the artist persona, while the signed stuff that he/she produces are just “relics” (Boris Groys) of his/her existence. Still, since a phase of radical performance art in the 70s (Hsieh, Abramovic, Burden,…) personal frontiers have rather not been challenged. While the media is flooded with books, TV shows, and blogs on self-improvement, the artistic practice seems to be all about protecting a grail like persona. While pop and movie stars are encouraged to deliver revelations on personal meltdowns and erratic shifts, artists are expected to steadily evolve their once found artistic position to satisfy a market and a critical perception that are both, in whatever ways, determined by the prospects of museification.

As long as artists don’t claim to be identical with their artist persona, they feel secure from the trap of a fake authenticity. But as the art world is very much based on personal encounters expectations on what the “real person” is like, make up a large part in the evaluation of an artist persona. To disrupt this trust, writer Ingo Niermann will gather with a couple of artists to develop previously undisclosed ways of how to make themselves usable as artistic material. An elementary tool for this endeavour will be Niermann’s concept of a self-determined drill (Choose Drill, Hatje Cantz/ dOCUMENTA13, 2012).


Ingo Niermann (b. 1969) lives in Berlin and Basel. Recent writing work includes Solution 247-261: Love (ed., 2013), Choose Drill (2011), The Future of Art: A Manual (2011, with Erik Niedling). His work has been featured at Serpentine Gallery (London), MACBA (Barcelona), ZKM (Karlsruhe), dOCUMENTA(13) (Kassel), MoMA (New York), and La Biennale die Venezia. Collaborative projects include Vote (Gwangju, Korea) – a tool for public ballots developed with Rem Koolhaas, and Fiktion – an international digital publishing project with Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin).