9th May. 2014


Now available, from us to you, a *FREE* ringtone, comprised of the auto-tuned and pitch shifted sounds of Lady Gaga and Marina Abravomic in physical and emotional turmoil. Answer your calls after a duet of despair.


The ringtone gifts a special mobile-momento re-edit of DJ and producer Pierre LX‘s future-Muzak commission and spatial soundtrack, commissioned by Justin Jaeckle for In The #Memewhile… as part of the Auto Italia project opti-ME*.

In the Memewhile – Justin Jaeckle at opti-ME*

7th May. 2014


Join us for – In the Memewhile – as Justin Jaeckle leads the next stage of our project – opti-ME* – with an evening of high performance [anxiety] and socialised futures.

On Saturday 10th May we’re opening our doors for a take over by a syndicate of participants to explore the #MEMEWHILE with early evening meditative vibes, pizza and live streaming dinner with online persona vol33lov, and the launch of a new commission with Warsaw-based producer Pierre LX.

The events are free and open to the public. See you in the #MEMEWHILE.

Movies have been replaced by interactive live streaming events. MJ returns to the stage as a spectral hologram from beyond the grave, as psychic retromania gains virtual corporality. Living recording artists no longer tour, but host one off spectaculars – tickets to which sell in nanoseconds for thousands of pounds, purchased by the rich who own tailor made sniping algorithms, whilst the world’s consumer underclass watch at a distance through pay-per-view retinal screens. Increasing bandwidth has enabled the population to live-stream their own lives, gaining personal resolution through high definition, as Endemol looks on from the sidelines and cherry picks its new reality stars for syndication. The Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion is sponsored by Instagram, as the Arsenale is filled with photogenic immersive installation experiences. Marina Abramovich duets with Lady Gaga on a track entirely composed of their auto-tuned sobbing. The word ‘art’ falls out of common usage, since economic regulation of the art market forces consolidation of the long held suspicion that its artifacts might merely be operating as speculative currency, and a culture of widespread exhibitionism forever alters the perception of exhibition culture…

Assembling a selection of present-day talismans that might offer insights for the near future, in the second of opti-ME*s residencies curator, writer and artist Justin Jaeckle has organised an evening for opti-ME* of high-performance [anxiety], socialised futures and digital imbibing.

Whilst wading in the mists of time we will explore life in the #MEMEWHILE through a series of artifacts, commissions and live-streams from around the globe, turning Auto Italia’s Kings Cross HQ into a reception site for the broadcast of the self and the magic realism of networks.

An ambient exhibition environment will run throughout the afternoon, culminating in an evening of live events, including:


Meditation for Narcissists, with Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf leads an hour-long meditation session via Skype. Comfortable clothes recommended. In collaboration with Nastja Säde Rönkkö & Luke Turner.


Mok Bang Pizza Party
Dinner with Broadcast Jockeys (BJs) streamed from the future (AKA South Korea). Pizza and simultaneous live Korean-English translation will be provided.


.COM Wine Reception + Gagavić Muzak
Drinking the internet accompanied by a soundtrack, commissioned from Warsaw-based Pierre LX, composed of the auto-tuned sounds of Marina Abramović and Lady Gaga sobbing (a ringtone version of which will be available as a free download on our website).


Special Service: open call / spring 14 Premiere

26th Apr. 2014

open call / spring 14



open call / spring 14 is an intimate talkshow brought to you by Special Service with Preston Chaunsumlit and Christopher Kulendran Thomas, hosted by Britta Thie.

The event includes a premiere of the first Special Service casting tapes produced during their residency at Auto Italia as part of opti-ME*. Special Service have been casting in the space since Friday and will present new work made from this material.

The event is for free, booking is essential. Please RSVP here.

opti-ME* is a month-long exhibition and event series bringing together a selection of creative workers to interrogate the role of the artist, both as model for radical change and as self-promotional strategist. Invited collaborators Special Service, Justin Jaeckle and Ingo Niermann will occupy a transformed Auto Italia space, using it as an experimental testing-ground for new work and proposals, and questioning what “being artist” might mean as their skills and production methods become increasingly embedded across other industries.

open call / spring 14 - Special Service at opti-ME*

22nd Apr. 2014


Our next project - opti-ME* - will be launched with an invitation to participate in Special Service’s open call / spring 14 – a casting for the Berlin-based modeling agency’s new commercial.

We’re inviting individuals aged 16 and over interested in being involved with the commission launching opti-ME* to attend a casting conducted by Special Service for open call / spring 14 which will be taking place at Auto Italia from Friday 25th April – Saturday 26th April. Click here for more information.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact for more information.

Fashion, like any issue of surface, can be seen as superficial but it shouldn’t be seen as trivial. Its image world interpellates our self-understanding and thereby plays a role in how we relate to each other, mass-producing individuated subjectivity on an industrial scale. Fashion’s networks of image-production, from selfies and blogs to billboards and commercials, can be understood as sites of intersection between human and non-human materiality, algorithmically circulating our outward projections of how we see who we are. This is, however, by no means a level field of spontaneous emergent subjectivity. Those in front of the camera are very rarely in possession of the means by which editorial and commercial images are produced. It is from this environment that Special Service emerges as a new model of a modeling agency.

Collectively representing themselves and each other in initiating art through commercial processes, Special Service models renegotiate together their agency in the field of fashion. This strategy of intensified self-commodification tests the political horizons of accelerating rather than resisting platforms of capitalisation to inflect rather than oppose the mechanics of desire. As such, it proposes a model for art beyond either the modernist fantasy of artistic autonomy or the contemporary delusion of emancipated spectatorship. Art here is understood as always already instrumentalised. The challenge that is recognised is not one of autonomous authorship but of negotiating networked flows of power and capital, within which Special Service exists as a model of agency.

Founded in 2013 in Berlin, the model agency Special Service is an ongoing artistic collaboration between Annika Kuhlmann (philosopher and producer), Britta Thie (artist and model) and Julia Zange (writer and actress).

Special Service will also be presenting open call / spring 14 in an artists’ talk on Tuesday 29th April, 7.30-9pm. Tickets to this event are free but booking is essential. For more information and to book your place, please visit Eventbrite.

Text by Christopher Kulendran Thomas.

Auto Italia LIVE featured in Maeve Connollys "TV Museum"

17th Apr. 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

We’re very excited to be featured in TV Museum – contemporary art and the age of television. In her new book, Maeve Connolly takes the complex and shifting relationship between television and contemporary art as the subject – charting the changing status of television as a cultural form, object of critique, and site of artistic invention. Tracking the history of artist television, Connolly demonstrates the continued importance for artists to engage with questions over the formation of the public sphere.

Auto Italia LIVE is reflected upon as invoking a history of experimentation and innovation associated with an earlier era of television production in order to develop an exploration of labour and collaboration in art practice. Connolly recognises Auto Italia South East as engaging with the television studio as a site of collaborative production – offering a counterpoint to the contemporary condition of precarious and highly individualised artistic labour.

Check out the front cover too, which features a production shot from Auto Italia LIVE: Double Dip Concession at the ICA!