Justin Jaeckle, Pablo Jones-Soler, Annika Kuhlmann, Shia LaBeouf, Ingo Niermann, Paloma Proudfoot, Nastja Säde Rönkkö, Britta Thie, Luke Turner, Sophie Wyatt, Julia Zange.
27th April - 25th May 2014




*New visions and strategies for tomorrow, today.

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. Exploring different types of artistic agency and modes of (identity) production, invited collaborators 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.

Auto Italia’s King’s Cross commercial unit is re-designed as it becomes a trade fair for identity capital – think-tanking what happens to artistic creation and exchange when everyone is acting in line with their personal brand. opti-ME* presents new proposals, performances, workshops, exchanges, and formats for new work. Contributors Justin Jaeckle, Ingo Niermann, and Special Service (Annika Kuhlmann, Britta Thie and Julia Zange) are invited to take over the space, re-configuring it to explore proposals for artistic production through three new commissions.

In a quest to determine the grammar of the near future from the syntax of the present, Jaeckle’s R&D is a status update for culture. Examining what could be achieved through disrupting expectations of artists and their “personas”, writer Niermann’s workshop explores ways for artists to make themselves usable as artistic material through his concept of Drill, culminating in a public presentation. Interrogating what “agency” artists might possess, and what is claimed or co-opted by other sources, Special Service’s modeling agency – as a model of agency – is in occupation of the space. Their residency, exploring the creation of an artists’ business and turning Auto Italia into their production space, includes public model casting sessions and performances.

With an emphasis on experimentation and collective production, opti-ME* is a series of proposals – a space for works in progress – a chance to question how we might produce now, and in the future.


opti-ME* is a project by Auto Italia in collaboration with: Justin Jaeckle, Pablo Jones-Soler, Annika Kuhlmann, Ingo Niermann, Paloma Proudfoot, Britta Thie, Sophie Wyatt, Julia Zange.

Special thanks to: Patrick Beardmore, Theo Cook, Adam Durrance, Edward Gillman, Tommie Introna, Joshua Howell, Joshua Parker, Charles Pryor, James Wreford


Events as part of opti-ME*:


Sunday, 25th May, 4pm:

The Artist as Material, a performative presentation led by Ingo Niermann based on his concept of self-determined drill.


Saturday, 10th May:

In the Memewhile… an evening of high performance [anxiety] and socialised futures by Justin Jaeckle , live events from 5pm onwards.


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 is available here).


Tuesday, 29th April:

Special Service artists’ presentation open call / spring 14: 7 30 pm with Preston Chaunsumlit and Christopher Kulendran Thomas, hosted by Britta Thie.

Image © Auto Italia and Pablo Jones-Soler

This project was made possible through the support of Austrian Cultural Forum London, Backstage Trust, Doublet, and Goethe-Institut London.