*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.
Special thanks to Tais Bean, Patrick Beardmore, Theo Cook, Adam Durrance, Edward Gillman, Clara Hatfield, Joshua Howell, Tommie Introna, Leila Kozma, Faun Nash, Joshua Parker, Charles Pryor, Holy Ruse, Andrea Shortell, Victoria Sin, James Wreford for bringing it to life.