• Rogue Agents. Image courtesy Auto Italia South East & Pablo Jones-Soler

firstdraft + the keir foundation present:

28.03.2017 - 01.04.2017



a curatorial project by auto italia south east

Workshops: 28–29 March, 2017, 11am–2pm

Live Night: April 1, 2017, 6–9.30pm

Tickets to Live Night $5.00

Firstdraft is pleased to present its first international exchange with London-based artist-led project Auto Italia South East.

Rogue Agents is a group project seeking to collectively uncover ideas around figures that can disrupt, subvert and redirect power. From historical and folkloric interpretations of witchcraft to bio-technologies and body hacking, Rogue Agents will explore alternative models of being and desiring.

Auto Italia invite you to the Firstdraft coven to collectively (fore)cast disruptive new configurations for the codification of our future bodies, seeking agency in new modes of technological shapeshifting. Through image making, textiles production, and live music, Rogue Agents will explore transgressive new possibilities for harnessing collective imagination to explore fictional, esoteric and latent modes of self-representation.

Climaxing into full augmentation—how might our subversive exchanges in digital and biomolecular data become weapons in a fight for the production of control, empathy and creativity in the future?

Rogue Agents is a project by Auto Italia in collaboration with Holly Childs, Linda Dement, Angela Goh, Mette Hammer Juhl + Lorenzo Tebano, Spence Messih, Bhenji Ra, Victoria Sin and Pablo Jones-Soler.


Rogue Agents Reading Group and Collective Banner Making Workshops
Workshop #1 28th March 11am – 2pm
Workshop #2 29th March 11am – 2pm

Taking a range of texts as prompts for discussion, Auto Italia invite you to speculate and design new potentials taking the research interests central to the Rogue Agents project as their starting point. In coming together to read and discuss, we will produce a series of banner artworks, creating a moment for collaboration, making and discussion.

The reading group is open for those interested to attend and join the discussions. Reading material will be circulated in advance. Please send an expression of interest to to reserve your place.


We started to feel it edging nearer. We lived and worked in one of the most affluent urban centres in the world; a dense mesh grid of bodies, metal, concrete and production. Glass so clear it looked as if it were air until a greasy pool at the periphery of your vision gave it away, buildings aspiring to exist as the cloud; the workers their data, a seamless flow into intangible mass. We sought total transparency. When we moved through the city it was as if we never even touched the ground. And then the bottom fell out.

Rogue Agents Live Night explores disaster and escape. Promoting a new set of archetypes for this moment where everything must change, this collectively authored piece brings together music, performance, image-production, staging and new narratives across an evening where we will leave this planet behind and seek new modes of representation of, and agencies for, ourselves elsewhere.



Auto Italia is an artist-run project and studio led by Kate Cooper, Marianne Forrest and Edward Gillman. Founded in 2007, it aims to provide a framework for developing alternative production and exhibition formats.

Throughout the history of the organisation there has been a questioning of how artists can work together to develop new formats for artistic production. Projects have taken on various formats ranging from collaborative public programming in temporary spaces, commissions and presentations in institutions and galleries, and the production of collaborative projects through working online. This work has been shown nationally and internationally at Tate Modern, ICA, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, abc – Art Berlin Contemporary Berlin; Artissima LIDO, Turin; CSS Bard, New York; and Künstlerhaus, Bremen amongst others.

Since 2007, Auto Italia has been led by an evolving group of collaborating artists. Alumni include Marleen Boschen (2014-16), Amanda Dennis (2007-2012), Richard John Jones (2009-2012) and Rachel Pimm (2007-2009).



Angela Goh is a dancer and choreographer working in Australia and internationally. She is working with dance in theatres, galleries, and telepathetic spaces. Her work often deals with tropes of femininity; the supernatural; and dance as both a form and as a force. Angela is interested in choreography as a tool for building relational frameworks for collective speculation. Her work has been presented around Australia and internationally, including France, Belgium, Denmark, the USA and SouthEast Asia. Her work has recently been presented in the Art Gallery of NSW, the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Art, and Next Wave Festival, as well as currently appearing around Europe as part of Galerie International’s Group Show. She has performed in major festivals and events with local and international artists, including the Biennale of Sydney, Dance Massive, and Impulstanz International Dance Festival. This year she has been commissioned to make a major new work for Campbelltown Arts Centre.


Bhenji Ra is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice combines performance and video.  Her work is often concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity, centralizing her own personal histories as a tool to reframe performance.  With an emphasis on occupation and at times collective action, her work plays with the multiplicities of spectacle while offering moments of becoming and alternative modules of community to be considered. She belongs to the collective Club Ate, alongside artist Justin Shoulder. Together they have shown their work at the 8th Asia Pacific Trienalle, ICA London and most recently ACMI, Melbourne.


Holly Childs is a writer, editor and artist. Her work explores the use of digital networks in contemporary culture. She is the author of two books: Danklands, published by Arcadia Missa and No Limit, published by Hologram, Melbourne. Recent presentations of her work include: as art writer within Adam Linder’s choreographic service Some Proximity at MCA, Biennale of Sydney (2016); Danklands [Swamped in 3 voices] for Capitalist Surrealism curated by Liquid Architecture, NGV, Melbourne (2015) and as curator of Quake II, Arcadia Missa, London (2014) and at Slopes, Melbourne (2014). She was an Associate Producer at Next Wave 2015-16, and founding editor of Next Wave’s online publication Worm Hole. In 2016-17 she was a Gertrude Contemporary studio holder. She is a current researcher in The New Normal program at Strelka Institute in Moscow.


Linda Dement is a Sydney based artist who has worked in arts computing since the late 1980s. Originally a photographer, her digital practice spans the programmed, performative, textual and virtual. Her work deals with issues of disturbance, commingling psycho-sexual corporeality and the digital and electronic, giving form to the difficult territory of the unbearable and conflicted with precision and control. Dement’s code driven and still image work has been widely exhibited internationally and locally, including at the Institute of Contemporary Art London, Ars Electronica Austria, multiple International Symposia of Electronic Art and at Impakt Media Arts Festivals in Europe. She is twice winner of the Australian National Digital Art Award and has been awarded a New Media Arts Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts. Her work is held in collections such as the Bibliotèque Nationale de France, Australian Video Art Archive, New York Filmmakers Co-op and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.


Mette Hammer Juhl and Lorenzo Tebano are an artist duo living and working in Copenhagen. They combine the aesthetics of ancient mythologies and rituals with contemporary culture and technology to explore how smart design and architectural solutions define and control public space. Juhl and Tebano work in a variety of mediums often creating social sculptures and installations that emphasise a sense of timelessness.


Pablo Jones-Soler is a music video director masquerading as an artist masquerading as a music video director. He works across art direction and film as one half of Bradley Pablo and occasionally reclaims his autonomy at times like this. Recent clients include Steve Aoki.


Spence Messih is an artist currently based in Sydney, Australia. Messih’s work has been exhibited at Artspace, Sydney Guild, Firstdraft Gallery, MOP Projects, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Stills Gallery, Sydney; and Horsham Regional Gallery, and Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne among others. Upcoming solo exhibitions include ‘Hard curves’ at Alaska Projects and Lismore Regional Gallery. Messih has presented lectures and performances at Artspace, MCA and Underbelly Arts Festival, Sydney. As a current PhD candidate at UNSWAD, Messih’s research centres on the shared principles between gender variant and trans identities and reductive and abstract art practices. Their cross-disciplinary practice positions abstraction as a tactic used by queer artists to create and explore notions of trans(gender)-materiality.


Victoria is an artist and female drag queen based in London, UK. Their research is concerned with the experience of the physical within the social body, and explores desire, identification and objectification within systems of looking and technologies of representation within image based culture. Working across performance, moving image, writing, and drag their work produces tools to challenge gender binaries, expectations and attitudes on femme identities and how images and iconography of femininity are produced, inscribed, and performed.





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