Miami Beach- December 07, 2017… Last night at South Beach, on the evening of December 6, Amsterdam based Studio Drift, Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, presented their latest work “FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW” to an audience of hundreds of stunned guests and astonished onlookers. On the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach, 300 illuminated drones moved across the sky above the ocean mimicking a flock of birds and creating a performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art.
“Everything can be simulated in animation and virtual reality, but we think there is an importance in creating real experiences that you can feel and see with your own eyes in the real world, not only through a screen”, says Lonneke Gordijn, co-founder of Studio Drift, Amsterdam, about the general mind set and approach of Studio Drift.
“This was a once in a lifetime pleasure to behold,” says Hildegard Wortmann, Senior Vice President Brand BMW. “It was Edmund Burke – in the middle of the 18th century within his well-known treatise on the sublime – who wrote of beauty as being a movement. This is what Studio Drift and Bayerische Motoren Werke both wholeheartedly subscribe to. ‘FRANCHISE FREEDOM’ is a technological wonder and a breathtaking aesthetic experience.”
In celebration of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017, Studio Drift, BMW, Future\Pace as well as Faena premiered “FRANCHISE FREEDOM”. By imitating the natural phenomenon of a swarm of birds, it is the first time for this orchestrated movement to be presented by machines working with decentralized algorithms at a very large scale. Additional shows weather permitting are planned nightly at 8 PM from Thursday to Sunday, December 7-10. The drones perform on the beach above the sea between 32nd and 33rd Street off Collins Avenue behind the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. They are visible from a large distance – detailed timing will be shared on Instagram by Studio Drift @studio.drift, Pace Gallery @pacegallery and by BMW on Instagram @bmwgroupculture and Facebook #bmwgroupculture.
Studio Drift questions the delicate balance between the group and the individual. The sacrifice made by the individual subjecting to the group gives off the illusion of freedom, creating a never-ending cycle. To create “FRANCHISE FREEDOM”, Studio Drift studied the natural flight patterns of starlings and translated them into software that was specially developed and embedded in the drones. Their technology is based on ongoing university research on flocking behavior, as the principles of self-organization have become more and more relevant in our changing world.
BMW has a 50-year global track record of recognizing and enabling talent in the arts. The company makes artistic visions come true and honors the full creative freedom of any artist or institution they collaborate with. When Studio Drift sought a dialogue with BMW in regard to their ambitious project, the company, as long-term partner of Art Basel, could not pass on the challenge. For the period of over half a year, discussions ensued between BMW and Studio Drift – just as they did with artists like Jeff Koons, Olafur Eliasson, and Cao Fei before them.
The full collaboration is documented by four films, all slated to be released by the end of 2017. The first one, a portrait of Studio Drift and footage of “FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW” can be found at: www.bmw.com and www.press.bmwgroup.com.
While Studio Drift presented their latest artwork at the interface between science, art and technology, Bayerische Motoren Werke had one of their latest masterpieces on site: the BMW Concept 8 Serieswas on display for guests to see up close in the Faena Beach Dome on Decemer 6, 2017. The study car serves as a taster of a forthcoming BMW model – the BMW Concept 8 Series stands for new design ideas and form-building techniques, representing the pinnacle of sports performance and exclusivity at BMW and slated for launch in 2018 as part of the most ambitious model offensive in the company’s history.
For further questions please contact:
Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53
Fax: +49 89 382 24418
Studio Drift / Pace Gallery press inquiries:
About Studio Drift
Based in Amsterdam, Studio Drift was established in 2006 by Lonneke Gordijn (b. 1980, Alkmaar, Netherlands) and Ralph Nauta (b. 1978, Swindon, United Kingdom), who attended the Design Academy Eindhoven together. Studio Drift explores the relationship between nature, technology, and humankind in site-specific installations and interactive sculptures. Studio Drift draws their inspiration from nature, both formally and philosophically, while their creative process is fuelled by innovative technologies and methods. Their groundbreaking work comes to life through ongoing collaborations with scientists, university departments, and research facilities, computer programmers and engineers. Their practice is a testament to the cross-pollination between the technically advanced and the aesthetically beautiful, permeated with an awareness of future potential.
Studio Drift is represented by Pace Gallery, taking part in the gallery’s Future\Pace program. Established by Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, Pace Gallery, and Mark Davy, founder of Futurecity, Future\Pace offers a pioneering approach to commissioning art ‘in the public realm’. The partnership builds on the expansive and important histories of both Pace and Futurecity, bridging Pace’s extensive global resources with Futurecity’s innovative approach to developing large scale commissions for artists in the public realm. Future\Pace develops partnerships and opportunities with an international group of artists including Studio Drift, Kohei Nawa, Carsten Nicolai, Random International, Michal Rovner, Studio Swine, teamLab, and Leo Villareal articulating a focus on art that transforms conventions of public sculpture by reaching into the digital sphere.
About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities for granted – as this is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.
Further information: www.bmwgroup.com/cultureand www.bmwgroup.com/culture/overview
The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2016, the BMW Group sold approximately 2.367 million cars and 145,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.