At this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach the BMW Group presented the world premiere of FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW, created by Amsterdam-based artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta. On Wednesday 6 December, 300 illuminated drones took off from Miami beach, programmed to simulate the movement of a flock of birds above the ocean and beach. In The Whole Story Gordijn and Nauta reflect on what art can say to technology
FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW” is a performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art. An autonomous flying swarm of 300 drones, each equipped with a light source, imitate the natural phenomenon of a flock of birds. The work premiered on December 6, 9 PM above the beach of Miami behind the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. This is the first time that a flock on this scale is presented by machines working with decentralised algorithms. Inspired by the spectacle of starlings clustering together in massive flocks and exposing the tension between individual freedom and safety in numbers, Studio Drift questions the delicate balance between the group and the individual. Studio Drift’s first research on this project dates back to 2007. To create FRANCHISE FREEDOM, Studio Drift studied the natural flight patterns of starlings and translated them into software that were specially developed and embedded in the drones.