UPDATE 26th october, 2018: as dusk fell over at burning man, studio drift took franchise freedom and its 600 luminous drones to playa, where burners witnessed a hypnotic display of technological choreography, accompanied by the poignant keys of joep beving. the artwork is a tribute to larry harvey, the visionary who built the first burning man and never stopped progressing it.



not only have thousands of gallerists, curators, artists and design lovers alike, flocked to miami this week but also hundreds of drones too. 


studio drift presents its latest work — franchise freedom — a flying sculpture in partnership with BMW, which on the occasion of art basel miami 2017, sees the machines move across the sky above the ocean. the drones come together to form an airborne sculpture, created to mimic a flock of birds placed at the interface between technology, science, and art.

bmw drones studio drift
studio drift X BMW drones come together to form an airborne sculpture, created to mimick a flock of birds
images courtesy of BMW group



in celebration of this year’s art basel, the two brands came together to imitate the natural phenomenon — the first time an orchestrated movement using machines working with decentralized algorithms has taken place on such a large scale. 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 become more and more relevant in our changing world.




‘everything can be simulated in animation and virtual reality,’ comments lonneke gordijn, co-founder of amsterdam-based studio drift. ‘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.’

bmw drones studio drift
it is the first time machines working with decentralized algorithms has taken place on such a large scale



the full collaboration is documented by four films, slated to be released by the end of 2017. the first one, a portrait of studio drift and footage of ‘franchise freedom’, can already be viewed online. the piece was realized with the help of future/pace, a partnership between pace gallery and cultural strategists future city, as well as faena hotel situated on miami beach.

bmw drones studio drift
the flying sculpture comprised 300 drones



bmw drones studio drift
the full collaboration is documented by four films, slated to be released by the end of 2017

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