Amsterdam-based Studio Drift has choreographed 300 drones to simulate a flock of birds above the ocean and beach during this year’s Art Basel Miami. Presented by Future\Pace gallery and BMW, the Franchise Freedom installation debuted outside the Faena hotel complex in Miami Beach, is a performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art.
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.
The artwork was created by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift, who programmed the drones to simulate natural murmuration behaviour seen in starlings and other birds. Mounted with lights, the drones swarmed in formation over the beach – their movements dictated by algorithms.
“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.
During the performance, the swarm moved slowly over the ocean towards visitors watching on the beach. The performance will take place every night from 7 to 10 December 2017 at 8pm, weather permitting, above the sea between 32nd and 33rd Streets off Collins Avenue.
all images courtesy of Future\Pace