BMW News

BMW continues its relationship with Art Basel Miami Beach as a presenting partner of two new displays as well as its continuing long-term partnership with the event both financially and as provider of VIP shuttle services. BMW will present a display consisting of a new art form that involves autonomous "flocks" of flying drones, and another display featuring the new work of BMW Art Journey winner Max Hooper Schneider.

Art Basel Miami Beach is one show of an international art fair. Each year, Art Fair shows are held in Basel, Switzerland and Hong Kong, China as well as Miami Beach, Florida. Contemporary art from established and newly emerging artists are featured at each show, along with programs and pieces from each area's local institutions. Galleries and institutions must apply to Art Basel and be selected by a panel of international gallerists in order to participate in the show.

Art Basel Miami Beach will run from December 7 to 10, 2017 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Ticket prices are on the web site at

For one of BMW's cultural collaborations, guests will have to be outdoors after sunset. Fortunately, it's Miami Beach, so outdoors is not a problem. The reason that visitors need to be outdoors is that the sculpture is too big for a building. The world premiere of "Franchise Freedom—a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW" was created by Amsterdam-based artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, and consists of an autonomous flying swarm of 300 drones, each equipped with a light source. The horde of drones will imitate the movements of a flock of birds and will take place over the water off Miami Beach between 32nd and 33rd Street off Collins Avenue.

Unlike previous formations that were controlled centrally, this flock of drones uses decentralized algorithms to simulate the same type of movement seen in flocks of starlings, which use massive formations for security from predators while still maintaining freedom of flight.

Studio Drift was founded in 2006 to explore the relationship between nature, technology, and people in site-specific installations and interactive sculptures. “We were impressed by the courage of BMW to get involved here, as an artwork of this scope and scale has never even been tested before. They believed in our idea because they fully comprehend how complicated and intricate those innovative processes are,” says Lonneke Gordijn, co-founder of Studio Drift, Amsterdam.

BMW liked the innovation aspect of Studio Drift's project. Hildegard Wortmann, Senior Vice President Brand BMW explained, “Studio Drift and BMW both subscribe to a symbiosis of innovation and beauty. I congratulate Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta for the perseverance in turning their endeavor into a reality. ‘Franchise Freedom’ is both a technological wonder and an aesthetic experience to behold.”

Max Hooper Schneider is a winner of the BMW Art Journey, in which promising young artists compete and are selected by BMW to explore a part of the world and then translate their impressions and inspirations into art. Max Hooper Schneider recently undertook a maritime journey to explore coral reefs around the world, including the Bikini Atoll, the Fukushima disaster “reef” in Japan, Lake Baikal in Russia, and the coast of Madagascar. Schneider's artistic results will be on display in the BMW Lounge.

Studio Drift, Max Hooper Schneider and the other Art Basel galleries will not be the only ones showing off their masterpieces. BMW will display the BMW Concept 8 Series in the Faena Beach Dome on December 6th. This is the concept car that BMW is using to preview some of the design elements of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe due out in 2018.—Scott Blazey

[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]