Studio Drift and BMW present FRANCHISE FREEDOM above Miami Beach

Studio Drift, FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW, 2017. Rendering. Courtesy of Studio Drift.

Studio Drift
FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW

December 6, 9pm

Studio Drift partners with BMW for the world premiere of their sculpture FRANCHISE FREEDOM  made of 300 illuminated drones flying as a flock of birds above Miami Beach.

FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW is a new performative artwork, created by Amsterdam based artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, at the interface between technology, science, and art. An autonomous flying swarm of 300 drones, each equipped with a light source, will imitate the natural phenomenon of a flock on December 6, 9pm on the beach of Miami above the sea between 32nd and 33rd Street off Collins Avenue behind the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. This is the first time that a flock on this scale is presented by machines working with decentralized 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. 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.

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 beforehand. At its core, BMW is at the forefront of technological innovation, which is why FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW holds such a strong appeal. Making the impossible possible is what both the company and artists such as Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta strive for.

“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. 

In celebration of Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017, Studio Drift, BMW, FuturePace, as well as Faena will premiere FRANCHISE FREEDOM. The private inaugural performance and event will take place on the evening of Wednesday, December 6, on the beach of Faena Hotel with additional performances, weather permitting, throughout the week, time and date will be shared on Instagram by Studio Drift @studio.drift and Facebook #bmwgroupculture. The drones will be visible from a large distance. 

Further information available at:

Press contact
Dr Thomas Girst, BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Head of Cultural Engagement: 
T +49 89 382 24753 /

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