300 drones act as flock of birds for “flying sculpture” in Miami

A "flying sculpture" made from 300 illuminated drones has been displayed as part of the Art Basel exhibition at Miami Beach, Florida.

Called "Franchise Freedom", the artwork was designed by Amsterdam-based artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, Dutch architect Studio Drift and German car maker BMW.

To create the artwork, Studio Drift studied the natural flight patterns of starlings and translated them into the software that controlled the drones.

The project was inspired by the "spectacle of starlings clustering together in massive flocks and exposing the tension between individual freedom and safety in numbers", according to Studio Drift, with the drones aiming to illustrate "the delicate balance between the group and the individual". 

Studio Drift had been working on the project since 2007 and it is the first time something on this scale has been presented by machines working with decentralised algorithms.

Lonneke Gordijn, co-founder of Studio Drift, said: "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."

Art Basel is an international art fair which hosts shows annually in Basel in Switzerland, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. 

Image courtesy of Studio Drift/BMW

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