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a flock of lit-up drones pepper the night sky
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Franchise Freedom & Shylight by Studio Drift

Arts, Miami

Dutch duo Studio Drift, in partnership with BMW and Pace Gallery, premiered Franchise Freedom, a performative artwork on the beach of Faena District during Miami Art Week 2017.

An autonomous flying swarm of 300 drones, Franchise Freedom, supported by Faena Art, exposes the tension between individual freedom and safety by numbers.

The sacrifice made by the individual subjecting to the group gives the illusion of freedom, creating a never-ending cycle. Inspired by the starlings that take over the skies of Rome towards the end of autumn, Franchise Freedom mimics the birds’ behavior, roosting together in massive flocks and flying through the sky in large swarms to create breathtaking aerial displays through a seemingly rehearsed but natural cohesion of movement and light.

This performative piece marked the first time that a natural phenomenon is imitated by machines working with decentralized algorithms at this scale.

Certain types of flowers close at night for self-defense and to conserve their resources. This highly-evolved natural mechanism is called ‘nyctinasty’ and inspired Studio Drift to create Shylight for Faena Beach Dome; nine sculptures that unfold and retreat in fascinating choreography, mirroring that of real flowers.