03 Franchise Freedom
Franchise Freedom is a flying sculpture by Studio Drift and Drone Stories. This invigorating artwork is located at the intersection of technology, science and art. Hundreds of drones visualize an autonomously flying swarm of starlings, exposing the tension between individual freedom and safety in numbers. The ultimate goal being to provoke the mind and give the viewer food for thought.
The Story Behind the Lights
To create this artwork, Drift studied the natural flight behavior of starlings and translated it into specially developed software built into the drones. Franchise Freedom is a poetic illustration of how we, as humans, strive to live autonomously within societies defined by rules and conventions. Although the patterns seem random, and the impression of such a flock makes us think of freedom, the behavior of these birds is completely orchestrated and subject to many rules and survival instincts.
NUMBER OF DRONES
Between 200 and 600
Private and public
100 - 70.000
Is Freedom an Illusion?
There is a particular kind of beauty in watching these sudden decisions by thousands of individuals and their reactions to each other. If each bird acted independently, complete chaos would ensue. Humans, like birds, find safety in a group, while at the same time, they are forced to act according to many rules on which society operates. Those who prefer complete individual freedom to these rules are forced to operate outside of our culture. What is the perfect balance between the two? Is freedom an illusion? Each performance is site-specific and unique, and the drones will respond to their environment in an unpredictable, autonomous way. Their technology is based on ongoing university research into the behavior of swarms, as the principles of self-organization have become increasingly relevant in our ever-changing world.
Story in the skies from…
various places such as Art Basel Miami, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, Liberation Day in Rotterdam, New Year’s Eve in Rotterdam, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Burning Man, Amsterdam above the IJ and Unicef in Capri. The music for this installation was composed and played by pianist Joep Beving.