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Art + Technology Collide at Art Basel Miami Beach

By January 5, 2018January 16th, 2023No Comments

The world’s largest art fair is indicative of how contemporary art is quickly catching up with internet culture.

Miami took the last month of 2017 by storm for the 16th annual Art Basel Miami Beach (December 6 to 9). All eyes were on the Magic City as a myriad of satellite fairs, exhibits, museum and gallery openings, and parties flooded the city for the art world’s largest block party.

We sent our Marketing Director, Chloe, to Miami to relay this year’s colorful sights and unique experiences back to us. With a Miami Mojito Company drink in hand, Chloe gawked at some of the best curations the contemporary art world has to offer.

A record-breaking 82,000 people attended the 2017 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach. However, this year’s calendar event seemed to have a different take on art and artists of a new generation. The recurring theme of the show was issues of our time, and how technology is shaping the way we think, act and live.

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Technology Takes Flight

Behind the Faena Hotel, above the sea, and below the moon, “Franchise Freedom” — a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW and represented by Pace Gallery — was airborne. The digital installation merged technology, science, nature, and art. The artwork “questions the delicate balance between individual freedom and safety by numbers,” stated Studio Drift.

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The most impressive thing about “Franchise Freedom” wasn’t the luminous flock of 300 drones soaring over the Miami Beach shoreline above high-rises and across the Atlantic horizon. What was so remarkable was the impact it had. “In synchronicity, [the drones] became objects of delicate beauty, like the migratory birds the mimicked. It wasn’t the technical feat to make drones fly that was interesting, but what was most striking was how the algorithm was conceptually rich,” said The Verge‘s Tamara Warren.

In a more hypothetical sense, “Franchise Freedom” questions the balance between a group and an individual. While the drone patterns seem to occur at random, their movements are completely orchestrated, abiding by certain rules and survival instincts that allow them to fly in a flock. If every drone were able to operate on its own, there would be utter chaos.

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Like the beauty in watching the sudden decisions of hundreds of autonomous, illuminated, moving sculptures, there is something to be said about individuals in society. The artwork symbolizes how people find safety in numbers, but are expected to act in accordance with society’s orders. As a result, those who choose complete freedom are outcasted by the group. The question now is what is the perfect balance between the two? Is freedom just an illusion?

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Experiencing Art Basel Miami Beach was a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. From the people, to the artwork, to the events — it’s safe to say we will be venturing to South Florida in the years to come.

To art, culture, and technology — CHEERS!