Franchise Freedom LTD is a new joint venture between Therme Group, FuturePace and artist duo Studio Drift. It establishes the shared ownership and commitment over Franchise Freedom, a flying sculpture of drones created by Studio Drift. Through the newly founded company, the three entities plan to support the development, operation, and exhibition of the work long-term and present it in more locations around the world.
Franchise Freedom is a performative artwork at the interface of technology, science, and art. Mirroring the natural movement and flight patterns of starlings in massive flocks, an autonomous, luminous swarm of 600 drones fly through the sky in patterns generated by an algorithm that reacts in ways similar to starling murmuration. Alongside the drones’ unique movements, light plays an equally important role in Franchise Freedom—each drone has a light source, and the distance between the drones influences the lights’ intensities and colors.
Franchise Freedom is the first-ever imitation of a natural phenomenon by machines working with decentralized algorithms at this scale. To create the performance, Studio Drift studied the natural flight patterns of starlings and translated them into a software that has been specially developed and embedded in the drones. The technology is based on their ongoing university research on flocking behavior and principles of self-organization.