To celebrate 50 years of cultural commitment, BMW is joining forces with Acute Art to initiate a unique exhibition: For the first time ever the renowned BMW Art Car Collection is shown in augmented reality (AR). On July 21, the project is launched via the free Acute Art app, marking the first time that the digital rolling sculptures are available for everyone all around the world at any time.
Initiated by French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain and conceived in collaboration with the founder of BMW Motorsport Jochen Neerpasch, the first BMW Art Car was commissioned when both asked Alexander Calder to design Poulain’s BMW race car in 1975. Since then, 19 prominent artists from throughout the world have designed BMW automobiles of their times, all making extremely different artistic statements and reflecting the cultural and historical development of art, design, and technology.
On the occasion of 50 years of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, the Art Cars are finally entering the digital realm and can virtually be staged in this wholly immersive 360° exhibition: indoors, outdoors and in any location the user desires. On July 21, the first BMW Art Cars can be experienced via the App: Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975), Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3, 1989), Ken Done (BMW M3, 1989), Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990), Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991), Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010) and John Baldessari (BMW M6 GTLM, 2016). From then on, further BMW Art Cars will be integrated in the Acute Art App every two weeks. On time for the Art Basel in Basel all Art Cars will be included in the App.
The Acute Art app uses cutting-edge technology that works best on high-end phones with the latest software. The devices supported are iPhone X or above, and Samsung Galaxy S8 or equivalent. The app requires a phone with a minimum of 4GB of memory and Apple iOS 11 or Android 8.0 Oreo (API 24) operating system.
The BMW Group is committed to supporting and facilitating culture, partnering with world renowned institutions and artists. Through mutual respect and curiosity, BMW is connecting people through culture across the globe – both physically and virtually. This is why BMW is partnering up with Acute Art: to push the physical boundaries of art by exploring the medium in a different dimension.
“The BMW Art Cars are an essential part of the DNA of BMW’s 50-year-long cultural engagement. Finally, they are entering the digital realm and can be accessible everywhere and for everyone. I am excited about the collaboration with Acute Art as we both strive for innovation and cutting edge technology. I can‘t wait to place the Art Cars in my living room and get behind the wheel of these exceptional masterpieces!”, says Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales.
Acute Art collaborates with the world’s leading contemporary artists, providing access to cutting-edge technologies that allow them to translate their creative vision into new digital mediums – including virtual, augmented and mixed realities. Today’s immersive media give rise to new possibilities for the production and distribution of art and the arrival of augmented reality makes possible entirely new exhibition formats.
“We are thrilled about this partnership with BMW, a company that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to technological innovation and art over decades” says Jacob De Geer, CEO of Acute Art. “Acute Art was founded on the vision of democratising art and bringing it to places where it could not be before. In these challenging times we have to find new solutions. The collaboration with the BMW Group will intensify the exchange between technology, design and art. Together we will explore future landscapes involving today’s most innovative minds working in these fields.”
Acute Art’s collaboration with the BMW Group will make the Art Cars digitally visible anywhere in the world for the very first time. Through the app, they can be individually displayed, or users can also display multiple vehicles together at the same time. To this end, the real Art Cars were carefully scanned from all angles using a photogrammetry methodology, capturing every detail of the artists’ intervention on the car’s surface. Finally, the cars were assembled digitally to create an accurate representation of the Art Cars in AR.
During Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, the BMW Group will celebrate 50 years of cultural commitment with this unique interactive exhibition at a private event on September 21. The BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder will be on display and a specially created augmented reality area will invite guests to experience the digital Art Cars in the Acute Art App on-site.