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BMW will unveil "The Electric AI Canvas" at Art Basel in Basel 2023, an installation inspired by the new BMW i5. A unique combination of art and technology that uses AI in a responsible manner to create an immersive on-site art experience.
30.05.2023 Press Release
On the occasion of Art Basel in Basel 2023, BMW proudly presents “The Electric AI Canvas” an extension of the entirely virtual work "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece". Now, for the very first time, released as an awe-inspiring physical art experience that transforms the 100% electric BMW i5 into a dynamic canvas of distinct generative art and featuring works by contemporary artists Esther Mahlangu, Kohei Nawa, Eric N. Mack, Koo Jiyoon and Bin Woo Hyuk.
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Munich/Basel. On the occasion of Art Basel in Basel 2023, BMW proudly presents “The Electric AI Canvas” an extension of the entirely virtual work "The Ultimate AI Masterpiece". Now, for the very first time, released as an awe-inspiring physical art experience that transforms the 100% electric BMW i5 into a dynamic canvas of distinct generative art and featuring works by contemporary artists Esther Mahlangu, Kohei Nawa, Eric N. Mack, Koo Jiyoon and Bin Woo Hyuk. “The Electric AI Canvas” will be exhibited from June 12 to 18, 2023, at Art Basel in Basel, the world's premier art show for Modern and contemporary art. Additionally, as a global partner of the Art Basel shows, BMW will once again provide the VIP car service.
In collaboration with creative technologist Nathan Shipley (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners) and Gary Yeh (ArtDrunk), custom artificial intelligence-generated animations are crafted using AI models trained on a curated dataset of works from renowned contemporary artists. These AI models are built upon a foundational model trained from over 50,000 images spanning 900 years of art history. The AI generates entirely new abstract animations based on learned styles from classical and contemporary art, which are then projected onto the BMW i5.
“BMW has been at the forefront of innovative technology and design to create cutting-edge automobiles. With 'The Electric AI Canvas,' virtual and physical worlds collide, and the connection between human senses and artificial intelligence as a tool to create new artworks can be experienced,” says Paul de Courtois, President & CEO BMW (Switzerland) inc.
According to Gary Yeh, "This is an exciting moment to build on our previous art and AI collaboration, which we had always envisioned activating in person. Realizing this collaboration's full potential will create a unique opportunity for art fair visitors to experience digital art, a medium that can often feel disconnected from the physical world. At the forefront of contemporary art, the artists that we've brought together bring a variety of global perspectives and share in their unique explorations of materials and culture. As the animations evolve in front of your eyes, we hope to take you on a journey through their worlds and how they represent the fabric of our society. Past, present, and future."
For “The Electric AI Canvas”, Nvidia’s AI architecture StyleGAN is trained to evoke various artistic styles and then generate abstract evolving animations. After training a base model to represent art in general, StyleGAN is further trained on works from the participating contemporary artists. “We wanted to explore what happens when an AI image-generation model encounters works by specific artists; how do the results change when different parameters of the algorithm are modified and how can we use that to create animations that evoke the essential feeling of a particular artist’s work,” asks Nathan Shipley. “We see experiments like this as part of a fascinating early conversation about ways that AI can be used in art-making.”
These newly created animations are now showcased for the first time as an on-site art experience employing projection-mapping onto the BMW i5 and shifting through each artist's distinctive style and aesthetic. The animations are amplified and reflected by mirrors, immersing viewers within the experience.
Since the digital debut in 2020, AI in art-making has stirred controversy, raising questions about ethics, creativity and authenticity. Shipley and Yeh approach the use of AI for art by focusing on how the technology can support artists and amplify their artistic visions, rather than to replace them. “It is essential that our experiments with AI for art are done in a responsible, thoughtful, and human-first way,” says Shipley.
This human-machine art installation brings forth a distinct convergence of innovation and creativity. It continues BMW's engagement in crucial dialogues about technology and art in the AI era. Beyond visual artistry, the Electric AI Canvas stands as a testament to BMW's dedication to human-centred technology and sustainability, exploring the potential of AI as a creative tool.
The new BMW 5 Series – the world´s most successful business sedan – is digital, dynamic and now, with the BMW i5, also fully electric. In the BMW 5 Series come together sporty elegance, comfort and premium connectivity. Like no other model, THE 5 stands for confidence, competence and a progressive mindset.
For its 2023 edition in Basel, Art Basel will bring together 284 leading international galleries to present the highest quality artworks across all media – from painting and sculpture to photography and digital works – by artists ranging from early-twentieth-century Modern pioneers to contemporary practitioners. A strong line-up of galleries from across Europe will be joined by new and returning exhibitors from around the world.
CO2 EMISSIONS & CONSUMPTION.
BMW i5 eDrive40*:
Power consumption combined in WLTP cycle: 18.9 - 15.9 kWh/100 km
Electric range in WLTP cycle: 497 – 582 km
BMW i5 M60 xDrive*:
Power consumption combined in WLTP cycle: 20.6 – 18.2 kWh/100 km
Electric range in WLTP cycle: 455 – 516 km
*All figures are preliminary values.