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Es Devlin’s new multi-media work SURFACING commissioned by BMW unveiled at Art Basel in Basel 2024. A pioneering combination of sustainable energy and movement in an installation of water, light, sound and dance. A dance collaboration and a series of mobile sound installations within a pilot fleet of BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicles.

Hydrogen as a sustainable source of energy and movement is the central theme of BMW's program at this year's Art Basel in Basel. BMW, which has been a partner of Art Basel for 20 years, has commissioned London-based artist Es Devlin to create a series of multi-media works which will be unveiled on 10 June. In Hall 1.1 of the art fair Devlin has created a booth displaying four works.

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Munich/Basel. Hydrogen as a sustainable source of energy and movement is the central theme of BMW's program at this year's Art Basel in Basel. BMW, which has been a partner of Art Basel for 20 years, has commissioned London-based artist Es Devlin to create a series of multi-media works which will be unveiled on 10 June. In Hall 1.1 of the art fair Devlin has created a booth displaying four works: Surfacing (2024), Surfacing II (2024), Mask (2018), and Mask in Motion (2018). As an opening chapter, Devlin and BMW also present a series of mobile sound installations within a pilot fleet of BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicles* which have been enveloped in prints of Devlin’s collaged paintings. Passengers are invited to listen in on the artist’s conversation with BMW engineers about the potential of hydrogen.

“The works on innovation and mobility created by Es Devlin for Art Basel offer an impressive example of how technology can serve as inspiration for art,” says Michael Rath, Head of Hydrogen Vehicles, BMW Group. “We are very proud of the radiance of the BMW Group's pioneering hydrogen technology.”

The BMW iX5 Hydrogen: Pioneer and trailblazer of BMW’s technological expertise.
As a versatile energy source, hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition and thus in climate protection. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen combines the advantages of locally emission-free electric drive with the driving pleasure typical of the brand. Another advantage: the quick and uncomplicated refuelling process. The company is currently testing the vehicle with hydrogen fuel cell technology in selected countries under everyday conditions. The world tour of the pilot fleet will now make a stop at Art Basel 2024, where the innovative hydrogen vehicles will be available as a shuttle service.

For the BMW Group, the pilot project is an expression of its open-technology approach to the mobility of tomorrow. The hydrogen fuel cell technology provides an additional supplement to battery-electric drive systems.

The powertrain of the vehicle developed on the basis of the BMW X5 consists of an innovative combination of fuel cells with an output of 125 kW/170 hp, which uses energy from gaseous hydrogen to drive an electric motor from the BMW Group's Gen 5 programme together with a specially developed battery. This generates a maximum system output of 285 kW/401 hp. The hydrogen tanks of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen can be refuelled within three to four minutes and enable a range of 504 kilometres according to the WLTP test cycle.

Es Devlin to create a series of multi-media works which will be unveiled on 10 June at Art Basel in Basel 2024.
In Hall 1.1 of the art fair Devlin has created a booth displaying four works: Surfacing (2024), an illuminated cube of rain penetrated by a line of light and Surfacing II (2024), a pair of painted televisions in which a dancing figure appears to displace pixels and pigment, are flanked by Mask (2018) a projection-mapped model city fusing hands and river, and Mask in Motion (2018) a revolving illuminated translucent printed city which meshes viewers within its kinetic shadow.

Each work continues Devlin's 30 year exploration of the entangled dance between humans and technology. The booth surprises visitors each hour as Surfacing's box of rain, like a magician's apparatus, conjures a 7 minute dance work by renowned Paris-based choreographer Sharon Eyal with music composed by London-based duo Polyphonia. 

A meeting of artist and engineers.
Devlin has spent the past year engaging with engineers at BMW, learning the mechanics behind the hydrogen fuel cell technology and its implications for the future of sustainable energy systems. As an opening chapter to the works on view in Hall 1.1, she has created a simple soundscape drawn from their conversations and underscored by composers Polyphonia which is played to guests in the pilot fleet of BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicles.

Devlin says: “I learned from the BMW engineers the beautiful symmetry of the system at work within the hydrogen fuel cell: the energy that is used to separate hydrogen atoms from oxygen is recreated when the oxygen is reunited with hydrogen within the car. The by-product is not only the energy which propels the vehicle, but water.”

The exterior of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen has been wrapped in a painted blue and white collage in which Devlin overlays paintings and text made in response to the prints and literature which populated her wall and bookshelves as a teenager. Painted gestures echoing the 1831 woodcut ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, are superimposed over hand written extracts from literature’s longest sentence about water drawn from James Joyce’s seminal novel ‘Ulysses’. Underlying the collage are excerpts from BMW Group publications on hydrogen fuel cell technology.

SURFACING.
Visitors can sign up to book their seat at the hourly rituals here.
Thursday, 13 June - Sunday, 16 June 2024
Art Basel in Basel, Hall 1.1
Messeplatz 10, 4005 Basel, Switzerland

CO2 EMISSIONS & CONSUMPTION.

BMW iX5 Hydrogen: Consumption combined in WLTP cycle: 1,19 kg H2/100 km, CO2 emissions combined in WLTP cycle: 0 g/km
Electric range: 504 km (313 miles)

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CO2 emission information.

Fuel consumption, CO2 emission figures and power consumption and range were measured using the methods required according to Regulation VO (EC) 2007/715 as amended. They refer to vehicles on the German automotive market. For ranges, the NEDC figures take into account differences in the selected wheel and tyre size, while the WLTP figures take into account the effects of any optional equipment.

All figures have already been calculated based on the new WLTP test cycle. NEDC figures listed have been adjusted to the NEDC measurement method where applicable. WLTP values are used as a basis for the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related duties which are (also) based on CO2 emissions and, where applicable, for the purposes of vehicle-specific subsidies. Further information on the WLTP and NEDC measurement procedures is also available at www.bmw.de/wltp.

For further details of the official fuel consumption figures and official specific CO2 emissions of new cars, please refer to the “Manual on the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and power consumption of new cars”, available at sales outlets free of charge, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at https://www.dat.de/co2/.

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