BMW recently unveiled its latest art car project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BMW Group’s cultural commitment. The latest iteration uses artificial intelligence as a brush to paint a trio of BMW 8 Series Gran Coupes.
The German manufacturer’s art car initiative began in 1975 with a 3.0 CSL race car that would compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans bracket that year. The first car opened the floodgates for future projects involving high-caliber artists, including Roy Lichtenstein and even Andy Warhol.
Called “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece,” the latest virtual art installation uses artificial intelligence software to cross-reference more than 50,000 works of art spanning over 900 years. In addition to the Accelerated Art History degree, the software also looked at 50 contemporary pieces curated by artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years. Using its new understanding of classical and contemporary art, the software generates bespoke ideas that are projected onto the three Bimmers.
“AI is an emerging form of creative expression,” said Nathan Shipley, Creative Technologist at Goodby. “Combining historical works with curated modern works and projecting evolving images on the 8 Series Gran Coupé is a direct nod to the history of BMW which unites automobiles, art and technology.”
As a virtual art installation, forms on vehicles seem to evolve over time as the software works through the preloaded data. It is not known if the final exhibit will show the same characteristics, but it provides a great explanation of how the software works.
It’s fair to say that artificial intelligence is a hot topic in and out of the automotive space. Opinions aside, it’s hard to argue with the end product that BMW has come up with in collaboration with artists around the world. Through projection mapping, he almost bridges the gap between the art of performance and the art of installation.