Therme Group™ Announces Joint Venture with Studio Drift and FuturePace
The new cooperative enterprise establishes shared ownership of Franchise Freedom, a flying sculpture by Studio Drift
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Miami, FL, December 5, 2018 – Therme Group™, the technology-driven health and wellness company, is pleased to announce the launch of a new joint venture with FuturePace and artist duo Studio Drift, as part of their international art initiative, the Therme Art Program. The founding of the new company called Franchise Freedom LTD establishes the shared ownership and commitment over Franchise Freedom, a flying sculpture of drones by Studio Drift. For Franchise Freedom, Studio Drift has worked in close partnership with Intel and used the Intel Drone Lightshow technology. 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 between technology, science, and art. Mimicking the natural movement and flight patterns of starlings in massive flocks, an autonomous, luminous swarm of drones flies through the sky in patterns generated by an algorithm that reacts in ways similar to starling murmuration. Each drone also 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.
Therme Art Program shares the belief with Studio Drift that through the exploration of the relationship between nature and technology, it is possible to reach a deeper understanding of human nature and the natural world.
“The future has begun. The drone program will become an extension of the Therme Group™’s architecture and technology research and development. Therefore, Franchise Freedom is a natural fit as an artistic project within our organization,” — Robert C. Hanea, Founder and CEO of Therme Group™.
“We'd like to express our gratitude towards Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift, and are honored to support the work and make it accessible to audiences around the world.” – Mikolaj Sekutowicz, Partner of Therme Group™ and Curator of Therme Art Program
Franchise Freedom was recently presented at Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert from August 26 to September 4, 2018. The iteration at Burning Man featured 600+ drones—double the size of its previous iteration with 300 drones at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as part of Studio Drift’s retrospective exhibition Coded Nature. The artwork’s debut was at the Faena Hotel during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017 in collaboration with BMW.
Through the Therme Art Program, Therme Group™ is creating environments where art intersects with built and environmental architecture, opening up opportunities for visual artists, designers, scientists, philosophers, architects, and engineers to push the boundaries of their imaginations and create new forms of space for viewers to have heightened sensorial experiences. Therme Group™ aims to serve as a catalyst for ongoing research and dialogue focused on further developing the Therme Art Program projects and discussing the possibilities of realigning the future of architecture and city developments with the human body.
Future commissioned projects of Therme Art Program will be part of Therme Group™’s ongoing investment plans in various cities throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. Further, the Therme Art Program is working with internationally renowned artists as well as emerging talents to develop various site-specific projects that will redefine how contemporary art can be viewed.
About Studio Drift
Studio Drift, the artistic duo composed of Lonneke Gordijn (1980) and Ralph Nauta (1978), explores the relationship between nature and technology through collaboration with scientists, universities, and research facilities and programmers and engineers. The Amsterdam-based studio has focused on creating site-specific and interactive installations, sculptural works, objects, and films that examine our relationship and the influence of technology on the natural world since its inception in 2006.
About Therme Art Program
Launched at the Royal Institution in London during the Frieze Academy Art & Architecture Conference in October 2017, the Therme Art Program is an innovative art initiative dedicated to supporting large-scale, complex artworks. Its mission is to fulfill artists’ visions that cannot be realized in galleries or museum spaces—no matter how complex their production, installation, and long-term maintenance may be. The program wishes to grant artists full access to the Therme Group™’s facilities and thus enable the creation of a significant and long-lasting cultural legacy, as thermal baths have been doing since Roman times. Historically, Roman baths were accessible, social, and egalitarian settings. Drawing on this tradition, the Therme Group™’s new projects will allow artworks to reach a diverse public outside the familiar white walls of the museum or gallery.
The Therme Art Program aims to challenge the limitations of conventional art spaces, whether it be playing with the architectural elements of a space, creating entire ecosystems, immersive installations, or designing sauna environments that transform visitors’ experiences.
About Therme Group™
Therme Group™ is a leading global technology company and integrator of wellness and entertainment concepts focused on revolutionizing the wellbeing industry. The Therme Group™ is an internationally active trademark dedicated to planning, building, and operating the most technologically advanced wellness and relaxation facilities in the world. Therme Group™ aims to support the international art community through various aspects of their new art initiative, the Therme Art Program.
Established by Futurecity Founder Mark Davy, together with Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst and Pace worldwide CEO Marc Glimcher, FuturePace offers an innovative approach to commissioning art in the public realm. It draws on the expansive and important histories of Futurecity and Pace, combining expertise in commissioning large-scale collaborative, multidisciplinary artworks alongside an extensive global network of contemporary artists, galleries and resources.
FuturePace works with a carefully selected group of artists drawn from Pace's longstanding commitment to those working in the fields of technology and experiential art. FuturePace has drawn a connection from the Art and Technology movement of 1970s California, pioneered by Robert Irwin and James Turrell, to the artists that are breaking boundaries in the way that contemporary art is seen and experienced today. Through experience, interactivity and social media, our artists have created new ways of engaging with a new audience, resulting in a large, passionately supportive and global audience.
Therme Art Program is an initiative of the Therme Group™
Image: Franchise Freedom on view in Amsterdam, August 10-12, on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition Studio Drift: Coded Nature, at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.