BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé art cars created using AI

Having had a long and fruitful history with its Art Cars, BMW knows a thing or two about using its vehicles as rolling canvases. The company is debuting three new cars at this year’s Frieze New York art fair as part of the 50th anniversary of BMW’s cultural engagement programme – but rather than being painted by a renown international artist, these 8 Series Gran Coupés have instead been worked on by a computer.

Well, sort of. As its name suggests, “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to make art. The project is the brainchild of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners director of creative technology Nathan Shipley and art collector and ArtDrunk founder Gary Yeh, who utilised Nvidia’s open source StyleGAN artificial intelligence software to fashion the colourful works you see here.

The system cross-referenced over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years, as well as 50 curated works from renown and emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years. Using these as a basis for understanding art, the AI software then generated entirely new works of art, blending classical and modern styles. These were then projection-mapped onto virtual three-dimensional car models.

Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally as they were based in San Francisco and Seoul respectively. They documented the creative process and met virtually for a conversation about the AI technology and BMW’s support of the arts; the documentary can be viewed on the official BMW website.

“AI is an emerging medium of creative expression. It’s a fascinating space where art meets algorithm,” said Shipley. “Combining the historical works with the curated modern works and projecting the evolving images onto the 8 Series Gran Coupé serves a direct nod to BMW’s history of uniting automobiles, art, and technology.”

Yeh added, “During an unusually isolated time in history, we took the opportunity to curate and work with artists from around the world as a means to give viewers a true art experience digitally. It was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW.”

Frieze New York is currently running until May 9, taking place for the first time at The Shed in Manhattan. The fair brings together 60 major galleries, many from New York, while a parallel Frieze Viewing Room adds another 160 exhibitors, connecting international galleries and audiences unable to travel. As the official automotive partner, BMW will provide dedicated shuttle vehicles for VIP guests.

The programme is just one part of BMW’s cultural engagement programme, which includes over a hundred long-term cultural initiatives in modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and architecture and design. The company’s partnerships and activations include the BMW Guggenheim Lab, BMW Tate Live, BMW Open Work by Frieze, the BMW Welt Jazz Award, the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors, the BMW Art Journey and the free concert series Opera for all in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London.

The post BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé art cars created using AI appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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