At 10 p.m. on the evening of 5 May, Liberation Day in the Netherlands, the performance art installation Franchise Freedom flied above the River Maas in Rotterdam to celebrate our freedom. At the initiative of artist duo DRIFT and art organisation Mothership, an impressive swarm of 300 drones used the sky as their canvas in a flying ode to freedom and as a tribute to everyone working day and night to ensure the freedom and health of others. Franchise Freedom flies to highlight the importance of two important principles of humankind, health and freedom, and help bring us together. Humankind is currently facing the biggest global crisis of our generation. Our individual and collective freedom have never been tested so seriously since the Second World War.
Ralph Nauta, artist DRIFT: COVID-19 makes it abundantly clear that we as people depend on each other. The future only has value if we can rebuild this, together and sustainably, based on a greater, collective interest.
In the poetry of their performance, the 300 drones in Franchise Freedom let us see and feel what the individual movement of freedom in a group looks like. The art installation invites us to look at natures patterns and survival mechanisms and learn from this. Individual freedom can only be protected when the whole group works together. Franchise Freedom flies to encourage us to get through the current crisis together.
Franchise Freedom is a performance art installation by artist duo DRIFT which explores the relationship between man, nature and technology. Using a specially developed algorithm, a flying swarm of drones mimics natural autonomous swarm behaviour, like that of starlings, and questions the human concept of freedom and social construct. The artwork invites us to connect with nature and with each other through poetry and technical innovation. Franchise Freedom won a Dezeen award in 2019 and has been nominated for the Global Fine Art Award.
Franchise Freedom was made possible thanks to the partnership between Mothership, Nomobo, Mojo, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Partners, Erasmus MC, Xinix films and Ossip van Duivenbode. The Rotterdam Make It Happen brand alliance supports this project because it uniquely demonstrates the citys resilience.
Franchise Freedom was also made possible thanks to Stichting Droom en Daad