BMW combines art and artificial intelligence to create 'The Ultimate AI Masterpiece'

BMW has debuted the 'The Ultimate AI Masterpiece,' an exploration of art and technology that uses artificial intelligence to generate entirely new works of art.

BMW debuted the “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece,” a unique exploration of art and technology that uses artificial intelligence to generate entirely new works. The virtual art installation premieres in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021, as well as the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement. Content and videos documenting its creation process are available today online via www.bmw.com

“The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” virtual art installation was created in partnership with creative technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, Art Collector & Founder of ArtDrunk. The duo leveraged Nvidia’s open source “StyleGAN” artificial intelligence software to cross-reference over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years of art history and a curated set of 50 works from renowned and emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past 50 years. Using these inputs as a basis for understanding art, the artificial intelligence then generates entirely new works of art, merging what it learned from classical art and the styles noted from the contemporary artists. These new works have been projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of BMW’s range-topping 8 Series Gran Coupe.

“For 50 years, BMW has supported the arts and culture through numerous initiatives as a way to engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way,” said Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America. “As we continue these efforts into 2021 and look for new and creative ways to engage audiences, we shift to a virtual setting where we are combining centuries-old art and the latest AI technology to create something completely new and exciting.”

To document the creative process behind the virtual installation, Shipley and Yeh collaborated digitally from different parts of the world – Yeh in Seoul, Shipley in San Francisco – and virtually joined each other for an engaging conversation on the technology behind the artwork created by the AI, as well as BMW’s decades-long support of the arts. “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” documentary video is available at www.bmw.com

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

“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,” said Gary Yeh. “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.”

Today, BMW is committed to cultural engagement around the world and takes its social responsibility seriously as a corporate citizen. Over a hundred long-term cultural initiatives in the fields of modern and contemporary art, classical music, jazz and sound as well as in architecture and design have been well established throughout the decades. Together with other partners, the BMW Group developed its own range of partnerships and activations with renowned artists, musicians, designers, curators, initiatives including 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.

Frieze New York runs its tenth edition, taking place for the first time at The Shed in Manhattan. Reimagined for its new location, the fair brings together over 60 major galleries and sees a strong representation from New York, celebrating the creative spirit of the city. A dedicated edition of Frieze Viewing Room will run parallel to the fair, through May 14, and will feature an expanded list of over 160 exhibitors, connecting international galleries and audiences unable to travel. As official automotive partner, BMW will provide dedicated shuttle vehicles for VIP guests.

Visitors to Frieze can also explore the latest work of artist collective Random International “Body / Light” presented by Arts Brookfield and Superblue at Manhatten West, in walking distance from the fair. The work is inspired by a year-long collaboration with BMW i and the precise, minimalist culture of their design group as well as the technologies enabling the electrification of mobility. More information is available at: manhattanwestnyc.com

The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe represents the ultimate blend of craftsmanship, performance, luxury and innovation at the top of the BMW range. Joining its two-door coupe and convertible 8 Series siblings, the 8 Series Gran Coupe features the latest BMW technology and innovation, a choice of powerful six- or eight-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo engines, and BMW’s striking four-door Gran Coupe silhouette. More information on the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is available at www.bmw.com