Video © DRIFT



Flying For Our Freedom

May 5, 2020

At 10 PM on the evening of May 5, DRIFT's performative installation Franchise Freedom flew above the River Maas in Rotterdam as a global sign of hope in honor of frontline healthcare workers. Presented in partnership with the arts organization Mothership, and accompanied by pianist Joep Beving, the swarm of 300 drones filled the night sky in a flying ode to freedom and as a tribute to everyone working day and night to ensure the freedom and health of others.

“COVID-19 makes it abundantly clear that we as people depend on each other," says Ralph Nauta, co-founder of DRIFT. "The future only has value if we can rebuild this, together and sustainably, based on a greater, collective interest.”

Lonneke Gordijn, co-founder of DRIFT, states, "At this time, I think a lot about how it is for other people or animals, who always live in completely uncertain situations. They can only react to changes in their environment in an ad hoc way, not knowing whether they are going in the right direction. Nature has found ways to cope with that uncertainty. In these uncertain times, nature offers support and gives the only direction we can trust.”

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 behavior, 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.

Read more in (opens in a new window) Artnet.

  • Films — DRIFT: Flying For Our Freedom, May 6, 2020