BMW debuted today 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 debuts in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021, as well as the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement.
“The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” virtual art installation was created in partnership with creative technologist Nathan Shipley of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, art connoisseur/founder of artDrunk. The duo leveraged the NVIDIA StyleGAN artificial intelligence model to cross-reference over 50,000 images of artwork spanning 900 years of 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 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 engage and interact with consumers around the world in an authentic way. 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.” – Uwe Dreher, vice president of marketing, BMW of North America
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 discussion on the technology behind the artwork created by the AI, as well as BMW’s decades-long support of the arts.
“AI is an emerging medium of creative expression. It’s a fascinating space where art meets algorithm,” said Nathan Shipley, director of creative technology, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. “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, art collector and founder of ArtDrunk. 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.”