BMW’s famous Art Car Collection has been shown at exhibitions around the world (including Malaysia in 2006) and now it is also being presented in augmented reality (AR) for the first time, enabling people all over the world to digitally experience the rolling sculptures.
The move is in time for the 50th anniversary of the BMW Group’s cultural commitment. The support for cultural institutions and artists around the world and, based on mutual appreciation and curiosity, BMW connects people all over the world.
To put the Art Cars in the digital universe, BMW teamed up with Acute Art which developed an app for the purpose. The Acute Art app uses cutting-edge technology that works best on high-end smartphones with the latest software. The supported devices are iPhone X or newer and Samsung Galaxy S8 or equivalent models. The app requires a phone with at least 4 GB of RAM and the Apple iOS 11 or Android 8.0 Oreo (API 24) operating system. It is free of charge for download from the App Store and Google Play.
Art Cars since 1975
On the initiative of the French racing driver and art lover Herve Poulain and in close collaboration with Jochen Neerpasch, then BMW Motorsport Director, the artist Alexander Calder was asked in 1975 to design Poulain’s BMW racing car. Since then, a total of 19 artists from all over the world have designed BMW automobiles of their time. They showed different artistic statements and reflected cultural and historical developments in art, design and technology.
The first BMW Art Cars will be accessible via the app are the ones done by Alexander Calder (BMW 3.0 CSL, 1975); Michael Jagamara Nelson (BMW M3, 1989); Ken Done (BMW M3, 1989); Matazo Kayama (BMW 535i, 1990); Esther Mahlangu (BMW 525i, 1991); Jeff Koons (BMW M3 GT2, 2010); and John Baldessari (BMW M6 GTLM, 2016). The other Art Cars will be integrated into the Acute Art App every two weeks from today.
The app can be used to place them individually or as a group. For this purpose, the real Art Cars were scanned from numerous angles using the photogrammetry method and every detail of the artistic work and the surface of the car were recorded. The vehicles were then digitally put together to create a realistic AR version of themselves.
Part of BMW’s cultural commitment
“The BMW Art Cars are an essential part of BMW’s 50 years of cultural commitment. They are finally entering the digital world and are accessible everywhere and for everyone. I am thrilled to work with Acute Art as we both strive for innovation and cutting-edge technology. I can hardly wait to place the Art Cars in my living room and get behind the wheel of these extraordinary masterpieces!” said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for customers, brands and sales.
During this year’s Art Basel in Switzerland, the BMW Group will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its cultural commitment with this interactive exhibition of BMW Art Cars in the Acute Art App. On September 21, in addition to the presentation of the BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder, guests will be invited to experience the BMW Art Cars in a specially created augmented reality area.