To honor the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this July, we introduce you to Studio Drift, two artists whose poetic work points to the moon and stars. During NASA festivities, a special edition of their airborne art will lift off from the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center.
Amsterdam-based Lonneka Gordijn and Ralph Nauta work at the intersection of nature, art and technology. Their creative applications of new technology invite us to question the lines we draw between humanity and nature, chaos and order. In 2017, we met the artists to talk about two of their curious experiments—an enormous concrete block hovering inside New York City’s Armory art fair, and 300 illuminated drones that swarmed the night sky over Miami Beach during Art Week.
In 2018, after the South Florida premiere of Studio Drift: Franchise Freedom, the artists brought their drone starlings to sky watchers in Amsterdam, during their retrospective exhibition at the Stedlijk Museum, and to the Burning Man festival, in the northwest Nevada desert. This week, there’s a chance that millions of people watching the NASA celebration from afar will become virtual witnesses to the wonder of Studio Drift’s flying sculpture.
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Apollo 11 sounds via NASA website; Franchise Freedom music composed and played by Joep Beving for Studio Drift; Franchise Freedom live performance, Miami Beach, 2017, courtesy Fresh Art | Feature photo Studio Drift: Franchise Freedom Amsterdam | Photo credit: Ossip van Duivenbode
Related Episodes: Drone Starlings in the Night Sky: Studio Drift on Nature and Culture, Steve Brown and Jesse Deeter Capture Burning Man on Film
Related Links: Studio Drift, National Air and Space Agency, Stedelijk Museum, Burning Man, Miami Art Week
What Studio Drift says about their July 16, 2019, ode to the NASA moon landing:
Lonneke Gordijn: The moon landing made us think about our lives here on earth more than life on the moon. That’s what our work Franchise Freedom is about, human behaviour on earth.
Ralph Nauta: The Apollo 11 moon landing exemplifies how technology can have a positive effect on humanity. Let’s take this as an example of what amazing possibilities we have if we put our minds together. It is our responsibility to use technology to build a sustainable future.