Therme Art Program

Therme Art Announces the Founding of Franchise Freedom Ltd

Franchise Freedom LTD is a new joint venture between Therme Group, Pace and artist duo Studio Drift. It establishes the shared ownership and commitment over Franchise Freedom, a flying sculpture of drones created by Studio Drift. Through the newly founded company, the three entities plan to support the development, operation, and exhibition of the work long-term and present it in locations around the world.




December 2017, Miami


Franchise Freedom is a performative artwork at the interface between technology, science, and art. Mimicking the natural movement and flight patterns of starlings in massive flocks, an autonomous, luminous swarm of drones flies through the sky in patterns generated by an algorithm that reacts in ways similar to starling murmuration. Each drone also has a light source, and the distance between the drones influences the lights’ intensities and colours. Franchise Freedom is the first-ever imitation of a natural phenomenon by machines working with decentralised algorithms at this scale. For Franchise Freedom, Studio Drift has worked in close partnership with Intel and used the Intel Drone Lightshow technology.


September 2018, Burning Man – Photo: Rahi Rezvani


Franchise Freedom was presented at Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert from 26 August to 4 September, 2018. The iteration at Burning Man featured 600+ drones––double the size of its previous iteration of 300 drones at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as part of Studio Drift’s retrospective exhibition Coded Nature.

Studio Drift, an artistic duo composed of Lonneke Gordijn (b. 1980) and Ralph Nauta (b. 1978), explores the relationship between nature and technology through collaboration with scientists, universities, research facilities, programmers and engineers. Since its inception in 2006, the Amsterdam-based studio has focused on creating site-specific and interactive installations, sculptural works, objects, and films that examine our relationship and the influence of technology on the natural world.