Almost all of us see various BMW cars as running works of art. That’s no surprise as the German automaker is always in the lookout for ways to further boost the cultural credentials of its releases. Ever since 1967, the German marque has been releasing vehicles to act as real life canvases for notable artists, but the finished outputs are mostly physical pieces. Recently, BMW's history of devoted Art Cars has reached new heights of creativity with their latest iteration. Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei made a one of a kind design for the BMW Art Car #18 that requires you to download a specific app to be able to immerse in the beauty and uniqueness of her modern creation.
BMW unveiled an Art Car that is unlike the previous ones, and it recently debuted at the Minsheng Art Museum. Cao Fei, the youngest ever to be commissioned for a BMW Art Car, utilized the M6 GT3 as its base. The new GT3 Art Car is set to mirror the speed of change in China, following Jeff Koons’ and John Baldessari’s creations before it. Although it does not look dramatic at the first glance, it will blow your minds once the augmented reality is used by the viewer. Various mediums that includes video, virtual and augmented reality were utilized in the production of the project. The smartphone app that was specifically used for this art installation is named the BMW Art Car #18, which makes use of augmented reality to project various colourful light particles above and around the car.
The non-reflective carbon body of the M6 race car was voluntarily chosen to blend flawlessly with the digital elements to further boost the immersion experience. The swirl of lights that surrounds the BMW vehicle in augmented reality not only looks awesome, but it also represents an Asian spiritual ceremony in which brand new objects including vehicles are being blessed, in this situation wishing good luck to both the car and driver. The Art Car required nearly 3 years to fully complete.
We learned that the Chinese artist got her drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese spiritual ceremonies. Cao Fei said that light represents thoughts, and as the speed of thoughts cannot be thoroughly measured, the #18 Art Car questions the existence of boundaries of the human mind. She further added that we are entering a new age, where the human mind directly commands objects and where thoughts can be conveyed including unmanned operations and artificial intelligence.
The BMW M6 GT3 is the 4th 6 Series used in over 40 years of the long-running series, and is also the 18th official Art Car appointed by the German marque. M6 GT3 is equipped with the 4.4 L biturbo V8 that yields an impressive 585hp (436 kW). The entire vehicle tips the scales around 2,866 lbs (1,300 kg). The most recent M6 GT3 Art Car will be sent to the track at the FIA GT World Cup that will be held at Macau later this year.