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1,000 Drones Light Up Sky Over Central Park

Performance followed more than 10 years of researching starling flight behavior

Liz Hughes

October 23, 2023

1 Min Read
Drones light up the sky over New York's Central Park
Drone Stories

In a spectacular community event, drones lit up the sky above New York’s Central Park

Amsterdam’s Studio Drift and Drone Stories put on the display titled “Franchise Freedom,” which company founders said was the largest art project in Central Park since the gates were installed in 2005.

There were three performances Saturday night of the aerial drone performance designed to explore the “relationship between man, nature and technology,” according to Drift. 

Drift said to create the performance it translated more than 10 years of “starling flight behavior research into an especially developed software that is embedded in the drones.”

“The parameters in the algorithm used are choreographed by Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, founders of Drift and co-developer Lucas van Oostrum, in order to channel the emotional impact of the performance.

Drift called “Franchise Freedom” a poetic illustration of how “humans strive to live autonomously within a society defined by rules and conventions. Although the drone patterns appear random and the swarm reminds us of freedom, the behavior of these birds is completely orchestrated and subject to many rules and survival instincts.”

In 2019, Studio Drift offered a preview of “Franchise Freedom” and some insight into its development.

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About the Author(s)

Liz Hughes

Editor, IoT World Today, IoT World Today

Liz Hughes is an award-winning digital media editor with more than two decades of experience in newspaper, magazine and online media industries. 

A proven digital media strategist and editor, Liz has produced content and offered editorial support and leadership for a variety of web publications, including Fast Company, NBC Boston, Street Fight, QuinStreet, WTWH Media, AOL/Patch Media and Design News.

A skilled social media strategist experienced in developing and maintaining an audience across multiple platforms and brands, Liz also enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to help businesses small and large.

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