The BMW Art Car #18 by Cao Fei
Cao Fei’s work is a reflection on the speed of change in China, on tradition and future. With her BMW Art Car project, she delves into a trajectory spanning thousands of years, paying tribute to Asia’s ancient spiritual wisdom as it swiftly spreads out into the third millennium. The multimedia artist approached the BMW Art Car in a way typical for her artistic practice, building a parallel universe.
The body of work consists of three different components: a video focusing on a time traveling spiritual practitioner, augmented reality features picturing colorful light particles, accessible via a dedicated app (App Store: keyword “BMW Art Car #18”), and the BMW M6 GT3 racecar in its original carbon black. Paying tribute to the carbon fiber structure of the racecar chassis, Cao Fei’s holistic use of a non-reflective black incorporates the car into the possibilities of the digital world.
Within this concept, Cao Fei’s implementation of video art as well as augmented reality creates an environment of which the M6 GT3 is an essential part. In her video work, the practitioner executes spiritual movements, which echo in colorful streams of light. When the app is used within the premises of the car, these light swishes become an AR installation floating above and around the BMW M6 GT3 – involving the spectator as an interactive agent of participation. This narrative reflects on a traditional spiritual ceremony very common throughout Asia in which new objects such as automobiles are being blessed, in this case wishing good luck to car and driver. On a broader level, the light elements mirror what the eyes cannot see and the mind cannot picture.
During the course of over three years following her announcement, Cao Fei took part in a racing experience with female race driver Cyndie Allemann in Switzerland in 2015. During manifold visits to headquarters, she worked closely with BMW Group’s engineers, designers, and digital specialists. For her research, the artist also went on an extended BMW plant visit to Tiexi.
The BMW M6 GT3 on the racetrack
The BMW M6 GT3 has been the top model in the BMW Motorsport customer racing line-up since 2016. The car is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology, generating 585 hp – with the whole car weighing less than 1,300 kilograms. Technical characteristics of the BMW M6 GT3 are also the drive concept, six-speed sequential racing transmission, and high-performance motorsport electronics. In 2016 the GT car got off to a flying start, proving to be a race winner from the word go. Maxime Martin (BEL), Alexander Sims (GBR) and Philipp Eng (AUT) drove the BMW M6 GT3 to victory in the 24-hour race of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). In addition, private BMW teams and drivers collected many more victories and titles over the course of the season with this challenger. The GTLM version of the car is competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Sims, Bill Auberlen (USA), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) took turns racing John Baldessari’s BMW M6 GTLM Art Car during the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA). Again, it will be up to Farfus to race yet another Art Car, this time designed by Cao Fei, at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN).
Length: 4,944 mm
Width: 2,046 mm
Wheelbase: 2,901 mm
Weight: under 1,300 kg (without driver, depending on regulations)
Model: Based on the S63 production engine and slightly modified
for the specific requirements of motorsport;
with M TwinPower Turbo Technology
Capacity: 4,395 cc
Performance: up to 585 hp (depending on classification)
Oil supply: Oil system, based on dry sump,
specifically developed by BMW Motorsport
Top speed: approx. 280 km/h
BMW ART CAR. THE ART OF DRIVING
FG ART & LIFESTYLE