At Art Basel Miami Beach 2023, Alex Israel collaborates with BMW to craft an AI-powered, participatory, and interactive video installation. This innovative fusion of art and technology, titled REMEMBR, guides visitors through a personalized journey of their memories. Inspired by the new 100% electric BMW i5, which employs AI for a curved display providing driving data and infotainment, Israel harnesses the same technology to develop a proprietary app.
This app filters photographs and videos from participants’ phones, projecting them onto seven custom-designed screens surrounding the installation. Set to a sun-drenched, specially composed electronic soundtrack, the display curates memorable moments—sunsets, mountain views, birthday parties, selfies, gatherings with friends, and concert visits—while excluding screenshots and other undesirables from the mix.
Israel explains the genesis of the project, stating, “I was really interested in doing a project with artificial intelligence. I was trying to figure it out, talking to a lot of people, and then I got a call from BMW. I went to Munich and met with the head designer, Domagoj Dukec, and he showed me the i5, and there are a lot of things about the car that I really aligned with.” He continues, emphasizing the shared perspective with BMW, “When you’re in the car, you can select from a series of atmospheric environmental modes. When you pick one of these modes, all the colors in the car change, and they’re meant to elevate your mood and enhance your experience. So BMW and I see eye to eye with this, that color can enhance and change your mood and your vibe.”
Discussing the integration of AI in the car, Israel notes, “There are ways in which it helps you and makes your experience better. The technology in the car is really advanced and it’s designed to merge man and machine into a closer connected unit, and that’s interesting to me.”
“My phone is an external memory bank for my brain,” Israel reflects, acknowledging the role of smartphones in our lives. “I always wonder if I will ever go and look at all of them again—probably not, but I keep taking them, recording and documenting everything that I do.” REMEMBR seeks to provide an engaging and entertaining way to revisit and share these memories.
Situated in the Collectors’ Lounge of Art Basel Miami Beach, where BMW serves as an official partner, Israel’s installation captures life’s buoyant, pensive, and silly moments in a vulnerable and, at times, nail-biting two-minute video clip. BMW’s head of design, Domagoj Dukec, underscores the shared commitment to blending technology, design, and art, stating, “The BMW i5 is a vehicle that not only moves you physically but emotionally and imaginatively, much like Alex’s art.”