Gallery 2116

Traveling to other planets

The theme “Mobility of the Future” is a complex and multilayered one. To explain it demands both analytical skill and imagination. As part of the “Gallery 2116” project, a number of well-known illustrators have created their own visions of mobility for the coming 100 years. The upshot is a portfolio of possibilities that we are showcasing in BMW Magazine digital in an exclusive three-part series. Not everything that moves has to have four wheels, though: sometimes all it requires is imagination – that of Nicholas Blechman, Amrei Hofstätter, and Benjamin Savignac, for example.

Hendrik Lakeberg

Nicholas Blechman „Departure“

“There will always be cars, but they won’t only drive around our world” – because in the future, as artist and illustrator Nicholas Blechman believes, we will not only travel to different cities and countries on every continent, but also to other planets. His vision of mobility was inspired by a space probe that discovered the planet Kepler 425b in 2015. Its composition and properties, NASA stated, are very similar to those of Earth, and that means it might be habitable. In Blechman’s work, this discovery is illustrated by a rocket with a road running through its belly. Imagine driving your BMW away from Earth on an intergalactic ferry and heading for Kepler 425b by car on a direct route to friends and relations!

Amrei Hofstätter „Orbital Rotation“

It is still hard to imagine human beings and technology merging ever more closely together. In this context, Berlin-based illustrator Amrei Hofstätter could be described as a woman who is ahead of her time. In her exuberant, highly detailed work, usually drawn on a computer, she explores ways this fusion might look. Talking about her picture “Orbital Rotation,” in which she imagines transportation of the future, she says, “We will invent technologies that enable humankind to move freely by a mental process, even beyond the Earth and into space. I call it spiritual technology.” What sounds like fantasy from a manga comic is soundly based in reality: we are told that it will soon be possible for people to control aircraft by thought alone. Taking that a stage further, why not cars as well – or, as Hofstätter sees it, matter itself?

Benjamin Savignac „Mind Road“

In the future, why should we need vehicles at all for getting around? This question is posed by illustrator Benjamin Savignac, who imagines in his work how it would be if we could travel mostly in our minds without having to move our bodies in the process. “That might be the next stage of man’s technological evolution,” Savignac declares. To convey this idea, the Parisian artist has found a futuristic visual language that falls somewhere between collage and 3D computer simulation. The aesthetic result is cleverly composed, yet at the same time shows how disconnected and spontaneous our thoughts can be – like the places we may think about in the future, wherever our imagination takes us.