Daimler certainly likes to apply the smart brand to all sorts of non-vehicle products, from art books to jewelry. The latest effort is a partnership with Visionaire (warning: bird songs will begin to play if you click), a publication that prides itself on unusual presentations in its annual release (think McSweeny's with a bigger budget). Visionaire 56 for example, is a book with a white cover that turns all sorts of colors when placed in the sunlight and is now available for $250.

For the smart partner issue, Visionaire is going electric. The artwork features a calendar with 365 works of art selected by 52 curators and art collectors that plugs into the wall using a smart fortwo-shaped plug. Daimler, of course, wants to emphasize the plug on the upcoming smart ED with the Visionaire work. 4,000 copies of the calendar will be produced and made available in October for $295.

[Source: Daimler]


PRESS RELEASE:

A new work of art every day: The ground-breaking publication "Visionaire" and smart celebrate the era of electricity


Stuttgart , Sep 08, 2009

Stuttgart – Avant-garde meets avant-garde. The New York-based limited-edition fashion and art publication Visionaire draws inspiration for its 57th issue from the unique two-seater smart fortwo. Visionaire 57 "2010" is the first plug-in electric issue of the publication. 52 internationally renowned curators and art collectors were recruited to select 365 works of art, making this issue, in the form of an electronic daily calendar, a ground-breaking compendium of contemporary art. The cooperation with Visionaire was motivated by the launch of the second generation of the smart fortwo electric drive.

Visionaire was launched in New York in 1991 as a forum for creative expression. Each issue is devoted to a theme that informs the editorial content and format, making each issue completely different from the next. "The New Yorker" sees it as "a creative playground for leading designers, artists, photographers and thinkers" and W Magazine calls it "the couture version of a magazine".

Marc Langenbrinck, Director Brand Management, Sales & Marketing smart says: "Contemporary works of art meet with forward-looking technology – this is what unites smart and Visionaire. The first electric issue of the magazine underlines the leading role of the car brand on the way to environmentally friendly, sustainable concepts for individual mobility of the future. The project forms part of smart's activities in the field of urban creativity and sustainability and its "plug-in" operation complements the market launch of the second generation smart fortwo electric drive."

The 52 guest curators for Visionaire "2010" include artists like John Baldessari, internationally renowned museum curators like Klaus Biesenbach (MoMA) or Christine Marcel (Centre George Pompidou), contemporary art collectors like Pharrell Williams, Mario Testino or the architect Zaha Hadid as well as actors Natalie Portman and Tilda Swinton. Fashion designers Raf Simons and Marc Jacobs and Dr. Renate Wiehager, head of the Daimler art collection, are also participating.

Each curator selected seven artists. Artists include Adel Abdessemed, Agathe Snow, Bruce Nauman, Cao Fei, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Gabriel Orozco, Gelitin, Guyton\Walker, Kalup Linzy, Kaws, Maurizio Cattelan, Nathalie Djurberg, Olafur Eliasson, Paul Chan, and Steve McQueen to name a few. In this way the Visionaire issue "2010" forms a compendium of contemporary art.

Simultaneous with the publication, smart is launching the second generation fortwo electric drive with a lithium-ion battery. The electric smart concept celebrated its world premiere in 2006. Since 2007 the smart fortwo electric drive with a sodium-nickel-chloride battery has been in operation on the roads in a first pilot phase – for example in London where 100 vehicles are tested in everyday use. From the end of this year the smart electric drive will be produced with a lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion technology has decisive advantages over other types of batteries including better performance, shorter charging times, a long life and high reliability. From 2010 smart will bring the first plausible solution for motoring without any local emissions to selected cities.

The issue "2010", which is published worldwide, is a communications bridge between the smart electric drive and the first electric issue of Visionaire. At the same time it combines the design expertise of both brands. Following the tradition of the multi-format publication, the innovative calendar will be produced in a limited edition of 4000 copies and will be released in October. smart offers a special preview during the International Motor Show IAA in Frankfurt from 17 - 27 September 2009.
Visionaire is distributed to high-end bookstores, design shops, museum stores, fashion and lifestyle boutiques. "2010" can also be ordered directly from Visionaire (www.visionaireworld.com). The price is USD 295. Past issues are considered collector's items
.



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