London is the next stop for the Avant/Garde Diaries from Mercedes-Benz. "MERCEDES DRIVE THRU": food artists Bompas & Parr create a unique dining experience

DAIMLER AG - Between the 13 and 16 September 2012, the digital interview magazine "The Avant/Garde Diaries" is inviting guests to enjoy an interdisciplinary art and dining experience in London. Lasting several days, the festival is being curated by famous food artists Sam Bompas and Harry Parr. The British duo is designing a temporary, driveable restaurant – the "MERCEDES DRIVE THRU" – in the lobby of the old Selfridge Hotel in Oxford Street (Mayfair). Together with the British multimedia collective the Jason Bruges Studio, they are presenting a spectacular mix of food and light art designed to turn the enjoyment of dining in a car into an exceptional sensory experience.

"The Avant/Garde Diaries project enables the greatest creative talent of our times to get together. Avant-gardists from the most diverse of areas are able to create new ideas which both inspire and excite at the same time", explains Sam Bompas, co-founder of Bompas & Parr. "Mercedes is a brand with a high standard of quality, and the aesthetics of Mercedes design are a great inspiration for us. We create luxury dining, Mercedes produces luxury cars – working together to create the world's best "drive thru" is therefore an obvious idea for what will be a remarkable feat of cooperation."

In the "MERCEDES DRIVE THRU", guests can drive through the building in the car and can place their order – accompanied by a spectacular light show – after which their meal will be served direct to the car by roller-blading service staff wearing special uniforms. Through the interaction of food, light and the unique design of the restaurant, the driver is offered a new, interactive and unforgettable dining experience. The "MERCEDES DRIVE THRU" is therefore looking to re-explore the environment of the motor car on a performance, experimental and sensory level, and at the same time indulge guests with exquisite and provocative specialities. "The menu and the entire design of the Drive Thru have been inspired by all of the physical and psychological dimensions of the motor car", according to Sam Bompas.

Setting the artistic stage for the new A-Class

A particular highlight in the restaurant will be the artistic staging of the new A-Class, which is being launched onto the market on 15 September 2012. With an installation comprising constantly moving sources of light, Bompas & Parr and the interaction designers of the Jason Bruges Studio will be showing off the dynamic design of the new compact Mercedes sports model to impressive effect.

"With its highly-emotional and progressive design, the new A-Class is all set to bring the trend towards monotony in the compact car segment to an end. This new pulse in the field of mobility is represented to impressive effect by the light performance", according to Anders Sundt Jensen, Head of Brand Communication for Mercedes-Benz Cars. "Visitors will be motivated to discover new things, which is precisely the goal of the Avant/Garde Diaries. In 2011 Mercedes-Benz used the project to establish a creative platform for young target groups to experience and discuss topics relevant to society and our times, such as art, fashion, music, innovations, trends, culture and the motor car. It is all about questioning what exists already and unleashing unimagined synergies."

Avant-garde artists in dialogue with the public

At the Avant/Garde Diaries festivals, which are being staged in a variety of the world's major cities, international avant-garde artists and trendsetters come together under the curatorship of a visionary, to present their view of today's and tomorrow's world and exchange views with experts and the public. In July 2011, fashion designer Raf Simons curated the kick-off event in Berlin. Artists such as Peter Saville, Konstantin Grcic and DJ Hell accompanied the festival on both artistically and musically. This so-called "transmission" series continued in the spring of 2012 under the curatorship of Mike D, co-founder of hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, at The Geffen Contemporary at the MoCA in Los Angeles. 

International artists and musicians such as Santigold, Tom Sachs, James Murphy, Ben Jones and Diplo participated in the 17-day event, which attracted more than 30,000 visitors.

The basis for the festivals is centred around a digital interview magazine, at www.theavantgardediaries.com, which presents a series of exceptional people and ideas. The focus of the video interviews is to try to gain an insight into the activities and passions of the players through their own eyes. The result of this approach is a compendium of subjective perspectives, which open up novel ways of thinking and tap into sources of inspiration. So far the model Rico the Zombie, skateboarder Kilian Martin, MoCA director Jeffrey Deitch and cliff diver Orlando Duque have been portrayed, for example. Furthermore, the magazine also carries extensive reports on the festivals taking place throughout the world.

The curators and artists of the Avant/Garde Diaries in London

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are two British food artists who have known each other since childhood. Together in 2007 they founded the "Jellymongers" collective, which has since grown into a ten-man team. Chefs, specialist technicians and architects are also part of the team, as are graphic designers and event managers. Together they experiment, develop and produce new projects, works of art, exhibitions and "jellies". In addition to projects which they produce and present themselves, Bompas & Parr also bring together different specialists to cooperate with curators, cultural experts and scientists.

Their creations are constantly building bridges between art, performance and gourmet food. Through their limitless creativity, the "Jellymongers" have built up an outstanding profile which will lend "THE AVANT/GARDE DIARIES LONDON – MERCEDES DRIVE THRU" event a very special quality.

The focus of the Jason Bruges Studio lies in the creation of interactive, digital spaces which both inspire and excite. The light installations in particular are created with a great deal of ingenuity and exceptional materials and technologies. The goal of the interactive works of art is to explore the interaction between the public and objects. The projects of the Jason Bruges Studio relate perfectly to their respective environments, and are implemented with minimal ecological impact. In addition, the Studio is continually improving the development of sustainable art and design within the 
context of environmental sciences and technological innovations.

Opening hours of the Mercedes Drive Thru:

Friday, September 14th: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 15th: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 16th: 12:00 p.m. – 06:00 p.m.

For more information on ticket pre-sale and table reservation, please visit www.theavantgardediaries.com