The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has about 34,000 works of art in it’s collection. Unfortunately, you will only find around a fraction of those works at a time. “A little under 2,000 of them are on view at any one time in the galleries,” said Keir Winesmith, the Head of SFMOMA’s Web and Digital Platforms. As a result, SFMOMA is testing out a new way to acknowledge the rest of their unseen exhibitions. You can now text the number “572-51” with the words “send me” followed by a key word. You can even send an emoji, and in an instant, you’ll receive related SFMOMA’s artwork.
“We’ve now sent 2 million text messages in five days,” Winesmith says.
Because the amount of artwork is so extensive at SFMOMA, you could spend hours chatting with this text bot and still not see everything the museum has to offer. The museum’s website estimates that if you walked past every single work of art that is currently in the galleries, you would walk almost seven miles total.
During their trial run, they received such a huge number of responses that the original phone number they tried to use was blacklisted by it’s mobile carrier. And apparently within four days, there were more than 12,000 text message requests. This means they generated over 3,000 different artworks, which is more than what is currently on view at SFMOMA.
Once SFMOMA recognized how popular this text bot was, they secured a short text code so that they wouldn’t be black listed again. “We don’t expect any single ‘Send Me’ SFMOMA user to ever get through all 34,678 artworks in the collection. But what we have seen, and hope to continue to see, are thousands of people connecting with artwork in fun, new, and very personal ways.” This is a successful experiment that will hopefully encourage other museums to find new way to exhibit works of art.
If you enjoyed this post, you will love these. Have any thoughts on what you read? Comment below!