Flickr / Photo by Juliette Melton.

SFMOMA Texts Back?!

Merging art and technology is on the rise – there’s something intriguing about two worlds coming together that at first glance seem very different. SFMOMA is one of the most recent parties to take the plunge into the world of art and technology with their texting service called “Send Me SFMOMA.” This is how it works: museum-goers text (415) 796-0446 with a request of the art they want to see. The API program then texts back an image from the SFMOMA collection with additional information on the piece of art including the artist, title, and its year of creation. Reporters from SFGATE that covered Send Me SFMOMA sent a slurry of texts to the number and found that it was “enlightening, inspiring, and sometimes outright hilarious.” When requesting “Send me cats,” Send Me SFMOMA responded with a photo of Robert Rauschenberg’s “Catastrophe,” which shows that although it is not a perfect technology, it is both unique and entertaining.

Art museums are usually not seen as hotbeds for innovation, but SFMOMA is setting itself apart from this. Art consumption in museums is traditionally a fairly static activity in which people walk around looking at the same pieces of art, but Send Me SFMOMA adds an element of interaction and customization to the museum experience. The real-time feedback from Send Me SFMOMA seems like an appealing way to engage users and to help them develop a deeper connection to the art they are consuming and the SFMOMA brand. Museum-goers are given a level of autonomy previously unavailable to them. As digital technology become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, I am excited to see what other opportunities for innovation lie at the intersection of art and technology.

Flickr / Photo by Juliette Melton.