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Top image: Mike Mandel, ‘Untitled’, from the series Motels, 1974, printed 2017; courtesy the artist © Mike Mandel 

Art fans, you can now text San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art at 572-51 and it will respond with a piece of art from it’s gigantic collection.

The idea was sparked by the age of information overload, and the sheer number of artworks listed in the SFMOMA collection. According to SFMOMA, the collection is so large that the museum can only show about 5% of it in the galleries at any given time. If you were to walk past each artwork currently on view, you would walk almost seven miles, and to show museum’s entire collection at once would require the construction of another seventeen SFMOMAs. Heavy.

Enter the museums creative technologists, who developed ‘Send Me SFMOMA’ as a way to bring transparency to the collection while engendering further exploration, personal connection and discussion among users. As shown in the video below, ‘Send Me SFMOMA’ provides users with a fun tool to navigate collection and see art by theme, colour or mood. For example, if you text “send me something blue” could result in Éponge (SE180) by Yves Klein; and “send me flowers” might return Yasumasa Morimura’s An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Collar of Thorns), the museum says. You can send colours, subjects, moods and even emojis, and who knows what you’ll get. Now… go!

Text San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art at 572-51 to receive a piece of art from its collection. The service is totally free, but you still have to pay your own texting fees.