Swisscom, Beyeler Foundation Partner for Picasso Painting Competition
Foundation, “The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods.” Together with the Beyeler Foundation, Swisscom is now launching #myprivatepicasso, a special project bringing a valuable painting from the museum’s collection into an ordinary Swiss home for one day.
Within the #myprivatepicasso project, on 16 April, Pablo Picasso’s 1939 masterpiece Buste de femme au chapeau (Dora), which belongs to the Beyeler Collection, will be loaned to a private home in Switzerland for a period of 24 hours. It could be a family home, the home of someone living on their own or even shared student housing. In fact, according to the operator, anyone living in Switzerland can apply for this opportunity between 19 March and 1 April. The winner will be whoever comes up with the most original idea as to what they will do with the Picasso within their home, as voted on by the public and a judging panel made up of the Beyeler Foundation and Swisscom representatives.
Moving the valuable painting outside the museum environment and into an ordinary Swiss home is being made possible by the networking and secure transmission of sensitive data offered by the Swisscom network. Security experts from Swisscom and the Beyeler Foundation will be able to monitor the painting continuously via the frame in which it is mounted; the networked frame will provide a constant stream of important environmental data about the painting. This smart frame, developed by Swisscom and the Beyeler Foundation, will measure the ambient temperature and air humidity, provide the GPS position of the painting and sound an alarm if there is any unauthorized movement.
The exhibition “The Young Picasso – Blue and Rose Periods” is organized by the Beyeler Foundation with the support of Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, and the Musée National Picasso-Paris.
We find this promotional competition interesting because it is so unusual to see a partnership involving the worlds of mobile telecom and fine art. Not only that, but it is based on the highly unconventional idea of removing a famous and priceless painting from the sanctuary of a museum and placing it in a private residence.
For the Beyeler Foundation, a Swiss museum, to have agreed to such a proposal, Swisscom’s assurances of security must have been quite persuasive. Therefore, in addition to the publicity that is bound to accompany any extraordinary access to a Picasso painting, the operator can expect that the monitoring capabilities of its “smart-frame” technology will get a lot of attention.
Since the smart frame uses proprietary technology developed by Swisscom and runs on its network, the Picasso competition will function as an advertisement for this innovative application of the IoT. That could get the operator more museum clients, and the technology could also be marketed to private art collectors, and it could have applications outside the confines of the art world, as well, in terms of preventing theft or loss of various kinds of objects. As we have written previously, it is a savvy approach in general for operators to get involved in developing innovative IoT devices and applications, and then activating them using their own networks. Doing so extends an operator’s business beyond the mobile traditional services and thereby keeps it relevant in an era of profound change in the industry.
As for the participants in the competition, since they need not be existing subscribers of Swisscom, we imagine that at least some of them will be intrigued, impressed and gratified enough to switch over to the operator. Whoever the winner may be, #myprivatepicasso will likely prove to be both a showcase and an opportunity to boost customer acquisition and retention.