It's not every day that an internationally renowned artist asks for your help to celebrate the anniversary of a beloved world landmark. But that's exactly what the Salesforce France team experienced when the French photographer and artist JR asked for help with his latest project: making I. M. Pei's famous Louvre Pyramid appear larger than it really is.
This work, “The Secret of the Great Pyramid,” aims to produce an optical illusion of the Louvre pyramid rising out of the ground dramatically, creating the impression that it has just been discovered during an archaeological dig in Egypt. In 2016, JR made the pyramid “disappear” by using similar techniques of a montage trompe l'oeil (visual illusion) in the form of collage. The latest installation began March 26 and ended March 29, the 30th anniversary of the Louvre Pyramid.
A livefeed screencapture showing the work in progress. The gigantic optical illusion effect is only visible from above.
Art as volunteerism (and vice versa)
A project this large needs many hands to complete. Groups of 50 volunteers at a time created the collage, positioning sheets of paper to form the gigantic illusion across the entire Napoleon Court area of the Louvre. This collaboration of humans is also by design.
"My goal of the next few years is to get people to share together, and this project brings them together. We could have just used a big banner, but instead we preferred to use 2,000 cut paper strips. Although it complicates the task, we encourage people who do not know each other to connect with each other, " said JR.
Volunteers position the paper strips that make up the installation outside of the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Creating apps that engage people
When it came to volunteers, JR knew where to turn — Salesforce. Giving back to our communities is a core value at the company and a deeply ingrained part of our culture, so Salesforce France was able to respond quickly. This is not the first time the company has worked with JR; for the past year the Salesforce Ohana has been involved in the support and operation of Refettorio Paris, a restaurant and community kitchen that is open only to refugees, the homeless, and the socially vulnerable. When they were contacted by JR this time, Salesforce mobilized a team of 10 volunteers to build and implement a volunteer web application and mobile apps on Heroku. Using the apps, the project quickly amassed 400 volunteers as soon as JR communicated the project on Instagram.
Through the application, Salesforce volunteers recruited 400 volunteers in just 15 minutes. Beyond the creation of apps themselves, 50 Salesforce volunteers participated in this collaborative project on the ground.
The installation will be visible until March 31
Salesforce France volunteers pose with JR at the installation site.
This post was adapted from the Salesforce France blog.