Squatting Supermarkets back in SMIR

On July 10th, 2011, the SMIR project was back in Mondovì.

Squatting Supermarkets at SMIR 2011

Squatting Supermarkets at SMIR 2011

This outstanding initiative joined forces across the italian/french border, between the cities of Mondovì and Embrun, to restore two ancient churches that were left to decay and dedicate their renewed spaces to the creation of a process which, moving across arts, sciences, humanities and economy, researches the possibilities offered by technologies to promote innovation practices with a social impact and with opportunities for development for the people in the territories in which all of this takes place.

Squatting Supermarkets  :

“uses the logos and packaging graphics of products as AR fiducial markers. A content management system allows attaching information and interactive experiences to logos, instantly transforming them into open, accessible, emergent spaces for communication. A mobile application allows consumers to use their smartphones to take pictures of the logos on the products’ labels and to use them to access the augmented reality layers of information.”

In Mondovì and Embrun we joined forces with the local public administrations and with a series of traditional producers of food with historical heritages reaching back hundreds of years to explore the possibilities for them offered by ubiquitous technologies.

Squatting Supermarkets at SMIR 2011

Squatting Supermarkets at SMIR 2011

We found out an incredible opportunity for research and action: we produced packaging for these products which integrated markers which would allow for experiencing a series of augmented reality experiences in which the producers told the story of the product, the traditions behind them, and exposed the enormous values which are embodied in their local, traditional practices: complete sustainability, social integration,  local development, an economic model which is oriented to an holistic idea of value, encompassing the enterprise, the people that work int it, the environment, society, traditions and a vision on the future.

The experiences also offered those assets which made Squatting Supermarkets such a breaktrhough experience: realtime infoaesthetic representations gather data from a multiplicity of sources and make it available using augmented reality directly from the product, including ecology and sustainability profiles, social network buzz, and the possibility to contribute to the overall information environment by openly providing ratings, comments and info-contributions, transforming the experience of consumption into an open, free dialogue among all stakeholders, in which new values, ethics and possibilities constantly emerge. 

Squatting supermarkets back in Mondovì

Just a quick note: AOS and FakePress will be in Mondovì from the 15th to the 19th of july for another edition of SMIR project.

We will present a new version of the Squatting Supermarkets installation using augmented reality and computer vision technologies to introduce critical practices for consumers promoting sustainability, ecology and ethnographic narratives using ubiquitous technologies.

More info here


and a detailed report really soon.

Squatting Supermarkets in Mondovì – lecture and presentation

A photo report of the presentation and lecture we held in Mondovì to present Squatting Supermarkets, in joining the SMIR european project. The art performance, technological platform and research process have all been presented to the local audience and to a few invited guests.

more info here:






Squatting Supermarkets in Mondovì for SMIR project

Squatting Supermarkets in Mondovì for SMIR project

Squatting Supermarkets @ Mondovì

Squatting Supermarkets at Mondovì

Squatting Supermarkets at Mondovì

On Friday May 5th 2010 Art is Open Source , FakePress and The Hub Roma will be in Mondovì together with the Piemonte Share Festival and associazione Marcovaldo to present the next steps of the Squatting Supermarkets / iSee project.

Squatting Supermarkets is one of the projects included in the SMIR (Spazi Multimediali per l’Innovazione e la Ricerca / Multimiedia Spaces for Innovation and Research) project, an european project inolving the restoration of two ancient churches in Mondovì (Italy) and Embrun (France) to create a trans-frontier media research center that will investigate on the possibilities for digital arts to collaborate with the development of territories and populations.

We (as AOS and FakePress) are investing a lot on this project, as we feel that arts and social innovation go well together hand in hand in exploring new practices for a more sustainable world.

And we are not alone in this. The Sharing (the association behind the Piemonte Share Festival) and Marcovaldo (an association with a long history of territorial interventions promoting development, the arts, local economies and creativity) have been truly active, lately, on our involvement wih Squatting Supermarkets, and they are setting up an ecosystem of local producers that will form a first official experimentation base for the adoption of the practices designed with iSee / Squatting Supermarkets.

During the next few months we will add a layer of digital reality to the wonderful traditional cheeses, wines, vegetables, salamis and meats, through which producers will be able to inform people about their sustainable production and distribution processes, and people will be able to gather information on what it means for them and for the rest of world to consume critically, accessing informations, documentaries, global sources of information. Finally the products we eat and consume every day will have a story: we will be able to know who produce them, where, how and with what effects on our world. And we will be able to communicate with them and among ourselves, near and far, directly throgh the products that shape our daily lives.

So, we are really excited to get this part of the project going!

And “We” is growing by the minute, as you can read here about the recent collaborations with our friends and partners at The Hub Roma, the research group at the Tor Vergata University in Rome, the students that will produce end-of-course project works on Squatting Supermarkets and iSee at La Sapienza University in Rome. And there will be additions by the minute.

In Mondovì we will present a research poster (you can download the PDF of the poster here) that describes the current state of the research (titled “the Active Consumer“) and the planning we have set up for the next important date for Squatting Supermarkets, around the half of July 2010, back in Mondovì for the next steps of the project and a beautiful event in the medieval city square together with all the artists and initiatives of the SMIR project.

In Mondovì we will also present the new features of the iSee application for iPhone / Android that is at the heart of Squatting Supermarkets, including a new information visualization technology that will be released as Open Source.

So, as usual: stay tuned!

please register at the Facebook Event if you’d like to inform us that you’re coming, and if you want to stay updated on the event:

Facebook Event

More info at:

Squatting Supermerkets – info
Squatting Supermerkets – artistic statement by Salvatore Iaconesi
iSee – info
Zero Impact Technology Prize offered by the EnviParc in Turin – Piemonte Share Festival ‘09
Presentation  @Faculty of Architettura “La Sapienza” May 4th 2010 – Rome

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