Squatting Supermarkets at UAMO Festival in Munich

Supermarkets are places in which communication is really authoritary.


Everything you see, hear, touch and smell is decided my store managers, according to commercial and marketing strategies.

The things you read on product labels are decided from manufacturers and corporations, and you have no control over it.

Even the spatial layout of the supermarket itself is the result of a strategic decision.

Squatting Supermarkets wishes to confront this scenario by using Augmented Reality to bring radical, participatory communication back into supermarkets.

Using the Squatting Supermarkets smartphone application it is possible to scan the labels and packaging of products and

  • add information to it (text, sounds, images, videos)
  • see information that has been added by other users
  • browse information related to the product or to its manufacturer, as aggregated from a series of institutional, research, activist sources
Product communication, thus, becomes open source and peer to peer, and products become social networks which become accessible in the most delicate moment of the process of consumption: the instant in which you decide to buy the product or not.

We will present Squattng Supermarkets at UAMO festival in Munich from the 27th to the 30th of October. The presentation will take the form of a performative action and we hope to be able to organize a live workshop in some supermarkets around the city.

Join us at UAMO!

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. 

Did you really want a Second Life?

A series of interventions in Second Life (and some in other virtual worlds).

The performances explore the aesthetics of code, systems overload and crash, lag.

Places get invaded, filled with art – or enclosed in art – sounds and virtually physical objects that change the characteristics of the space.

Issues such as copyright, the role of art in the contemporary world, the idea of identity and of its definition, the analisys of relational models are confronted through irony, de-structuring, and a bit of damage :)

> website

also seen at:

> Domenico Quaranta’s

> VideoLudica

> Odyssey

> rhizome.org

> nettime

> NetBehaviour