International collective of artists and permaculture educators presented visions for the transformation of our food system. This is my contribution to the exhibition.
An advertisement from 2050
on an immersive game experience
– reminiscent of the old times!
Supermarkets try to hide information about how the food they sell was produced. Industrial methods of food production have damaged entire ecosystems - destroying biodiversity, the climate, the soil, the health of people and other creatures. Fresh food, distinctive packaging design, discounts, all of this, along with smiling staff and elevator music, made for a calm
and comfortable shopping experience. The huge basket invites you to fill up, and the supermarket is so huge that you are bound to get hungry sooner or later when you visit. Supermarket VR offers a mediated period experience with contextual build-up of the way and production of a particular food item that appears to the player upon contact with the product. Yum!
We have found vintage marketing strategies in praxis!
Supermarkets use many types of aggressive marketing, including greenwashing techniques and creating demand for products that would not be needed if they were not advertised - testing the limits of uselessness and unsustainability. Consumer culture has its own language that feeds on people's need to belong, boosts their self-esteem and plays on their virtues and vices.
“Consumer society thrives as long as it manages to render the non-satisfaction of its members (and so, in its own terms, their unhappiness) perpetual. The explicit method of achieving such an effect is to denigrate
and devalue consumer products shortly after they have been hyped into the universe of the consumers' desires. But another way to do the same thing, and yet more effectively, stays in the semi-shade and is seldom brought out into the limelight except by perceptive investigative journalists: namely, by satisfying every need / desire / want in such a fashion that they cannot but give birth to yet new needs / desires / wants. What starts as an effort to satisfy a need must end up as a compulsion or an addiction.” (Zygmunt Bauman, Consuming Life)
The Origin Of The End
In a warm day in June, almost 30 years ago, the subject of supermarkets first came up as a public debate. We can thank the brave and intrepid Václav Klaus, the former President of the Czech Republic, an economist and politician who played a major role in the transition of socialist Czechoslovakia to a capitalist economy in the 1990s, for this historic turning point. From this memorable day, we have managed to preserve in the archives scraps of his words. (Play the video)
And so it happened, the very next day Mr. Václav Klaus wrote a essay about his shocking experience at the highest academic level, and events got underway. Within a few months, the MPs of the Czech Republic had a law on the table to close all supermarkets in the Czech Republic - and the rest is history.
Postcards from the Supermarket Museum
A souvenir as a reminder of history will delight you!
The unifying strategy of the supermarkets is linked to the industrial and mass production of food - not only are animals raised in inhumane conditions, but also plants suffer on monoculture plantations, and with them the soil and all the flora and fauna,
which by nature knows no monoculture farming or chemical spraying. You can download the postcards here, share them on your social media accounts if you want to encourage your friends to think about this issue or just send a postcard from the future.