• Roberto Alvau

Digitising SAMA: Let's talk about the last ALDATalk webinar!


On 7th April, SAMA took part in the meeting ALDATalk: Digitisation of services organised by ALDA (European Association for Local Democracy), a French association dedicated to the promotion of good governance and citizen participation at the local level in the European Union and its Neighbourhoods.



SAMA currently has as its short-term objectives the digitisation not only of its collection, but also the immediate digitisation of its services, seeking new technological solutions that can break down, at least in part, the barriers of the current health situation.


In 2019, the SAMA began its project of virtualizing some works through AR/VR technology: after months of experimentation, the institution produced an VR immersive 360° video of the street work 'Memories' by South American artist Bastardilla, which is still now the largest work in the collection and one of the most famous. The success of the digitization of 'Memories' has led the museum to also bet on new alternative content with VR technology: thus was born the 'Heroes & Friends' project, the first 100% immersive tour of the collection that can be done from the comfort of your seat. Also in relation to the world of augmented reality, SAMA is currently working with the 'Books on Wall' project in order to create an Amsterdam path in their application. Books on Wall is an app that offers a transmedia experience and a story through urban art. Unlike virtual reality, which does not call for active participation on the part of the viewer, AR requires an active effort to carry out the proposed activities, in this case, a virtual tour of the walls of Montevideo, scanned by the camera of our mobile phone.

In 2020, it began the operation of digitising and cataloguing the collection on the Axiell platform and will soon be creating crypto-works with the help of the artists themselves and the GRTalk Team, leadered by Gabriele Romagnoli. The aim of the museum is to create a Digital and 3D version of some of the lost artworks from the SAMA collection. The first attempt was done with 'Fatherhood', a piece from the Colombian artist Stinkfish; but the project also includes more than 10 works still in progress. The final result of the project will be the inauguration of the permanent online exhibition 'Infinity', composed by the digital reconstruction of the lost works, accessible to the public for a basic fee.


SAMA therefore responded to an interesting event like the one offered by ALDA, eager to get in touch with new professionals and new ways of digitisation possible. ALDATalk: Digitisation of services is a webinar that featured Marco Laurenti, General Director of Capitale Umano Italiano; and Pascal Goergen, former Secretary-General of the Assembly of European Regions (AER) and Deputy Mayor of Grez-Doiceau Municipality, each speaking on the theme of digitisation of tertiary services in aid of the community.


Marco Laurenti, also a member of Italia 4 Blockchain and of the Scientific Committee of ScryptaFoundation, presented the SocialPay digital payment system, already in use in some Italian villages to deliver aid and vouchers to requesting citizens in the Covid era. SocialPay is a tokenised virtual payment system and represents one of the first examples in Italy of the massive use of tokens and blockchain for social utility.

One of the advantages of token and blockchain services is the transparency and security of transactions while respecting the privacy of each buyer/seller. At present, this is a particularly fruitful buying and selling service in the world of digital art as it enables the acquisition of certified digital works of art through the blockchain system, which therefore prevents the reproduction or copying of the object in question. SAMA has also taken its first steps into the world of NFT and tokenization and is currently developing some certified digital works inspired by lost artworks in the collection.


Pascal Goergen, currently Deputy Mayor of Grez-Doiceau Municipality, talked about the process of demarcation and digitisation carried out by him and other professionals in the small municipality of Grez-Doiceau in Belgium. In recent years, the town has grown exponentially in the area of digital services by adopting a real strategy regarding IT and Digitalization, based on the idea of "smart rurality". The aim is to integrate a range of digital services into everyone's daily life, facilitating bureaucratic procedures and improving institutions of cultural interest in the area through the use of applications, training workshops for young people and a participatory platform that is freely accessible online. In the space of two years, the achievements of the Grez-Doiceau administration have been numerous: the creation of the app Grez-Doiceau en poche, the CoderDojo workshop and The digital Platform for Citizenship Participation, out this month.


Grez-Doiceau is a symbol of digital micro-community where virtual participation and social cohesion are the starting points for the realisation of a common result. This is a socially compromised posture that SAMA has also adopted in its years of activity and is attempting to enhance virtually and digitally now in the present day.

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