Trasformatorio e’ un laboratorio internazionale primaverile di pratiche legate alla performance site-specific. Ha come obiettivo integrare la pratica dell'Hacklab, la ricerca sulla performance e la sostenibilita'. Trasformatorio ha sede a Montalbano Elicona (ME), un borgo storico sui monti Nebrodi in Sicilia, a 900 metri s.l.m., un area ricca di storia e di bellezze naturali. Il laboratorio e’ organizzato nei locali dell’antico borgo, con il patrocinio del del Comune di Montalbano Elicona e del Consorzio Universitario Federico Secondo.

T#1 dates!

20 April to 4 May


Trasformatorio is international laboratory focusing on all that is related to site-specific and sustainable performance. It's objective is to integrate the practice of the Hacklab with the research over performative arts and open design. Trasformatorio second edition (T#1) happens again this spring in Montalbano Elicona, a little known village rich of history and natural beauties in north east of Sicily, and will start 20 of April 2014. Our aim for two weeks of collective investigation is to design, to implement and test performances ideas and technical concepts that are both inclusive, open and sustainable. We value the design of new entities, the revaluation of existing forms of aRT and the enhancement of the collective knowledge of participating artists through sharing, in harmony with the natural and human environment that hosts us. The laboratory is held in the premises of the old town, supported by the City of Montalbano Elicona and the University Consortium Federico II.

Ultima ora! / Last News!

Program and Themes for T#1

Is time to give a bit of information to the public about what will be the themes and the activities for the Trasformatorio of this year.
I intend to divide our research for number one into 6 general areas of interest:

  1. Sensing the invisible

Observations generated by the movement in day and night and various weather conditions  inside the castle or in the open areas around the Argimusco suggested many themes of research: low intensity lighting and sound is one of the most promising for our performative purposes. Observers instead of getting into a dark artificial space from light as in the experience of getting to theater in a city, goes throught the experience of walking at night in the open beforehand has time to adapt his senses to the environment.

Small movements in the background of a landscape in the moonlight can be perceived as gigantic. Very low intensity light still retain the qualities of a big effect, and same goes for localized sound, that uses the structure of the natural resonances of the space. These observation defines a field of study and application that asks for invention, new design and unconventional approaches. Is our intention to prepare some of these to be put on test in trasformatorio number one. Some arguments that fall into this specific category are:

  1. micro lighting

  2. localized sound and vision

  3. projection strategies and tactics

  4. context specific performance control


2. Sustainability

Sustainability has evolved from being a general technical aspect of the research to a multi layered approach, that includes production guidelines, founding strategies, technical givens  with specifications and future research themes, surprisingly became more prominent in a dramaturgical context than in a technical one.

3. Space of tales and transformation of stories

  1. Trasformatorio number one shall approach the local “space of stories”, experimenting with a guest group of writers and storytellers as participants of next trasformatorio number one. This space could transform in many ways and become part of other stories, a event that is of great interest.

  2. Local folklore had been collected by first hand accounts and from independent researchers busy with the location that we encountered in the first trip, and most of the discussions have been recorded in audio by Gabriele Zaverio. As an example some elements of this activity could be part of radio transmissions both in FM and streaming, and other audible transformation-prone work. A mini FM radio broadcast over the area could be one of the themes of the “sensing the invisible” sessions,   allowing an experimental situation that withstands longer times of attention.

  3. Archeo-astronomical data collected about the close by locations, the presences of clear and suggestive star alignments in the megaliths is of great interest and inspirational value. It allows to explore many different kind of regular structures. Patterns of recurrence that can be investigated from algorithms for generative compositions and dramaturgical analysis alike. This could be one of the themes for further research on witch to design our future “call for artists”.

  4. It is of interest to arrange our communication to allow participation to artists of the southern side of the mediterranean, including the Magreb nations and the arab talking cultures. We wish to propose our laboratory in Sicily also as a open space of encounter and investigation to different types of artists. A gate for north-south collaborations and also for south-south and east-west alike.

  5. In trasformatorio number zero a great deal of attention was given to integrate as many as possible artists and circuits from the region, and to establish connection with curators and theaters of the area. To be able to propose them our type of performance and to get to know better sicilian artists in the field.This activity shall be continued and potentiated and some small founding dedicated also to this exploration.


4. Synesthesia: senses that collide

  1. Focus of the research is the integration of media rich reactive environment to natural environment and to the presence of performers and audience alike. The point of view of Synesthesia traces a research path were some characters of the performer work are reverberating into other perceptible forms: intention becomes a color, emotion a sound, speed a movement in the air or a series of sound in staccato moving away in the distance in the wood at night.


5. Out in the open: media rich site specific performance off the grid


6. Situation based formats: investigation of the border between cinema and other forms

  1. performative cinema

  2. cinematic happenings

  3. live cinema

Trasformatorio as a lab is for production and collective investigation has always to include presentation and performance. Number zero contains in itself many works that will continue into collaboration works. It would be interesting to be able to follow these collaborations and be part of their development. Forms to facilitate this should be a theme of discussion in the core group for the months ahead.

Pre production activities (4 days on site)

1. week one (36 hours max of scheduled activity, rest of time is free to use for own projects coordinated by Federico):
two groups, one for day one for night, one day of day activity and one day for night then swap.

1.2.1. work table: light visual and sound;
1.2.2. work table: out in the open 1; light and sound
1.2.3. work table on sustainability; solar and wind, micro solar for stand alone units


1.2.4. history harvesting
Techniques of collection and transformation of local folklore, lore, stories and myth
1.2.5. out in the open day event (all together)
1.2.6. documentation practices and activities
1.2.7. kitchen
and  other methodologies of transformation paradigms: service, setup and running, hospitality, food transformation
1.2.8. exchange programs Elderly people School Old and New Inhabitants of the borgo
1.2.9. informal exchange

1.3. week two (15 hours)

1.3.1. work table: light and sound; micro projections
1.3.2. work table: out in the open 2; light and sound
1.3.3. out in the open night event (all together)
1.3.4. storytelling and dramaturgies
1.3.5. documentation
1.3.6. kitchen
1.3.7. informal exchange

1.4. final public presentation (one day activity)

1.5. planning and forms for T#2

2. on site breakdown (2 days)

3. on-line archiving (2 weeks)

Next Trasformatorio offers a Workshop on Solar

Next Trasformatorio in Montalbano is going to offer a construction hands on get dirty workshop on DIY solar power. The project we are going to present is named ARETHA, that stands for - Air Exchange Thermal Assembly and is a project conceived by CISE2007, a group of makers in milan characterized by an enthusiastic passion for Do It Yourself and solid scientific and engineering background.
From 21 to 26 with a group of volunteers Paolo Bonelli will be busy in building a new version particularly optimized of the panel, and in documenting step by step the process.

We expect to have a solar powered thermal bath before the end of the week in Montalbano!

Guido Gaudioso exhibition in Siracusa

Guido Gaudioso, a photographer with a careful eye and a good friend of Trasformatorio, being one of the participants of T#0, has open the 8th of February a personal exhibition in his hometown of Siracusa.

We are quite happy to post some photos of the event. If you pass by Siracusa don’t miss the chance to pay a visit to the big assembly of 10 years of work.

You will also recognize some known faces in the exhibit, because some of the portraits have been made during his stay in Montalbano, and Guido courtesy wants us to give also this project (that is actually a fruit of his own work) also as a small “Trasformatorio follow up”.

Thank you Guido, and see you in T#1!

1b inaugurazione con il vicesindaco Francesco Italia e il gallerista Claudio Fayer

1a manifesto

1b inaugurazione con il vicesindaco Francesco Italia e il gallerista Claudio Fayer 2




RE - e il suo ritratto

Enter your email address to subscribe to and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 17 other subscribers