Call for Trasformatorio #1


[Italian version follow the link]

NOTE::::DEADLINE POSTPONED TO 23 JAN 2014 but contact asap the organization

Trasformatorio is about settling and developing an annual laboratory for performative arts in a remote community in Sicily: Montelbano Elicona (province Messina). This laboratory focuses on development of innovative site-specific performances and theatrical installations, in close connection with the landscape, the history and the traditions of the people of Montalbano.

A group of international artists, from various disciplines is invited and selected to participate in workshops and initiate projects within the community and its surrounding landscape.

Main challenge to the artists is to go ‘back’ to the basic questions of performative arts in this specific place: ‘what can we be aware of here and transform into a vital work; a work that shares/communicates a pure reflection on what is present for us here?’
The topic of sustainability, both of natural landscape and cultural life, follows directly and organically on these basic questions. Awareness of the place and local culture is artistic starting point for the practice. The ‘transformations’ that we seek, are meant to enrich the cultural exchange of both the local people and the visiting artists. Artistically ‘reading‘ a place means in our project: taking care of the place. Therefore we explicitly connect research of sustainability in site-specific performative arts to the more general ways of artistic research.

The Lab is co-produced by an open group of artists, committing their thoughts and actions to having quality time for the development of their researches in this context.


Trasformatorio #1 will take place again from 20 April to 4 May 2014 in Montalbano Elicona (ME), a medieval village in the Sicilian region of Nebrodi mountains, 900 meters above sea level, a little known area rich of history and natural beauty. The laboratory is held in the premises of the old town, and is supported by the City of Montalbano Elicona and the University Consortium Federico II.

The research focus of Trasformatorio #1 will be the use of the perceptive plateau in performance design. As during Trasformatorio #0 focused on the perception of invisible, we envision a sort of informed progression of our research by exploring questions as:

What kind of sound you would compose for a forest to mix with the night sounds?
How would you amplify it?
How to control effectively cues in a wireless mode, powering light and sound with alternative sources?
What lighting design to envision if the key-light is the moon?

What kind of interaction within the performer , our technical infrastructure and the situation around we should design?

A second focus for the participating artists should be on XXIst century storytelling preactices.

All participants will be encouraged to share their methodology and knowledge in the first week of Trasformatorio #1, as well as to engage in field research and other common activities. The program for the activities will be outlined beforehand also with participants contribution taking in account their objectives, motivations and competences.

The second week is devoted to each practitioner’s research: all participants will have the possibility to use the facilities and the village for research, development and presentation of projects that were either planned in advance or emerged during the first week of research. There will be no obligation to present but Trasformatorio will help every artist to realize and document their work.

Trasformatorio welcomes both professional and studentsu in a variety of disciplines.
Writing, Sound and Music, Performance and Dance, Visual and Light, Media and Video Art, Design, Architecture, Set Design and Costume, Photography, and other Applied Arts, as well as Hacking, NB. The maximum number of participants for #1 is 30.

As Trasformatorio’s languages are English and Italian, we recommend a good knowledge of one of those two, or both.

The Residency is offered to selected artists at cost price.
200 Euro p/p (**) for both weeks and includes:

– Accommodation: 13 nights in cottages in the village “Medieval Resort”.
(Each cottage is ready to host two people, and it is equipped with private bathroom and kitchen).
– Board: Half Board: breakfast and dinner in the town hall canteen, wine excluded. (Lunch and all the extras are paid by the participants).
– Membership, that allows unlimited admission to all events organised during the week. (workshops, readings, lectures, installations, exhibitions, etc …).

(**) Trasformatorio is produced by the participants also as an experiment in sustainable production and lifestyle. We might consider the possibility of alternatives to currency as an exchange for full participation. Talk to us first and propose us your idea of exchange.

for information on how to get there, state of research and an impression on the place and the activities of previous edition.

To participate
Deadline: January 11, 2014, but send anyway your proposal ASAP!
Send an email to, with:
Motivation Letter/description of the research you would like to do with us
Filled in Application Form <<< Download here!!! or fill electronically on the site
CV – Portfolio/ links to examples of work are welcome

Participants will be notified of the selection before the end of January 2014. The selection is final and is at the discretion of Trasformatorio Committee.