Documentation, Progetti/Projects, Trasformatorio 2021

Cosio e Socio

The story of Socio, Cosio’s lost twin village: a metaphor for reconnecting  in a fractured world 

Cosio has a lost, underground twin village called Socio. Socio is 721 metres beneath the ground. Just as Cosio is 721 metres above sea level. The villages were torn apart by a terrible, ancient earthquake. Socio tumbled deep into the earth. The people of Cosio and Socio have not seen each other for thousands of years.

But the surge in electronic communications across the world, caused by the pandemic, makes air vibrate in strange, new ways. This impacts upon physical objects – and the structure of the earth.

In Cosio, a tectonic crack slowly splits the ground. It reaches down 1,442 metres. To Socio. This schism in the earth becomes a channel of communication. The underground villagers speak through the crack.

«When I named the twin village Socio I had no idea that in Italian socio means partner. Some things are meant to be together!”

Then the people of Socio begin their journey. Digging upwards, back through the earth, to find their old friends in Cosio. To be together again.

I created two sound experiences. The Weather Underground tells the story of Cosio’s first contact with Socio. Our Sky is Made of Rock explores their journey to the surface.

The words of the Socian people are heard in three languages – Italian, English and the imagined language of Socian. Just as  Socio is an anagram of  Cosio,  Socian is jumbled Italian. The language was ruptured and inverted by the earthquake, as the words tumbled into the ground.

In Presentia I built on work created In Absentia. The recordings were expanded into live performances in the village. The artist RE gave a human voice to the Italian words, previously generated by a language bot. Sound artist Eugenio UNO Buson crafted dark, subterranean noises that echoed over the Socian voices. I edited their work together. Then performed the English sections live to the village, ‘on stage’, in a stone ‘lavatoio’ (a medieval wash-house). So like the Socians, my sky was made of rock.

The location was rich with meaning. My venue was the ancient Roman entrance to the village – the perfect place to meet our Socian arrivals. The name of the street was Piazzetta Confraria. Meaning brotherhood. Where lost twins and divided people come together again.

And so on the final night we all came together (artists, Cosians and Socians) in a song Ciao, Ciao Cosio! written by the underground people, to celebrate their arrival in the village.

Jamie D. Huxley