Habitat-diary

Da Habitat: Giardino.

2022-05-05[modifica]

Tnì Bota![modifica]

Habitat could officially manifest again through a new public programme of residencies and workshops. 1 month ago I submitted a project proposal to the same open call promoted by Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì. Habitat intends to consolidate the directions it’s been taking since July 2021, with the aim of continuing the imagination and definition of new cultural paths for collective, participatory explorations of the territory. To this end, during September and October 2022, we want to propose a new cycle of residences - developed on the basis of a public call - which has as goal the realization of (at least) 4 workshops, 4 publications, 4 diffused exhibitions, through participation of individuals, formalized and informal groups that together with the local community can foster the blooming of new processes for collective imagination, creation and narration.

2022-04-17[modifica]

Carciofi Recipe[modifica]

Message from Jonathan:

The carciofi recipe you were asking for: I cut the top, remove the hard leaves, trim the sides and peel the stem, then I took a big pot where I added wild mint and thyme and put the artichokes in with their head facing the bottom of the pan. Then cloves of garlic and cut lemon, salt, some white wine and water so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Then heat it up and put a lid on the pot to let it steam for about one hour. Check from time to time that there’s enough liquid in the pot.

Enjoy ♥

2022-04-15[modifica]

Hear the Wind Sing[modifica]

Tshirts, blankets, towels, socks and a few pairs of panties are lightly hanging on orange threads, connecting the trees between each other while creating a modest, unplanned composition of white surfaces, sometimes moved by the wind. Tonight we have the honour to host the second screening of Ceremony: Hear The Wind Sing, a collective performance organised by Pam, Ilya and Natasha accompanied by a text written by Carla, Ines and Gina, which found in Habitat a perfect place to manifest.

“Ceremony: Hear the wind sing” is a project aiming to cultivate cross-departmental knowledge-sharing and speculation on new possibilities we can come together for a collective moment of experience through cinema.

Behind the rows of hanging clothes, the house emerges as in a high-contrast painting from the encounter of the lunar reflections on its surfaces. The wind still gently shakes the clothes before the projector turns on. A series of moving images illuminate the set, while a group of people from Cà de Monti descend to the meeting point from which it is possible to experience the show. The site has been wisely identified and prepared for that moment. Some environmental recordings made by Louis accompany the images, while the wind - rising all of a sudden - shakes loudly the clothes and the trees, adding a layer of truth to the speakers-emitted soundscape. The integration between the images and sounds collected, the surfaces on which they are projected or reverberated, together with the natural and architectural conditions of the place are thus mixed, offering a non-repeatable performance because of its contingency.

2022-04-14[modifica]

Ricettario[modifica]

Elena from SIS initiated the collective recipes book, better known as Ricettario.

“Like a short story, a good recipe can put us in a delightful trance. The Oxford English Dictionary defines fiction as literature “concerned with the narration of imaginary events.” This is what recipes are: stories of pretend meals and happenings. The scene narrative has a specific role—like a passport, you use it to gain entry to a foreign place. That is what you feel when reading recipes, which offer the adventure of being taken into the unfamiliar world of the writer.

This ricettario was initiated as a result of the one-week dwelling excursion of Master program SIS in Habitat. 7 days, 21 collective meals, 24 mouths to feed, and many litres of wine later. We’ve cut, tasted, licked, shaped, watered, messed, planned, washed, peeled, burnt, mixed, sifted, played, sang, danced, tarnished, greased, cleaned, and over and over again.

2022-04-12[modifica]

Pasta all'uovo: Workshop[modifica]

with Agriturismo Ridiano.

I’ve never seen people this happy. Everyone joined the workshop, crafting the tagliatelle with their own hands. It ended up with 20kg of fresh pasta that we’ve been eating for two days.

2022-04-11[modifica]

Caveja dagli Anëll[modifica]

“Caveja dagli Anëll” is an agricultural work tool and a polyfunctional instrument for sound ceremonies that was common in the rural area of Romagna, whose demise speaks back to the swift from body-run cultivation to the agro-industrialisation of the land(scape).

The Caveja, as well as our Holy Mountain, lacks scientific resources which could document or prove its origin and evolution in time. That’s why, on that occasion, I had the chance to think back on the idea of a flexible, imaginative and collaborative archive, which would enhance the intertwining of the different perspectives and experiences encountered, in order to unveil a non-linear, often rambling assemble of thoughts that do not aim to provide static, well-packed information, but rather leave room for imagination.

2022-04-09[modifica]

The Transhumance[modifica]

Today we experienced a form of temporary migration. A Transhumance is a form of pastoralism or nomadism organized around the seasonal droving of livestock along migratory routes*. By nature, it involves shared rituals and practices, such as caring for and breeding animals, managing land, forests and water resources, and dealing with natural hazards. This practice requires adaptation to different environments, weather conditions, and body-run effort. We organised the hike from Tredozio to Cà de Monti for the students from Studio for Immediate Spaces as a walking ritual, a transition between the urban and rural landscape, between hyper-connectivity and isolation, progress and limits. The path has been divided into 4 parts, following the morphological and human-run changes in the environment we walked across. Each part was introduced by a different text, printed on papers that could be found hanging at 4 crossing points along the path, which served as “ruminating” moments, digesting the words proposed through the texts.


  1. The Map
  2. Technology
  3. The Border
  4. The Moon rises

2022-04-01[modifica]

Housing Futures[modifica]

Today, the presence of our Minister of Infrastructure Federico Poni at Housing Future Festival has been announced. Housing Future could be ascribed as a “weekend full of spatial strategies for alternative forms of living”. It’s organised by the Independent School for the City from 15th to 16th April and takes place at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. 12:30 - 14:30 Workshop. Collective Memory: on Documenting and Archiving Alternative Housing Strategies - part I

It will be an occasion to illustrate the ways we approached the collective memory theme:

• By providing a shared, online space used to gather residents contributions (Wiki)

• (online) radio as a gatherer of bodies and minds. Recording as an (almost) daily practice to document, archive and narrate processes.

• Living as a (publishing) form: Archiving daily discoveries.

•Situated webservering: from the ultra-local to the global.

2022-03-16[modifica]

Myth? Or Truth?[modifica]

I spent the morning at the Tabac Shop, where I met Bruno. He’s well known in Tredozio since he was and he’s still considered The Electrician in town. Once someone is privileging you by sharing personal words, you have to take the time and the patience to capture and memorise them. So I’ve been listening to Bruno talking about our Holy Mountain, which he knows because he knows Mr. Billi and the area where we live in. According to Bruno, the Holy Mountain is naturally sourced. The different layers of earth, clearly distinguishable even to the human eye, would demonstrate the natural stratification of sediments; which actually becomes smoother with the atmospheric agents. In contrast with this version, there is Saggese’s side of the story - another Tabac shop affiliate - who attributes the construction of the mountain to his own hands, by accumulating sediments from some previous excavations. More than seeking for truth, I am interested in the multi- narrative which, even if at times inconsistent, allows different interpretations of the same image, which is still possible to manipulate and redefine. The layering of personal and subjected narratives thus creates the legend, the myth, which keeps the place or object alive. For this reason, considering also the material collected in recent months, I wonder how it is possible to return it to the public while keeping its imaginative inception. These considerations will help me define the attributes of a flexible, collective-based archive.

2022-03-15[modifica]

Living, publishing[modifica]

Meeting with Manetta.

We talked about platforms for daily publishing. For Habitat, I understood that the daily encounters, events and discoveries - generate the narration of the place in itself. The same thus makes the place alive, becoming part of the inhabiting process. I start wondering how I could collect the moments of conviviality, which help us to define, orient and move on the map we traced.

2022-03-06[modifica]

Infrastructure[modifica]

It was a cloudy Sunday. A cold breeze, mixed with sparsely dense snow, has never given up on us. We had to light up the fire in the main living room sooner than expected, so we had breakfast all together in front of the fireplace. With Federico, we spent the morning organising the contents for an upcoming presentation of Habitats’ infrastructure at Natural Intelligence, the third part of FIBER’s Reassemble Lab in Amsterdam, which “will explore alternative internet infrastructures based on earthly dynamics, low-carbon solutions and ecological ethics”. (https://www.fiber-space.nl/project/natural-intelligence/). An occasion to present what has been done so far in terms of infrastructure over the last few months. For instance, our .index and related webpages are hosted on a server installed in Cà de Monti, specifically in the main living room. We are able to connect to the World Wide Web through a small parabolic antenna, installed outside one of the village building. This antenna uses an FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) service, a technology that uses long-range wifi, ideal for areas that are not densely populated, like ours, where 5g and 4g connections work only for one provider. Fast responses, as much as full-time availability, should be deprioritised. This approach to content fruition embraces the local conditions, thus promoting other forms of sociability and sharing, no longer relying on infrastructural performativity, but rethinking alternative and experimental ways of inter-connecting local and therefore ultra-territorial meanings. The Tramazzo Valley is a small, standing-alone valley whose infrastructures speak back to its morphology. A scarce constellation of antennas spread out the rural area, mainly covered by woods and fields. Some shaded areas escape the continuous stream of the global connectivity - provided by antennas’ signals, delineating rare and often threatened free spaces for the agency to redefine predetermined fruibility conditions. Spaces that need to be protected, saved from hyper-connectivity rhythms.

2022-02-24[modifica]

Self-reliancy?[modifica]

“When Global Tools began its activities, Italian industry and politics were going through a crucial period: the last great strike of the FIAT workers in 1973 was followed by the energy crisis with the consequent austerity measures, and this setback put an end to a period of growth and high employment rates, revealing the changes in the Italian industry, now transformed by new technologies and the development of the tertiary sector.”
(https://not.neroeditions.com/global-tools/)

In the light of what has happened this morning, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the pre-announced coming of a new widespread energetic crisis, I’m wondering if we are facing similar conditions of crisis. Italy, as much as other European countries, largely depends on natural gas provided by Russia. Italy is the European country that most uses natural gas: a 42.5% share of the whole Italian energy need. (https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/energia-5- mappe-capire-la-crisi-del-gas-33342) It is due to the fact that Italy produces 60% of its electricity using gas. (https://www.ispionline.it/it/pubblicazione/energia-5-mappe-capire-la-crisi-delgas- 33342) An infrastructure-related issue, that has to deal with the morphology of the territories. The dependence on Moscow’s resources is a structural and geographical fact: it is much easier and cheaper to transport gas by pipe, and in the Italian case, necessarily has to pass through Ukraine. Today, more than ever in my personal experience, I realised what could mean to be energetically independent. Our living environment must be prepared as soon as possible to be self-reliant and sustainable. Starting from our web server, that has to be provided by solar energy. Webservers are not used to sleep.

If full energy independence currently sounds more like a utopia, especially considering the electricity need of Cà de Monti (21kw as average daily consumption), it’s also true that is necessary to give more thought to the waste, yet considered as non-necessary consumption of energy. For instance, our webserver is constantly running, even when no one is checking our website. Full-time availability has a price that must be considered because it has a tangible impact. We could rawly consider restricting our web accessibility for western countries only in the daytime, presuming that most of the users are used to sleeping between 1 am to 8 am. In this case, we could reduce daily consumption by up to 8 hours in relation to our online presence.

2022-02-19[modifica]

The Antenna[modifica]

15:06 Jacopo: Telephone’s signal looks more diffused than last time..
15:06 Jacopo:There’s less isolation
15:06 Poni: Wtfffffffff
15:06 Jacopo: We have to sabotage the antenna.
15:06 Poni: No problem

The Holy Antenna. The cursed Antenna.

Its electricity, flowing into the transmitter, makes electrons vibrate up and down it, producing radio waves, which could travel through the air at the speed of light. When the waves arrive at the receiver antenna, they make electrons vibrate inside it. That’s what happens every time we send a message. This invisible, but still physical flow of electricity, while creating bubbles of connections, can be absorbed by all living organisms. In Habitat’s surroundings, they manifest in the bees’ estrangement. Mr. Billi said that bees have been moving away. We are used to seeing “5G”,“4G”, “3G” or “E” for “Edge”, specifying the type of technology available in the area. I was really enjoying being on the edge, with the lowest technology available. Nevertheless, today I discovered that my telephone was being reached by a never-seenso- strong signal. My bubble of isolation has been perforated. My feelings could easily evaporate through the hole, dismissing their roots with apparent no more control over them...

2022-01-14[modifica]

The Choice[modifica]

After a few weeks of negotiation, on that day we signed the rental agreement. I’ll never forget Mister Billi suddenly pushing himself up from the table, clumsily leaping to the top of his chair while singing in very personal English and a smooth wine-flavoured accent, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs Robinson”. Although it is only the “Hey, hey, hey” that still echoes in my mind, I’d like to think that he was also considering that part of the song:

“We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files We’d like to help you learn to help yourself Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home”

Before signing the rental agreement for Cà de Monti, I was struggling to find a place in Rotterdam. Unaffordable prices, month-long waiting lists and not always welcomely spaces drive me to consider renting, for almost the same price, the village. I had to make a choice. The city or the countryside.

2021-08-25[modifica]

No Greetings[modifica]

The first edition of Habitat came to a gentle end. I say “gentle” because it silently turned off with mind and body energy. For one time, I didn’t have any melancholic feelings. I just felt like waking up after a month-long dream, with streams of images bouncing all around my brain, which eventually served as refreshing water for my thoughts, tastings of sparkling answers I was seeking for. The idea of establishing here looked closer than ever, bringing a lot of excitement and questions at the same time.

Certainly, permanent actions require the settlement of new, grounding questions which led to the propagation of temporary living attempts across stable, long trajectories. Once the possibility to rent Cà de Monti for a whole year became tangible, I start questioning myself:

What kind of infrastructures a residency and collective workshop would need in order to facilitate the sharing of processes and knowledge?
And how they could be used to re-think the future we live in?
Could a constellation of smaller eco-systems be the way to decentralize agency, recalibrating our lives based on urgent and real needs?
What could we learn from smaller realities such as rural villages in order to build new, modern and almost self-reliant communities?
How the circulation of knowledge, processes and results achieved during the residency could be turned into concrete actions which could help both the local community and the artists’ development?
How could local heritage and traditions provide us with a set of tools to better understand the present?
Then, how publishing practices can be involved to enhance and amplify Ultra-territorial* narrations? 
How to build a participative archive, toward a new collective memory?
And how to create new, vernacular imaginaries?


I would not explicitly answer these questions. The questions, as well as the answers, must be open, editable and then generative. The thesis aims not to provide solutions, but manifestations of a daily, individual and collective journey to their resolutions.

2021-08-21[modifica]

La Leggenda[modifica]

For the ones still wondering who is Mr Billi, I’ll bring a story that would tell more about his character.

Billi was born under the sign of Bartolaccio*,
when the Milky Way lit up the Romagna Tuscana’s Apennines.
It was December
and the planets crossed the iron path of the celestial vault.
He is known as the field astronomer,
and dualism is inherent in him from birth.
not coincidentally the legends tell that
he carries his cold heart
in a refrigerated van
through the roads of Romagna,
but that he warms up in intimacy
desperate for an heir.
he used to go on interdimensional journeys,
wrapped in fluttering tunics
and leather vests of yesteryear,
because they refer him to that Woodstock he has never known,
but which he feels close to.
Billi wanders in order to guard the green expanse
of which Cà de Monti has been part,
since time immemorial.
Maybe not everyone knows that
here
a membrane divides our world from the parallel ones
thinning
because disseminated by passages invisible to our eyes,
used by foreign entities
and often seen,
but never approached until today.
How many entities communicate with the land of Billi?
What worlds do they inhabit and what appearances do they take?
How do they experience this and that other space?
We will open the portals and see who will reach our space,
Then Billi will be asked to bring them back to the lands he observes
and walks, thus proposing other access routes to the places
and entities of Cà de Monti. 

Taken from “Portàli via di qui!” a narration based workshop held by Matilde Patuelli, Matilde Losi, Michela Casadio 21.08.2021 Abbazia di S.Donnino, Rocca S. Casciano. (Free English translation by me)

2021-08-18[modifica]

A Common Day[modifica]

Stripe by stripe, the friends from Fototeca Manfrediana covered all the windows of the Veranda, with the idea of creating a pinhole room. Dozens of subtle aluminium peels adhere to the glass, making no room for the light to penetrate the space. Even above the hottest sun, the Veranda appears as much obscure as on the deepest nights. Here, the music studio is set up. Luna and Gianmarco rigorously calculated the size of the hole to be open to make the magic. A rectangle of about 4x5 cm has been peeled off in order to make the pinhole. Suddenly, you can see inside the room the crests of the mountains overlooking our terrace. A blurred image of the landscape and the people passing through the terrace hits the surface of the musical instruments, and the same projection extends over the walls of the room, recolouring all the surfaces. While Andrea, Ilaria, Paace2000 and some others are dancing on the terrace, making use of dried branches and random items of furniture as a temporary scenography, the musicians are executing a jam session. The projection of the blurry, dancing figures interacts with the moving bodies. The vanishing clouds reflect on the sweaty bodies, while the music escapes as a muffled sound around the terrace, encouraging light-hearted movements. During the evening, Marco realised the sacred armour for Paace2000’s live performance in Cà de Monti, together with Emmezio. It is one of those things that is not scheduled and comes as part of the daily, local entertainment.

2021-08-12[modifica]

Nomad Sculpture(s)[modifica]

The Nomad Sculpture(s) by Camilo, Floor, Anna and Avital is being shaped. The Nomad Sculpture(s) comes as a construction set inside a fruit box, rigorously found in Cà de Monti. It is composed of different wooden shapes - resulting from the cut in different scales of Reclaimed Wood’s leftovers, which can be assembled thanks to a series of cutting that serve as joints. The lightness of the sculpture, together with the idea of being movable, challenges the format of the sculpture as something fixed in time and space. The inner playfulness of the project invites the public to assemble and re-shape the sculpture depending on the site, allowing people to interact and engage with the imaginative shapes and contribute to the making of an ever-changing, yet inorganic artefact.

2021-08-09[modifica]

A Baloon in the Land[modifica]

After a few dislocated apparitions that brought much doubt and dismay in our community, it’s official the presence in the municipal area of a huge animated white balloon. The creature seems endowed with its own life and agency. It emits signals of light and gently rolls along the paths of the woods, often following the river stream while confining itself, for the moment, outside the inhabited towns. It was filmed by a private camera along Via i Monti, a deviation from the state road for Monte Busca. In some confusing images (shooted at night), he glimpses a white shape that almost appears as doubled as if it’s hard to be captured. The news of these facts come also after the receipt in our office of several images of the mysterious balloon, pictured while travelling in the locality “Gorgoni”, close to San Benedetto in Alpe.

Extract from Burrasia, Clang!, August 2021

As mentioned at one point, we are foreigners in a hospitable land. The point of view of the foreigner, also considering the various integration processes in progress, remains crucial for the understanding of the place in relation to the cultural and social dynamics outside the territorial bubble. The balloon of Burrasia represents for me the stranger who breaks through the local social fabric, who wanders silently but without yet giving explanations about his presence. An unexpected movement that arouses both curiosity and suspicion, veiled by the esotericism of the unknown faces that wander the roads of the village.

2021-08-08[modifica]

Stones, Falling stars[modifica]

Camilo, Avital, Floor and Anna arrived today. The walk as a way to welcome people is becoming a ritual. There’s no better way to smoothly soak up the atmosphere of the place. Floor has been really busy collecting fragments of tiles along the path. They can be found all around Cà de Monti, embed into the ground, bouncing the sunlight that hits them reflecting fanciful colour patterns. They’re strangers along the path, implemented to assess the grey roads to better stability: pieces of dismantled houses with apparently no relations with the place itself and between each other, and which come together in an artificial constellation of stories. In the publication “Sasso”, produced by Floor and Anna, they’ve been relating the fragments of tiles with the falling stars we could see every night from our terrace.

2021-08-02[modifica]

Four Mints Strains[modifica]

Thanks to DJ Rou we learned that our terrace hosts at least four different species of mint, which can be used for different purposes: as a flavouring, to make mint teas or to season the Mojitos. As soon as the main kitchen became a fluid space for knowledge exchange, where different techniques and culinary traditions could meet and dialogue, the idea of a collective recipe book came up. Menta Piperita, Menta Romana, Menta Lemon, Menta Fruttata.

2021-07-28[modifica]

Marking the Matter[modifica]

“Marking the matter” is a workshop on the act of altering and obliterating objects through symbols and shapes. In this sense, we want to explore how much this act can be a ritual. In the animal world, marking the territory is a way of affirming one’s presence and in some cases an alleged property in a specific context. Even humans, since prehistoric times, have experimented with different ways to assert their right to a good. In addition to goods such as plots of land or animals linked to pasteurization, with the tattoo you mark your body, testifying to belonging to a group, or the passage of time through rituals. This practice is still alive today in marketing strategies, in hyper-branding, up to the branding of buildings and skyscrapers with, for example, the effigy of a bank and financial power.

Parasite2.0

2021-07-25[modifica]

The first dwellers[modifica]

After the first night spent in Cà de Monti, we expect to welcome today Funclab Collective and Parasite 2.0, our first official residents.

2021-07-24[modifica]

Vai Mò![modifica]

On that day we invited the inhabitants from Tredozio and the neighbouring Portico di Romagna, San Benedetto in Alpe and Rocca San Casciano to join us at Palazzo Vespignani, in the main square of Tredozio. Here, together with Bianca, Lorenzo and a member from each municipality which expressed the will to collaborate, I officially presented Habitat and the programme of workshops and activities scheduled for the month ahead and all the artists involved. We couldn’t conclude the evening without a glass of red wine (Sangiovese), inevitably followed by some slices of bread with salami. The poster for the event was an invite to take a seat, all together.

2021-07-22[modifica]

Billi Ballo[modifica]

I finally met Mr. Billi in the flesh-and-blood.

2021-07-10[modifica]

Cà de Monti[modifica]

I had been to Cà de Monti for the first time. Until that moment, I could only imagine the place through the pictures collected over the last weeks. While driving alone, both the car and the excitement, I covered the remaining kilometres left to reach the village from Tredozio listening “MFSB – Mysteries of the World”, a funk/soul tune from 1980 with no voices but an elegant groove. I couldn’t resist filling the gaps left by the bass lines and the heavenly arches with some spoken words, wondering about mysteries, indeed. The specific mystery for me, at that moment, was to define the reasons why this place was abandoned 6 years ago, but I knew I would find my answers once getting to know Mr. Billi, whose appearance was still undefined to me. As far as I knew, the spaces of Cà de Monti were later used as a rural accommodation and restaurant, until the doors closed permanently facing a long neglected period. While grass and plants were already taking over the sidewalks, the prominent stone walls were standing in a likely perpetual state of being, imposing his masses above the flourishing manifestation of nature’s reappropriation of the land. Inside, everything was apparently in its place: beds, sofas, tables and chairs. Some clothes were hanging on a chair at the entrance of the upper building. Cà de Monti looked like a place just left by someone in rush, but the impenetrable layer of dust told another story.

2021-06-20[modifica]

Across Romagna toscana[modifica]

I organised a car trip across Romagna Toscana. First the first time, I had the opportunity to get a sense of the places and the distances. I’ve been driving from Faenza to Tredozio, visiting Cò de Monti passing through the Tramazzo Valley and then crossing to the Montone Valley, where the villages of Rocca S. Casciano, Portico and S. Benedetto could be found dislocated along the Montone river. I took more than 300 pictures, discovering the architectural heritage consisting of abbeys, towers, enchanted bridges, and ancient settlements perfectly combined with the natural landscape, as well as encountering numerous family-run shops and local artisans.

2021-06-06[modifica]

Aeshetic is not a purpose[modifica]

I drew Habitat’s logo and then inherited from it the identity of the project. The aesthetic is not a purpose. I refused colours and privileged the simplest tools: a pencil and some papers. Envisioning organicity, materiality and playfulness by the combination of natural artefacts such as stones and branches. Portraying the precarious balance between the usage of natural resources and environmental implicancies, results in attractive while delicate systems of elements.

2021-05-30[modifica]

Cà de Monti[modifica]

The village consists of two main buildings and a tiny church, whose presence could support that definition. Standing on the edge of a mountain between Tredozio and Monte Busca, Past century toponymy refers to it as “I Monti”, which means “Mounts”. “Cà” is a contraction of “Casa” - “Home”, and it’s been added in recent times to the previous toponymy. With more than 8 bedrooms, 2 kitchens and numerous indoor and outdoor spaces, while being surrounded only by the forest, it should be easy to imagine that I couldn’t ask for more. Mr. Billi told me that the first stone was put in place in the 10th century, but there are no written proofs. Not far away from the road that’s represented a neuralgic infrastructure for the salt trade between the Adriatic coast and Florence, Cà de Monti stands on a rope 700 meters*1 above the sea level, upon a small, almost untouched valley that faces the Foreste Casentinesi*2. The place reveals its inner hospitality by offering huge indoor and outdoor common spaces, privileged by its strategic position which meets forgotten mule tracks and marked trails and wild areas. The valley, steeply descending at the foot of the village, becomes harsh towards the side of the Foreste Casentinesi. Here, numerous rural settlements can be found, whose ruins interact with the surrounding landscape and woods, standing in a liminal space between a not-sodistant inhabited stage and the (dis)integration Cà de Monti Map of the Tredozio’s area. Source: Unknown 26 towards natural forces. These settlements, whose same stones were used in recent times to renew the structure of Cà de Monti, couldn’t better represent the never-reversed migratory flows - departed from rural, internal areas in Italy, which “contributed to the disappearance of “cultural landscapes”” starting from the second half of the XX century*3. A smooth road sinuously climbs up the small valley, connecting the two places across 5 kilometres of abandoned cultivated fields and woods. The green hills around Tredozio generously leave space along the road in favour of rugged slopes, constellated by silent trees and hidden, stone houses.

2021-05-29[modifica]

Mr. Billi's Call[modifica]

My mother received the most surprising and unexpected call. It was Mr. Billi, wondering for some help to find public funds. He’s the owner of a whole, tiny village where my mother have been a few years ago, as a curious architect wondering for some hidden beauty. That village resembled the ideal place for our purposes, even nourishing the expectations I had. It was probably the best coincidence that occurred in my life. She immediately asked him if the village was available for august. We got - again - a positive response. In less than two days, we had the privilege to choose between two places. Without a doubt, the choice went for Mr. Billi’s village.

2021-05-28[modifica]

Looking for the place[modifica]

Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì accepted our request. With the funds guaranteeing an economic foundation, I could finally begin the quest for a place for the building up of our Habitat. Typing word combinations like “Renting House Tredozio”, “Property for Rent Romagna toscana” and going through different online sales offers, I spent the day making a list of all the possible accommodations, from private property to farm holiday houses. The place should respect the following:

  • Availability 2 weeks
  • Close to a village centre,
  • 8+ beds
  • Including 1+ shared spaces
  • Outdoor space
  • Maximum €/night per person: € 30

Dozens of calls and booking requests were forwarded during the day, but only one solution came up as suitable for our need: a recently renovated medieval mill in the Montone Valley, close to Portico di Romagna, turned out available after calling the telephone number found in the Booking’s announce. Surprisingly, I managed by the end of the day to get a positive response, and, according to the owner, the day after we should have arranged the on-site visit.

2021-05-03[modifica]

Habitat Radio[modifica]

During the making of the 15th XPUB Special Issue, we experimented with tools to broadcast audio sources. After learning LiquidSoap, “a language for describing audio and video streams”, I’ve been using it to organise and schedule the execution of audio files. Matched with IceCast, a streaming media project released as free software, it’s possible to broadcast podcasts, compilations and live performances, given an online space. Thanks to new skills acquired, and expecting the online radio to be a possible communication tool for Habitat, I created the first Habitat Radio’s attempt, hosted in the XPUB Sandbot webserver.

== 2020-05-03 == Habitat Radio During the making of the 15th XPUB Special Issue, we experimented with tools to broadcast audio sources. After learning LiquidSoap, “a language for describing audio and video streams”, I’ve been using it to organise and schedule the execution of audio files. Matched with IceCast, a streaming media project released as free software, it’s possible to broadcast podcasts, compilations and live performances, given an online space. Thanks to new skills acquired, and expecting the online radio to be a possible communication tool for Habitat, I created the first Habitat Radio’s attempt, hosted in the XPUB Sandbot webserver.

2021-03-15[modifica]

Getting Funds[modifica]

I decided to apply with the formalised project, presenting it with the cultural association I’m part of (Distretto A). Habitat was shaped as a non-identified yet physical space for living and practising while assembling a public programme of laboratories to explore rooted-in-land traditions and derived interpretations. Diffused exhibitions, performances and events in Tredozio and the neighbouring villages have been planned as moments of public restitution of the convivial interactions between the temporary residents, the local community and the territory.

“By Intertwining and at the same time declining the specific pre-existing context, Habitat has been conceived as a facilitator of immediate, reciprocal possibilities for the artistic and cultural development of the territory, using research, crafting and the speculative action of the imagination. A place-based strategy that recognizes the importance of the (im)material landscape and the need for careful knowledge built from below, as an essential basis for the activation of oriented interventions that - using the territory as a place of inspiration and action - learn how to collect and rework his precious micro-territorial heritage.”

Extract from the Habitat’s Application papers for Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì

2021-03-01[modifica]

First Application[modifica]

With no reasons to wait, Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi of Forlì opened the possibility to shape my thoughts into a tangible, public attempt, which was lately formalised as

HABITAT, a project of residencies and collective workshops aiming to respond to the theme of the revitalization of decentralised villages, of their territory and cultural heritage - as an ideal place for the development of artistic practices, in dialogue with the territorial specificity.

Extract from the Habitat’s Application papers for Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì

2021-02-12[modifica]

Imagine[modifica]

I’ve been trying to imagine a place where we can sit around a perpetual fire, welcomed by hay sofas, only with a sky above our head. I’ve been imagining a place where it is possible to lie down on a lawn enriched with sculptures, where you can simply listen to the rustle of the stream. And again, I’ve been wondering about a garden where books are hidden among the flowers, accompanied by slightly diffused music. A radio that bridges this isolated but real landscape with the rest of the world. Streams of images reflected on windows yellowed by time. Colourful posters dancing on the stone walls of the villages. But also Signora Maria preparing tortellini, surrounded by exotic curious faces. A group of adventurous people discovering the local stones and plants. A small shelter of branches in the middle of the wood. A warehouse on the river transformed into a dancefloor. An old theatre animated by projections and dancing figures.

2021-02-06[modifica]

Lago di Ponte[modifica]

I organised a walk with my dad, my sister, Lorenzo and my niece. This time, we left the car at Lago di Ponte, toward the green slopes of the Tramazzo Valley. The path, smoothly climbing up the valley, reaches its edges, lately descending to the ancient Trebbana’s hermitage. Fixed with a rusty nail, a blue paper in the entrance shows Don Antonio’s telephone number. It’s there, available to anyone who has a need, while the doors of the building are permanently open. Without wondering, The inner hospitality of the territory revealed itself as a warm invitation to spend some time there.

2020-01-15[modifica]

Lorenzo[modifica]

Once upon a time, Lorenzo was the guy running the phone shop close to the public library in Faenza - my hometown - which is 40km away from Tredozio. Everyone in town bumped into his shop at least once, especially when we were still used to revealing the magic numbers by scratching that raw, grey coating on the bottom of phone top-up cards. I already knew Lorenzo, since I’ve been used to going in his shop, sometimes holding on by arguing about the nearby Apennines, of which he’s a local expert. I think he was already genuinely, yet subtly promoting Tredozio and its surroundings. He was particularly used to kindly help clumsy elders, never breaking down the smile upon his face - almost every day, from early in the morning to late noon. I have the feeling that he must learn a lot in the shop, how to listen to any people complain or doubt while trying to help, concretely. Because 5G must work everywhere, and anywhere, and possibly without paying too much. Patience is quite a thing nowadays. Lorenzo is been also involved since 2019 as vice-major for Tredozio, one of the reasons why he eventually decided to quit the job at the shop, at one point. Even considering the 90 € monthly salaries to run his position as Vice-major, he preferred to stay closer to Tredozio and its community. Something intimate drove Lorenzo to this choice; something that has not to do with politics as I was used to. I would call it a politics of listening, which 16 nowadays is as rare as patience is. With this image of Lorenzo, and with a yet vague purpose of establishing a connection with this village, I wanted to invite him for a friendly discussion concerning Tredozio, rural areas, and the pleasures and the hardships of living there. As expected, our conversation ended up with new, wider questions. What does it mean to detach from urban commodities, habits and behaviours? Could this detachment represent an opportunity to re-think ways of living? How could we build a living and creative environment as a way to enable temporary living forms? With these questions in mind and the warm support from Lorenzo, I started my path to the conceptualisation of possible, temporary living forms and environments for Tredozio, and me. On one side, I had to get into the territory, understand the local specificities and inherit the current social and cultural conditions. On the other side, I had to relate to this new environment as a hypothetical future inhabitant, projecting my habits, aspirations and practices into a rural, decentralised dimension.

2020-12-20[modifica]

A Liminal Space[modifica]

While reading “Global Tools 1973–1975. When Education Coincides With Life”, I encountered the term “Habitat”, and I wrote it in my notebook. The context in which Global Tools was born is that of the years of lead and the energy crisis of the early 70s, years in which terror in Italy has been experienced on the streets, fomented by extremist factions both on the right and on the left. The students’ uprisings, with their failure and the consequent return to order within Italian universities, denote in the Global Tools a tendency in researching and experimenting “with extra-institutional spaces of learning”. Ultimately arriving “at the creative strategy of producing liminal spaces, breaking away from established and regulated environments associated with the acquisition of knowledge.” A liminal space denotes a place of transition, a season of waiting, and often not knowing.