Category Archives: Senza categoria

P.E.L.P. ep. 6: Participatory Lithurgy?

If you have no more than four minutes for the network today, please be sure to reach the end of this paragraph. You are invited to check out the the latest single (in the sense that the performer recently became single) by the Jug Band Colline Metallifere (i.e. Metalliferous Hills Jug Band). The video was produced in social distancing mode with lyrics written as an input to the online conference on work and environment hosted on May Day by an association based in Roccatederighi, Southern Tuscany. The song represents a debate between a city (e.g. Milano, Italy) dweller with prejudice towards rural areas, and a member of an “indigenous community” (e.g. Roccatederighi) with prejudice towards urban areas. The track is also available on Bandcamp. The lyrics are in Italian, but the video is subtitled in English. …one minute gone…click here for the video (2’59”).

If you are in for a coffe break, please read on, with a summary of events and output from the network + Jug Band Colline Metallifere from Apr. 25 through May 1. If you are curious about the recall to “lithurgy” …it was an miscommunication issue with a potential client, given the bad quality of mobile coverage in the Metalliferous Hills (when I told him “Participatory Lithology” he understood “Participatory Lithurgy”)….

PLEASE NOTE: not all the articles mentioned below are yet translated into English. We strive to keep all our content available in Italian and English, as a minimum, but the pace of events in the past weeks is making this difficult. If you would like to help as a translator for the network + Jug Band Colline Metallifere, please write to

Concerning Participatory Lithology, the event for the presentation of the PL prototype is confirmed, with date t.b.d. between Fri. 15 and Sat. 16, May. The event will be online. By May 9 we will provide detailed information about speakers, performers, bonus content, and whatnot.

For more information and booking: or +393317539228 (SMS or whatsapp)

This is the first sample for Participatory Lithology coming from the Farma Valley (the place where many projects started, since 2007).
Singers from Split, Croatia, are one of the cornerstones for the Jug Band Colline Metallifere
One of the disciplines launched Mauro Tirannosauro, and now trending in the Metalliferous Hills (where normally red wine is the fluid of choice, when not water)
This is an article which was beer-reviewed by Mauro T., and sent for peer review during the past week to about 50 senior researchers around the globe (feedback from the researchers is gradually arriving and we will summarise it by mid-May).
elaborations on the Italian hashtag launched at the beginning of phase 1 (“io resto a casa”….”I am staying at home”)

30.4 nuova edizione dell’articolo Poeti estemporanei sardi e toscani dalla nonna Andreina a Scansano (GR), del 30.4.2011, arricchito con un vero e proprio racconto musicato.

On Apr 30, a significantly edited version of the story about improvised Sardinian and Tuscan poets in Grandma Andreina’s living room in Scansano was provided. The story now also includes links to various songs from Sardinia.

Mauro Tirannosauro is on the loose.
yet another variation of #iorestoacasa
An announcement by Mauro T. in the “Lost and found” section

The network, by year and month:

The network, by year and month


Eccovi una sorta di “sintesi temporale” del numero di articoli presenti nel blog della rete Alcune note:

  • Per ciascun mese e anno le barre colorate vi danno un’idea del movimento.
  • Cliccando su un “mese-anno” verrete portati all’elenco corrispondente degli articoli.
  • Nel marzo 2019 abbiamo avviato il sito della Jug Band Colline Metallifere (ci serviva un sito separato perché parte dei contenuti sono in tedesco). Le attività che svolgiamo sono comunque combinate, per cui dal 2019-03 in poi il numero di articoli per mese viene sommato, e potete andare al blog di un sito o dell’altro.
  • Nei blog si sommano fatti ed eventi legati alla rete, segnalazioni, e schede che possono essere riferite anche o alla “loro data” (ad esempio l’anno di pubblicazione di un libro), o alla data in cui l’oggetto è stato “censito” nella rete. Via via ragioniamo sul modo migliore per rappresentare questi dati, e ci piacerebbe averli più ordinati, ma per ora, considerate le risorse in campo, si fa così. Se siete interessati a contribuire a migliorare questo aspetto della rete, scrivete a

A playlist for a group of colleagues eating fish le mercredi soir

This was a playlist which I proposed via email to colleagues of the LoNNe Network at the end of our management committee meeting in Toulouse, France. Among other parts of the story I remember: having a very bad cold on the last day, thus cancelling the “BMP interview” with one of the project members; street musicians which I recorded on video, proposing a place with live music for dinner in the first evening.

On this first-evening dinner…the place was a kind of tex-mex restaurant serving huge portions, and extremely noisy. The recommendation for the restaurant came from the receptionist of a hotel next to where I was staying. I recall walking with the workshop participants at least twenty minutes out of the city centre, and that when we reached the place some folks decided not to have dinner there. (TO BE EXPANDED..if you would like more details now, please write to

The second evening there was another social dinner, which was in a fine place and was a fish restaurant. I recall either not being able to reach the place since during day 2 of the workshop I had a rapidly worsening cold, or having to leave before the end…the day after I sent to the colleagues who were there an email with some musical recommendations, inspired by the dinner conversations (so I must have been there for some time):

  1. Alan Sorrenti, Figli delle stelle (Star children), Italy 1978
  2. Daniele Silvestri, Salirò (I will rise), Italy 2002
  3. The Who, The Seeker: a tune about research. UK, 1971
  4. The Guess Who, American Woman: Live in Winnipeg full version (14’…if you are familiar with the Lenny Kravitz cover, you will recognize this from minute 6. Please see also the real thing in Canada 1970.
  5. Last but not least, another song about “uprising”…Ana Carolina, TÔ SAINDO. In addition to an amount of energy which exceeds the sum of all the songs above, this has a peculiar mix (or today we would say “mashup”) with the chorus from Help by the Beatles (Help – I need somebody becomes Help – Eu preciso sambar… I need to do samba). Brasil 1999


TBT TBM. the step after #IorestoaCosa

Il lancio della campagna per l’aumento delle tesi di archeologia in provincia di Grosseto (#ioRestoaCosa) non è stato vano. Grazie al sistema di trasferimento delle menti, è stato intercettato da alcuni amici sardi che hanno una stazione di ascolto a Capo Marrargiu. Solo che nella trasmissione è saltato qualche bit, e quindi loro hanno recepito “io resto a Bosa“.

E’ un po’ che non ci passo, e chissà se dopo il ponte,a destra scendendo verso, sud c’è sempre “La Farmacia dei sani” (un’enoteca).

Per altre informazioni Booking:

Sharing the Perception of Credibility in Participatory Investigation

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31544.90884

Recommended soundtrack: Everything is everything.

This is the elaboration of a draft presented live at Noisy-Champs, France, in February 2019. This “live poster” was proposed as a way to formalize a method to share the perception of credibility in participatory investigation.

A full report of the workshop where this poster was presented is here. The report includes the poster, but it might help to add that it was part of the discussion on “trajectories of participatory investigation”. The poster was drafted in about 15 minutes, while other working table rapporteurs were presenting the results of other sub-groups.

The method presented in this poster was considered original and innovative by the participants who provided feedback (in a group of about 25 people, with various roles in research and management of organisations working if the cultural or in the scientific sector).

The full poster is visible in the header of this article, and it is re-pasted at then end. Below we review its various parts.

please note: Examples made in the article are fictional, but inspired by various cases observed working in interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder projects since 1994. The article has been beer reviewed by various collaborators of the network, and has been accepted for publication on the blog on April 27, 2020.

Acknowledged authors are Andrea Giacomelli (, C. Van Reeth, A. Vargiu, N. Zimmermann. The sketch on the right indicates seats at the discussion table during the last of three break-out sessions. CG is Claudia Goebel, the facilitator.
Let us also assume that investigation and participation ability are “orthogonal” (i.e. the perfect investigator is the worse “participator”).

Let us identify two actors. An investigator (I) and a “participator” (P).

Typical investigators are researchers, academics, etc.

Typical “participators” are people who are able to engage other people in coordinated activities. Could be the creator of a rock band, the coach of a village sports union, or the manager of a large event (e.g. an international summit).

We can represent the magnitude of their capability on an axis. The orientation of the axes and the intersection point is to be confirmed (rotate the screen as you see fit)

Examples of “capability” on P and I axes:

  • a “zero” Investigator: somebody who does not have a clue about the topic of the investigation
  • Investigators with increasing capability: they work on it. At their maximum, they will become Nobel prizes, or have equivalent recognition in their field.
  • a “zero” participator : someboedy ho never even invited two friends for a drink
  • High-level participators: all greato politicians, Hugh Hefner, etc.

We may also decide if these axes should have an origin on zero, or if negative values should be allowed. If not, how could we represent investigation activities which after years have not produced tangible results at any level of society? And how should we position subjects who discourage relations among people?

We introduce the concept of credibility.

Credibility must be referred to somebody who perceives it. CP is the credibility perceived by the “participator”; CI is the credibility perceived by the investigator.

The credibility perceived by someone needs to be about something. CP(P) is the credibility of the participator as perceived by him/herself. CP(I) is the credibility of the investigator as perceived by the participator. etc. for CI(I) and CI(P).


There is an outreach meeting where researchers propose a participatory investigation activity to be launched in new region. The researchers are explaining the rationale of this effort, and providing some introductory background.

  • CI(I): I work for a big research institution. Hence, I am a good researcher. I will enlighten this community with my knowledge. They need us.
  • CP(I): These guys should spend more time working at construction sites. I can’t understand a work they are saying.
  • CP(I): Hey, these guys come from a university. They must be professors. I will do anything they say because I am a farmer and I don’t have a degree. (while in fact they are PhD candidates on their second year, replacing the actual professor because he had an schedule conflict with a tennis game with his pal).
  • CP(P): My father and my grandfather have been on this land, taking water from that stream. We know how it works. Why do we need a “hydrogeologic model” (did I spell it right?)

These statements are fictional…but not far from reality (based on 25 years of attending events with different stakeholder groups in the same room).

There are of course a lot of cases which are less negative, and very much reasonable. But it helps to highlight the “bad cases”.

Willing “to go for a” or “by” Little Feat?

Having introduced these concepts…. A prerequisite condition is that there needs to be a will to start a participatory investigation effort. In absence of this, no need to go further.

Assuming there is a will to start a PI activity, before anything else P and I need to agree on the perception of credibility in its combinations: CP(P) needs to reasonably match CI(P) and CP(I) needs to reasonably match CI(I)

The matching process needs to happen…

  • …in a finite time (and using a finite amount of resources)
  • …with time and resources on a magnitude order lower than the expected joint effort.

Examples of “perception matching” efforts environments of different magnitude: an aperitif (to decide where we should have a pizza for dinner), a half-day meeting (before launching a utility survey involving subcontractors for two months)…etc.

At the end of our credibility perception matching phase…will P&I agree?

NO. IF P and I do not agree, i.e. CP(I) and CI(I) and/or CP(P) and CI(P) are very different, two two scenarios are possible: (1) the “reasonable path” and (2) the “You’ve got it comin'”.

The “reasonable path”. P&I can agree that when they met was not a good moment and/or setting to trigger a joint effort. They might want to wait and try again in the future. Or they might decide that they have no mutual interest to collaborate in the future. There will be a “no go” by at least one of the two parties (and, as in every relationship, there will always be one with a stronger “no go”). This can be declared more or less graciously.

Gracious “no go”:

[Rainy day – Living room – Franco Califano is on TV. Joe is casually flipping the pages of “Participatory Investigation and Country” Magazine. Phone rings. Joe answers]

Jane: Hi Joe
Joe: Hey Jane, what’s up?
Jane: Remember you invited me to go to the movies to see The Revenge of the Killer Chihuahua and of the Zombies?
Joe: Yep, I got two tickets already. Pick you up at 8…right…?
Jane: Well…you know…I got a really bad headache…maybe next week, ok?
Joe: Jane…that’s fine
Epilogue: Jane goes out with Jack, to see the Palla a 21 from Tuscany to Chicago documentary, and Joe stays at home, watching repeats of Space 1999.

Less gracious “no go” (video example)

The “You had it coming” scenario

…there can also be the case that, in spite of no matching of credibility perception, P&I decide to proceed anyway with the participatory investigation effort. Examples of considerations :

  • Hey, we got the funds, anyway.
  • Well, I’m not really sure these guys can develop this app, but Roger who is the CTO of a large company told me they’re ok, so they must be ok

In this case, the participator and the investigator have it coming, and they have a shared responsibility in one of these possible situations

The investigation starts. Things will go smooth until they go smooth. But, as in any human activity, issues are bound to happen. At this point, in absence of shared credibility perception, other factors will come into play

  • hope (the conclusions of the meeting were not really convincing, let’s hope next time it’s going to be more productive, and that it doesn’t rain during the social dinner)
  • re-enforced hierarchy (I am the project coordinator and I have two PhDs and I am the chair of a committe of an international organization, so you do what I say)
  • amplified prejudice + trust breach (I remember this guy didn’t feel like he was a good surveyor…well, surely he cooks really bad as well)
  • when hope fails… faith (Oh mighty Belushandir, lord of all participatory investigation activities, please make our report be delivered on time)

Hopefully, instead, the Participator and the Investigator will find a joint credibility perception condition.

How can this be confirmed? Well…it may not be simple to define it analytically, but there are lots of proxies: emails being answered within 48 hours (rather than 4.8 weeks), capability of greeting your counterparts with a good feeling, willingness to meet again, etc.

At this point, the joint participatory investigation effort should be started ASAP.

The credibility perception should also be conveyed to other stakeholders: issue a joint press release in all languages involved by your project; write a four-hand article (but not for a journal requiring one year for the review process); write it on the walls.

The whole thing should be re-assessed periodically, especially for PI efforts spanning over six months.

The DITOs project, Claudia Goebel, Colangelo.

This article is published under a still-to-be-defined-but-it’s-going-to-be-open licence.

Putting it together again:

Comments and booking:

Hints from the archive for your extended home stays

While Tender by Blur plays…

It’s not going to be on par with a virtual visit to the New York MOMA, nor with some free movie streaming release, or other offers that many renown sites are proposing in these days. Still…since they gave us a bit more time at home, here is what you may find in the archive, and you might indeed discover some food for thought and/or entertainment.

This site is mainly focused on documenting the activities of an interdisciplinary network in the promotion and protection of lesser known assets in the areas of culture, environment, and open innovation. Geographically it ranges currently from Abu Dhabi to San Francisco, California from East to West, and from Matera, Italy, to Edinburgh, Scotland, to the North, with a core of work in Southern Tuscany. You can also find here a partial list of folks and organisations which in time have collaborated, or are currently collaborating).

In the “News” section of the web site there are around 1550 articles. Most of these are available in Italian and English. Perusing a list of 1500 articles is not an interesting option, even if these were about top models, so here are some “thematic” entry points:

  • 123 original videos (corresponding to around 12 hours of screening time)…from casual micro-movies to fully edited documentaries). We also have a couple of dozens of videos on the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band (these are mostly, but not only, musical videos)
  • 151 photos of peculiar situations or places
  • 136 Excellent Tuscan recipes by Aunt Eda. These are currently available only in Italian, but they are really good and might motivate you to improve your Italian language skilles.
  • 306 branobags (this was a daily blog column which I curated between 2012 and 2016 with one song, lyrics translations and more)
  • 176 between articles and interviews about project we have been running since 2007 with whoever wants to run them with us.
  • Some seventy items in our Stuff-o-theque . In this “forced confinement” period we are populating this with ten “items” per day, including vinyls, books, magazines, press clippings, and other miscellanea.
  • Etc. etc. . In the right side of the web site you can read all the categories.

Enjoy your online explorations, and if you liked, or disliked, a particular article, please do let us know (

Article header picture: Ladybirds keeping warm in the Farma Valley, 2013

Stuff-o-theque Miscellanea

Stuff not covered by other categories (currently vinyl and press): souvenirs, sensors, tools, instruments, etc. Dated sometime between the second half of the 20th century and today.

The game

Palla 21, also known as Palla Eh!, is an ancient game played in a few (currently six) small villages in Southern Tuscany, Italy. Documented traces of games practically identical to Palla 21 in Italy are dated to the 16th century, while it is suspected that the origin of these games goes further back in time.

The game is in fact part of a wider family of handball games. More renown variants include Valencian pelota from Spain, the Dutch Kaats, the Belgian Balle Pelote, or Pallone Elastico in Piedmont, Northern Italy, not to mention other pelota games in Latin America.

The rules of Palla 21/Palla Eh! are quite complex, and the best way to get into the game is actually to attend a match with mentoring by one of the senior players. This has also the advantage of appreciating the full context for the game, where the spectators are also an element in the game (figure 1).

Some key information

  • the game is played by two teams of five
  • the ball, which is hand made, has a diameter of approximately 4 cm and a weight between 35 and 40 grams (figure 2)
  • there is no standard field. Each village has a space where the game is played -normally the main square- with different characteristics. The resulting field, in any case, has a rectangular shape (around 30×150 feet, at least – see photo 3 for Torniella). Any natural or artificial element of the square is part of the game: i.e the ball can bounce on walls, roofs, drive through tree canopy, and still be valid.
  • the ball is hit alternately by the two teams, and can be hit back as long as it bounces once (at the most), like tennis
  • Also the scoring system is just like tennis (15,30,40,advantage, game, set). Each set counts a score of 7, and three sets make 21, which leads to win an inning. The match is won with two innings out of three.
  • the game starts by serving. Service always takes places from the same side, so the teams switch sides as needed. The service, called “mando”, is a very scenic part of the game and not all players have the technical skills and ability to serve
  • points are scored when one side is not able to hit the ball back, either because the ball bounces in the field and then gets out of reach, or because of fouls (e.g. if the ball is hit back with any part of the body except the palm of the hand, if two players of the same team hit the ball one after the other, etc.)
  • the peculiarity of the game is that there is no pre-defined mid field. The midfield line is set by stopping the ball after it has bounced twice at any moment of the game. In the spot where the ball has been stopped, a marking will be made -known as “caccia”- normally with chalk. At the end of a tournament, the field is scattered with lines.

    This action is repeated twice. In the process of defining these two lines, points can still be scored, as the teams may still lose points if the ball goes out of the sides, or is hit irregularly.
  • once the two midfield markings are defined, the teams will switch sides. In this phase of the game, in addition to the previous systems, the points will be assigned by playing using the “cacce” as the midfield. The point will be lost if the ball stops after the second bounce on “your” side of the field. Once a point is made in relation to a “caccia”, the line will be erased, and the game will continue, proceeding to define the next pair of lines.
  • The duration of a match is extremely variable, as there is no tie break. Also, there is no referee on the field, so any dispute is managed by all of the players
  • While the competition on the field can get fierce, all tournaments will end with celebrations and partying where the same teams get together, so the game is also a great opportunity for the village communities to meet and have a good time
  • Tournaments take place normally from mid-July through September.

For a more formal description of the rules (in Italian): wikipedia.

Where is the game played?

The game is currently played in six tiny villages of Southern Tuscany, about 100 km South of Florence, in the areas of Siena and Grosseto (mostly Grosseto). In alphabetical order: