IO TE E IL MARE is an experimental residency were artists are invited to collaborate together, attempting to form interactions with the local context… often failing along the way.

IO TE E IL MARE 2012 based a group of artists, filmmakers, actors, curators and hangers on in a traditional farmhouse on one of Sicily’s most beautiful volcanic islands, Lipari. We had two weeks, no contacts and definitely no funds to make a Turbo Movie – Alterazioni Video’s scavenged form of filmmaking where actors, music, costumes are all bargained for and produced in situ. 

On Alterazioni Video’s suggestion, this Turbo Movie takes inspiration from Travolti da un insolito destino nell’azzurro mare d’agosto, or the less interestingly named Swept Away in English, by Lina Wertmüller. For those who haven’t come across the film, it has been described as, “one of the most misogynistic films ever to be made by a woman”. We were skeptical, we were. But lacking a better suggestion and too busy enjoying the local sweet wine Malvasia, we went along with it. This was to be a glorious collaboration with our group on the island and Alterazioni Video in New York holding daily skype chats, sending ideas and passing footage. Too much time in London and Milan, meant that even the rurally-reared amongst us neglected to consider the impossibly slow and sporadic internet connection that a small land mass in the Aeolian sea would have. This led to frustrations and accounts for the, perhaps confused, perhaps genius, pop-neo realistic aesthetic.

Inspired by Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gualtier advertising as well as the realer than real work of Pierre et Gilles, we set to work on making the film. In a parade of scooters we filmed wherever and whenever we could – the archaeological baths, the beach, marooned on rocks, on a local fishing boat, at the bar, in the shower.

Our savage, feisty fisherwoman hauls up in her net a dead sailor clinging to an inflatable dolphin. In love with the corpse, she performs a spiritual awakening in the cave where she dwells that prompts the sailor back to life – bursting the dolphin. Witnessed by a pair eyes glowing in the darkness, the fisherwoman runs to attack the intruder but finds herself confused and lost in the middle of a local procession. Trapped in her madness, she imagines an apparition of the sailor, covered in a glittering, golden sheen. Twirling and whirling in insanity she imagines that she marries this glitter marinero, the man of her dreams. Only on returning to the cave, the scene of their covetous interaction, does she realise that the sailor has disappeared, leaving nothing but the exploded dolphin in his wake.



(click on the picture to view the album)

IO TE E IL MARE has been working from our house in Piaconte, Lipari, within a horizontal framework to create and develop a script for a new Turbo Movie, as well as find locations, choose actors, search for props… and shoot the damn thing! This involves long discussions, many beers and the odd disagreement! We fed the shot footage and our ideas to Alterazioni Video in New York through the frustratingly stunted island internet connection. This provides a further layer to our collaborative process in which they comment on the work and provide new suggestions and direction in a “blind” distanced authorship that fuses with our hive activity. From this interaction our current neo-realistic pop aesthetic has been born… All hail the Dolce and Gabbana Glitter Marinero!

Just arrived on the Island, I met Maurizio the fisherman. He is the first local to join the “IO TE E  IL MARE” cause. Maurizio goes around the island with his popular van selling fish.. we will take some fish from you very soon, Maurizio!

Also, some other connections have been made in Messina, just a bit before I left to Lipari. So, the first to join us is Gianandrea Caruso, a 25 year old video-maker, then Giulia Giordano, an actress, author and activist. Finally, David R joined the team. David will be documenting the most significant moments of this adventure. Word of mouth has the power to quickly build up a strong team. IO TE E IL MARE is where contemporary art meets show business!

By the end of the day we all met up in Pianoconte.

After several plates of ‘ncaciata’, a full-bellied group at IO TE E IL MARE says good night until tomorrow!

Getting ready for IO TE E IL MARE! So.. list of things to put in my suitcase: a loud and unreasonable dress to make me look like a cartoon for Party Scenario, a good beach book that I can finish before my sunscreen wears off and a ear spray to survive from unplugged ears caused by too many deeps in the sea.. What else do I need?

Our New Neighbours. Lipari inhabitants, called Liparesi or Liparoti, are approximately 8980 in number and are located in the town of Lipari as well as in the small villages on the island: Canneto, Acquacalda, Quattropani and Pianoconte. Lipari was already populated in the last Neolithic age (3500-2000 B.C.), when people from Sicily created the so called “Stentinellian civilization”. They started the trade of obsidian in the Mediterranean.

Explosive origins. Like all the Aeolian archipelago – Salina, Vulcano, Panarea, Stromboli, Alicudi, Filicudi -, Lipari has volcanic origins. Between 160 thousand and 1340 thousand years ago 12 stratified volcanos came to life, among them Monte delle Felci, Timponi, Monte Rosa, creating the largest of the Aeolian archipelago’s islands.

The Castle. The Acropolis, named the Castle, represents the main focus of the historical centre. Neolithic populations from the first metal age, bronze age and Hellenistic age have been proven, through archaelogoical findings, to have settled within its walls.

Networking. Until the mid 900s the Laparoti farmed even the most inaccessible areas on the island: a tight network of paths emanating from inhabited areas criss-crossed over the Lipari’s surface. There were also minor roads and tracks which were used by numerous pumice workers to reach obsidian quarries. The arrival of tourism and the almost immediate abandoning of agriculture for other work, signalled the fall into disuse of most of these tracks. Their traces are hidden beneath the vegetation and can still be followed by foot.

Pianoconte and the Caolino quarries. Crossing the “O Castiddaru” vineyard, you reach the Caolino quarries. The “Cave di Caolino” are kaolinite quarries comprised of a thick series of interstratified pyroclastic beds, volcanic ashes and obsidian flows. Of particular interest are Tolos Miceneo, constructed 3,500 years ago, and the Roman swimming pool. Close to the quarry there is the small church from which you can take in a picturesque view of Salina, Alicudi, and Filicudi.

Blue Birds Over. Pomice is a porous volcanic rock that is predominant on Lipari. It forms expanses of white cliff from which characteristic piers stretch out into the sea. From here, the rock is transported onto large cargo ships and is taken around the world. The Spiaggie Bianche (White beach) is known to be one of Lipari’s most beautiful. It takes its name from the colour of the seabed, caused by deposits of pumice sediment falling into the sea over the years.


View also Caolino quarries video  and Trips by sea video