In this period of forced confinement for many due to the COVID-19 crisis, we decided to launch an exercise called “participatory lithology”. The driving motivation is to catch several birds with one stone: tidying up our collections, engaging people at home with a constructive and concerted online activity, and suggesting to our audience miscellaneous information on our region, as well as potential way to make a better use of the collections after the participatory exercise. This type of format is not new for the our team: since 2007 we have been working internationally on a diverse range of similar activities related to culture, environment, and open innovation, using various facilitating media. Among these, music remains our preferred one, and we have the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band, launched in 2018, representing our dedicated “division” for live performances, thematic playlists, and more music-related ideas to set the mood for our initiatives. Starting from activities we were, in fact, designing in the weeks before the emergency, we tuned them to the topic of geology, and triggered a brainstorming and casting exercise on March 15. This led to identify in a few days an initial set of resources: five mineral collections in Tatti, Southern Tuscany (the project home base), four chartered geologists around Italy, and an opening playlist of songs mentioning rock or stones: two in Italian and two in English. On March 21 we launched the project in a public pilot phase, and we are now rolling: the collectors are gradually taking shots of their samples (around 200 photo samples as a first batch), following indications by two professional photographers who live in the village; the geologists are starting to examine the samples, and other classifiers are expressing their interest; musicians and music fans are proposing songs, either to compose playlists which are broadcast daily to our audience, or to launch actual performances related to the project.
Classifying rock samples from domestic collections, connecting citizens and chartered geologist with a cool soundtrack as a backdrop.
How to participate
People can join in one of four roles: collectors, classifiers (reserved to chartered geologists), entertainers, and sponsors. The project web page provides detailed instructions for all roles, and we are available at email@example.com for any clarification.
Collectors: camera (smartphone is sufficient), internet connection Classifiers: PC and internet connection Entertainers: musical instruments and internet connection Sponsors: it depends!