Narrative cycle tourism: we can define the one proposed with Cyclodrama, a project of the Pergine Spettacolo Aperto Festival that transforms a path for bicycles, such as that of Valsugana, into an experience of culturally augmented reality. Klaus Saccardo, the creator, with an ad hoc application, via smartphone and headset, has decided to allow cyclists from Valsugana to immerse themselves in "tales and stories capable of intertwining with the landscape itself and dynamically changing, interactively accompanying the lived experience".
1) Ciclodramma: what is it about?
It's a narrative reinterpretation of the landscape, a project of “culturally” augmented reality. Who wants to travel the Valsugana cycle path at the same time he will be able to enjoy an extraordinary panorama and immerse himself in tales and stories capable of intertwining with the landscape itself and dynamically changing, interactively accompanying the lived experience. All thanks to a widely used technology: a smartphone with a pair of headphones. Through a specially created application that uses the integrated GPS, the cyclodrama adapts to the surrounding environment and travel conditions, in constant dialogue with the cyclist's experience. It is an interactive landscape dramaturgy project, which combines a cultural operation of sustainable tourism with territorial marketing.
2) Who created it? How did the idea come about?
The project was born from a reflection of myself and of Cristina Pietrantonio, respectively artistic director and responsible for the events of the Pergine Festival Open Show, on new ways to bring the public closer to cultural fruition. We have identified the elements that characterize the place where we operate and the tourist offer and the idea was born of collecting narrative creations related to the territory and the landscape, combining them with a rapidly evolving sector such as cycle tourism. The project was preceded by a memorandum of understanding between the major subjects dealing with culture in the area, including Bassano Opera Estate, Arte Sella, Pro Marostica and Pergine Spettacolo Aperto itself.
3) What are the characteristics of the Valsugana slope? Why this choice?
There Valsugana cycle path it's a 80 km equipped route, easily accessible, with a great landscape impact, which unites Trentino with Veneto. The choice of this route depends on the historical link of the festival with its territory with a strong tourist vocation, where the offer linked to cycle tourism represents an element of great appeal both nationally and internationally. Given the large catchment area of the cycle path, the idea is to create a formidable virtuous circle for which the cultural operation goes to meet an already present and numerous public, thanks to an equipped tourist offer, adding an innovative cultural value and one of a kind.
4) What kind of content will be heard? How did you collect and select them?
The application will allow access to literary and dramaturgical creations closely linked to the territory, the landscape, its historical and cultural resources. The collection and drafting of the literary and dramaturgical contents is currently underway. In addition to collecting what has already been written (for example, Robert Musil wrote some beautiful texts about this valley during his period of stay during the First World War), we created a notice that was disseminated among the alumni of the School of Arts Drama Paolo Grassi of Milan, for the creation of original dramaturgies. Furthermore, our partner in the Arte Sella project is setting up contacts with the Holden School of Turin.
5) How does the story dynamically change? How is GPS used?
This is the point of innovation of the project, which places the experience halfway between the individual enjoyment typical of literature and the collective one of the cultural event. Once the profile of the cyclist (occasional, e-biker, expert, etc.), when traveling the cycle path the application recognizes speed, position, direction, climatic conditions. The evolution and development of the story, its rhythm and narrative style will depend on the combination of these variables. All this is possible thanks to the close link between the narratives and the landscape being drafted and their knot structure.
6) What reaction do you expect from cyclists? Is sustainable tourism an incentive?
The cycling tourism in Valsugana it is a rapidly growing sector and currently represents the second tourist offer in the area, with a significant inducement for the entire valley. In 2009 there were 90 thousand presences for about 160 thousand total passages. It makes use of an equipped infrastructure and an efficient transport network. Through this project, culture is transformed into a real territorial marketing operation, without losing quality. The possibility of enjoying cultural products linked to natural, historical and landscape elements, linked to a healthy activity such as cycling, makes the Ciclodramma a meeting point among the most virtuous experiences allowed by leisure. His ability to narratively interact with the environment transforms the landscape into a sort of hypertext, which can be opened, offering new possibilities of knowledge for the reference community.
7) Can Ciclodramma be replicated on other paths? Such as?
The path of Cyclodrama it is unrepeatable and exclusive, but its replicability is potentially infinite, just as the possibility of developing and growing with the introduction of new themes is potentially infinite. Even if the formula was born thinking of a specific environment and with contents strictly linked to this environment, it is however possible to use the same platform for other paths by creating ad hoc contents, attentive to the specificities of the place, potentially in every situation of cyclopist.
Thanks to the application, any path can become culturally relevant. Reproducibility is therefore absolute, but at the same time it requires a careful study of the territory and its specificities. We have had several informal requests on how to replicate the operation in other contexts, at the moment we are concentrating on the realization of our project, only later will we begin to reflect on how to extend the operation to other contexts.