Safety for fleas

Micro-performance in a box by Chiara Trevisan

for one spectator at a time, on the topic of safety at work

GENESIS – Safety and communication

A suggestion from Mr Giuseppe Amaro (GAE Engineering, Torino) led to this experimental performance in a box on the topic of safety at work. The Safety Box is part of an articulated project commissioned by Mr Amaro and the Porta Nuova – Garibaldi construction site in Milan, and it was developed with the Torino-based Avventura Urbana office (architects, urban planners, communicators, etc. experts in participatory design and creative management of territory-based public policies and private initiatives).

The main messages to convey were selected through field research and by analysing the main building site risks and their communication issues. The language of the theatre was chosen, an unusual strategy for the construction world, to convey safety-related messages to industry professionals and to the general public. Lastly a different setting to a conventional theatre or public space was chosen for both the content and the container: a construction site. The ironic language and an thrill-based attitude to safety are a novel way for clients to deal with and provide for their workers’ wellbeing.


The performance is set up for the audience in a box that looks like a shed, and it consists in a personal guided tour (one spectator at a time) of the construction site in which the fleas of a renowned Circus are building their house. Outside the box each spectator has an information panel that describes the areas of the site that can be toured. Each area is matched to an item of personal protection equipment (helmet, mask, harness, eyewear). The spectator chooses an area to visit, he/she is provided with the appropriate personal protection equipment, and is seated on a box in front of the eye-piece. He/she also wears hearing-protection headphones (that actually contain the stereo system) and watches the micro-performance in the box with the assistance of a flea-guide. The performances last 4 minutes at most and the topics, all developed with a sense of humour and irony, are selected together with the client.

The Safety Box was produced by GAE Engineering
with the collaboration of
Associazione C’era l’acca (as part of the ViceVersa project sponsored by the Piedmont Region)

The IN-SICUREZZA project and the Safety Box were presented and discussed in February 2010 during a seminar “Les artistes parlent aux artistes” organised in Neerpelt (BE) by IN SITU(European network for creation in public areas).

Box Guido Bertotti
Technical support Andrea Giuliani
Graphics and images Andrea Bertotti
Sound Fabio Viana
Music Kevin MacLeod


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