As suspect as this wooden contraption may appear, it’s not full of attack soldiers — but rather it was recently being used as a vehicle for communication. This is Not a Trojan Horse traveled with artist Amy Franceschini and writer Michael Taussig around the Abruzzo region of Italy, serving as a message carrier between the traditional agricultural communities set in the mountainous Italian region.

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This is Not a Trojan Horse, Future Farmers, Nevada Museum of Art

The residents of each village along the “not-horse’s” path were invited to inscribe messages on the contraptions’ chalkboard interior. Communities reported to each other about crops, weather, recipes and local issues via the roving art installation.

Since the Abruzzo region is mountainous, the not-horse had to be transported on a flatbed truck between destinations. Upon its arrival, however, the sculpture became human-powered, pushed along by the artist and villagers.

In communities where traditional methods of farming are threatened by large corporate farms and industrial methods, the not-horse served as a cultural connection — it even had a “fan” who followed the installation from village to village!

Documentation and artifacts from This is Not a Trojan Horse are on display at the Nevada Museum of Art until March of 2012. The Museum also partly funded the project with its inaugural Artists|Writers| Environments grant.

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