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ELENA MAZZI, Mass age, message, mess age, 2018

Title: Mass age, message, mess age
Artist: Elena Mazzi
Curator: Marcello Smarrelli
Trainer: Diego Agostini – Commitment
Company: Sole 24 Ore Business School
Number of participants: 15
Location: Milan
Year: 2018

Mass age, message, mess age is the title of the workshop organised by artist Elena Mazzi with a group of fifteen students of the Master’s Degree in Economy and Management of Art and Cultural Heritage of the Sole 24 Ore Business School, held at the Milan headquarters in via Monte Rosa. On this occasion, the Fondazione Ermanno Casoli foundation – which has been a partner of the Sole 24 Ore Business School for years – proposed Mass age, message, mess age, during which the participants, assisted by the curator and the company trainer, had the opportunity to experience the workshop carried out in the Elica company, which was at the base of the project that won the artist the 2018 Ermanno Casoli Prize. Indeed, the goal was to enable the students to have a training experience in a business environment, thereby analysing its contents and modalities.

The Mass age, message, mess age workshop, launched by the artist in 2015 as a work in progress to shed light on the dynamics underlying communication strategies, analyses in depth the transmission, reception, distortion and processing of messages. To do this, the students extracted words belonging to the everyday language of management from their own team building and classroom experiences in order to compile a glossary which would be used in a later moment. Once they had been divided into groups, they created devices that could facilitate or hinder verbal communication through the creative, albeit functional assembly of objects made of various materials, including recycled components of the devices that lie at the heart of Elica production: cooker hoods.

The chosen words and the resulting devices were used in a performance inspired by the game of Chinese whispers, which perfectly conveys how a message can be distorted, confused or interrupted.