Mass Files

Art, Sound, Milano

Registration at the door
Limited capacity

Art, Sound

Registration at the door
Limited capacity

The event Mass Files is part of a new series of events at Istituto Svizzero, Milano, entitled STATE OF MIND/STATO D’ANIMO.

Starting in autumn 2020 we will retrace the state of the art, the world and the soul through a series of events, which include screenings, dialogues, listening and workshops. STATE OF MIND/STATO D’ANIMO is also nurtured by the recent experience of the pandemic and lockdown, which has taught us, among other things, that reading opens up to new worlds, that people can be close to each other even through the Zoom platform or that taking care of oneself and others is redeeming. Moreover, if on the one hand this period has allowed us to focus, once again, on ourselves, on the other hand it has sensitised our eyes to new and re-evaluated aspects of life: our state of mind and the state of the world. We reflect on the issues that concern us and to which we want to devote ourselves; on the things we can do and what we want to learn; we ask ourselves in what world we live in and under what conditions we want to work. We are convinced that art and culture are fundamental in this context, as they ask questions and provide food for thought.

STATE OF MIND/STATO D’ANIMO’s events are linked to the exhibition programme of Istituto Svizzero, and also draw on other themes. Participating artists and other actors from the art world to the project, come not only from Switzerland, but also from Italy and the rest of the world.

On February 25th and 26th Istituto Svizzero in Milano hosts Mass Files, an audio-visual installation and vinyl launch by artist Veronika Spierenburg in collaboration with designers Carla Peer and Karlis Krecers (AKA Shadow Brand®).

Mass Files is a critical examination of the sound of cities. From March 2020, curfews were imposed in several countries around the world. Perhaps, one of the most tangible effects of the virus on human and non-human life it has been a change in all our immediate soundscape. Mobility and industry have come to a sudden halt at the exact same time of an increase of a global high productivity. An unusual, at times uneasy calmness took over people all around the planet, often accompanied by sudden shifts of purposes as well as feelings of senselessness and renegotiation. However, in the wake of the pandemic a sense of global togetherness united us. After watching a film of a deserted beach in Rio de Janeiro in April 2020, the artist and the two designers created a project about sound during the time of lockdown. Exploring both the presence and absence of sound, Mass Files is a work in progress that collects a digital record of this auditory discrepancy and experience.

During the live event at the Istituto Svizzero, the sound recordings and photographs – from cities such as Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Tbilisi or Tehran – create a room-filling installation in which visitors can immerse themselves. The opening hours of the two-day event – from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – correspond exactly to the time period in which the recordings were made in the cities around the world.

The presented vinyl box is the result of the collaboration between Veronika Spierenburg and Carla Peer and Karlis Krecers (AKA Shadow Brand®). The box includes a selection of recordings and images as well as a text by theorist and historian Magaly Tornay. It can be purchased at the event and is available for pre-order here.



Veronika Spierenburg (b. 1981) is an artist who studied design at the Schule für Gestaltung in Basel, photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, and holds a Master in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She took part to several artist residencies internationally, and she won the Manor Art Prize in 2013.

Carla Peer and Karlis Krecers initiated the design studio Shadow Brand®. The duo collaborates in conceptual development, visual communication, web design and development. They work with clients, collaborators as well as an autonomous duo. Carla and Karlis are both trained at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and they live and work in Zürich. Shadow Brand® is currently in residence at the Zurich-based project space Longtang.


The project is supported by:
Pro Helvetia
Aargauer Kuratorium
Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung