With an Open Mind 01

The newspaper as a collective organ

It is rumoured that he was one of the designers of the RAF logo. He is now the first artist in a series initiated by the cultural foundation of the Deutsche Bank, the Alfred Herrhausen Society for International Dialogue and museum in progress – the German artist Thomas Bayrle, who today with his younger colleague Andreas Zybach, is responsible for the first of twelve autonomous page designs in Der Standard and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The artists to come in the series are not yet known; they will be chosen by a jury consisting of Kasper König, Daniel Birnbaum und Hans-Ulrich Obrist. 

Bayrle, who artistically reformulated computer aesthetics and nanotechnology as early as the 70s by combining numerous small motif cells into a single image, naturally conceives of the newspaper as an organic body. He understands the particularly characteristic layout – such as the temple entrance header of the Herald Tribune –as a "collective skeleton", as a façade, and in many works makes a connection to architecture. Similar design elements are to be found in the book published by Walter König in December 2001 "The New York Layout", in which Rem Koolhaus and Hans-Ulrich Obrist interview the architect Philip Johnson.

On page 3 he mirrors the Standard Report page and intervenes in the design of the "choreography of the newspaper" which – as Der Standard has done since its foundation in 1989, organised by Josef Ortner's museum in progress – uses "in-between-places" as temporary exhibition space. It is important to Bayrle that his work remains open to many interpretations: for example, what is in black can be seen as censorship but also as superimposed information. 

Bayrle evaluates the psychogram of the Standard layout "in a positive sense as something raw, robust", an organ in which the fluid is more important than the shape of the bottle.

(26-02-2002, Culture, p. 32)