On June 20, 2018, the New Museum hosted a conversation between Thomas Bayrle and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, on the occasion of “Thomas Bayrle: Playtime,” the first major New York museum survey of work by the German artist.
Following this conversation, John Akomfrah and Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, discussed “John Akomfrah: Signs of Empire,” the first American survey exhibition of the work of the legendary British artist, film director, and writer.
“Thomas Bayrle: Playtime” brought together Bayrle’s works from the last fifty years, highlighting his experiments across media and his prescient commentary on the relationship between consumerism, technology, propaganda, and desire. One of the most important artists to have emerged during the West German economic boom in the 1960s, Bayrle has received belated recognition for his influential works and processes. Long before the advent of current visual technologies, he foresaw our digital reality, employing photocopy machines and other midcentury tools in his early works to create analog visualizations of what we now understand as digital culture. Bayrle’s thematic investigations have ranged from a visual analysis of mass culture and consumerism to reflections on the intersection of technology with global politics.