Norbert Bayer | 白宁瑞



Size: 203,5cm x 51,5cm, 1999
Material: Ministeck

Do It Yourself : Photoshop Un-Plugged

‘splashspleen’ is the last of a series of sampled images ‘translated to plastic’ by Norbert Bayer, using a children creativity game called ‘Ministeck’ originating somewhere in the 70′s, in which colored plastic pushpins are placed on a grid, creating a rough, ‘pixelized’ image.

As used to be mostly the case with the original ‘Ministeck’ hobby artists, Bayer chose a ready-made image to recreate, the image being no other than the title image (‘splash screen’ in software industry terms) of the known contemporary image manipulation tool for the masses, Adobe’s software environment Photoshop. This image, originally created by American computer artist Jeff Schewe, shows a professional 72mm lens, a flock of doves and a big blue eye in a golden frame. A composition that suggests the ‘perfect image’, and would do so also to audiences unfamiliar with the software itself.

This choice for ‘the image of imaging’ implies the tension of similarity and difference between content and form in the visual work: both ‘Ministeck’ and Photoshop are clear slates, ‘pixel boards’ for laying out any possible two dimensional images. Yet while Photoshop brings about ‘high-tech’ image creation, the ‘Ministeck’ recreation is ‘low-tech’ or rather ‘no-tech’ by nature. And when reproduced 1:1 on the ‘Ministeck’ grid, each screen pixel (the techno-term for picture-element) becomes one plastic element, and the original onscreen virtual image becomes a monumental ‘plastic painting’, physical and suitable to the earlier canvas restricted exhibition wall.

As an old wise Chinese once said:

“One picture is worth a thousand words”.
Yet digitally speaking, ‘splashspleen’ is precisely 60512 plastic-pixels worth.

Dominique Busch & Yariv Alter Fin