Claus Böhmler: Smart Artist, 2019
“Boehmler talks and drinks and eats and sounds and draws and thinks and hears and sees in the same moment.” (Michael Erlhoff)
The media artist Claus Böhmler was already “smart” when Steve Jobs was still working for Atari. Böhmler’s interests as an artist are not so much the development of algorithms as the practical use of typewriters, photocopiers, cassette recorders, record players, Super 8 films, cameras, radios, film or slide projectors, video, i.e. the media with which a maximum of art can be produced extremely economically and easily. Like drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics and performance, he uses them as a self-reflecting, intermedial, communicative invitation.
His work, including the acoustic and cinematic, is presented in this book, pushed into one another as it unfolded next to one another on his large computer screen. Thus it goes page by page: in the constant alternation of all the media possibilities, metamorphoses, repetitions and differences that only Böhmler is capable of in his specific simultaneity of humour, irony, observation and politics. An album materializes that Böhmler presents to us.
Böhmler’s works are not driven exclusively by seeing and showing, but also by language, by language play and language renewal in rhythmic space. Here the visual aspect is intensified once again in the expansion of a thought space, the vastness of which can be guessed at in this album. The infinite Böhmler cosmos – anarchic, comic and never closed. And it is poetic, i.e. melancholic, fragile and mysterious, as René Descartes says on the telephone in the Böhmler tradition: “I think it’s me”.
This publication was initiated by Textem Verlag and was produced in close cooperation with Claus Böhmler, who developed the unique design of the pages in countless sessions with the technical support of Naho Kawabe. The result is a splendid, extremely lively and visually powerful examination of the artist’s life’s work by the artist. Claus died in 2017 when the book was ready for printing. It is his legacy. (Michael Glasmeier)