Thomas Baumann - Michael Klaar

30.01.-30.03.2004 -00:30

The BIX façade is the permeable membrane of the Kunsthaus Graz, which conveys visual information to the external skin of the building. Between June 2006 and September 2006 it will communicate in and with the urban space with abstract images in rhythm to music.

Based on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier II, Fugue VII, the artist Thomas Baumann and the conductor Michael Klaar have cooperated in the creation of a singular work that relies on the course of the music to define the BIX light and media façade. Drawn from the language of music, the structure allows the various voices of alto, soprano, tenor and bass to flow into an image program that refers to the potential to transform the concept of a digital square, thus creating a kind of visual scale.

A key concept in art ever since Malevitsch, the black square has been attacked repeatedly and consistently examined in the course of the general questioning of the image in the 20th century. The bold architecture of the Kunsthaus Graz now breaks with this standard form of the right angle and takes its form, biomorphic and fitting into its surroundings, into the urban space. In his approach to the façade, Thomas Baumann works nonetheless with a square grid pattern, on the one hand creating a conflict and a visual dialogue with the round shape of the architecture and the light installation on the external skin; on the other hand, the visual score refers to the digital programming language used for the implementation and its most reduced form.

Underlying Baumann’s works is an intensive examination of electronically controlled processes that makes a winking reference to today’s faith in technology, but which does not combine into a superficial formulation; instead, it manages to involve current technology and the resulting strategies in an artistic practice. The dance of images that crystallizes out of the collaboration between the musician and the artist acts on the audience’s sense of time and turns the static architecture into a location of performative development, where space is perceptible in unison with time. As a result, Baumann’s work is not self-contained, but should be interpreted within a cycle of works: the Plot:Bach is also based on a machine – a plotter – that creates images according to a mathematical program.

Thomas Baumann’s work is the first large-scale configuration to be displayed by a fine artist on the façade. Carsten Nicolai and John deKron used it for the opening of the building within the context of a musical performance. In his work, Baumann draws in elements of a classical-modern image language with new forms of representation in order to generate his own language from it and to make precisely this connection understandable for the observer: over a period of two months, Plot:Bach will examine the principles and possibilities of the media façade and provides a sensually challenging narrative that constantly presents itself in new forms, whose language is the geometric shapes of the rectangle.

This makes Plot:Bach literally both a conspiracy with the architecture and also a story that employs the façade via image, rhythm and the resulting episodic development as an instrument of communication, thereby creating something like the first screenplay for the electronic skin of the building.

Thomas Baumann
born 1967 in Salzburg, lives in Vienna
1985-1992 Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (Max Melcher, Bruno Gironcoli)
1995-1996 Cité des Arts, Paris

Michael Klaar
born 1973 in Vienna,
lives in Vienna
studied piano and conducting in Vienna, Stockholm and Paris

DVD-Edition to be ordered at

Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9200


Opening Hours
01. January 2020 to 22. October 2020 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 5pm
23. October 2020 to 09. April 2021 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm
10. April 2021 to 31. October 2021 Mon-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm
01. November 2021 to 31. December 2021 Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm

Architecture tours
Until 04.10.2020 Tue–Sun 11 am (ger)
06.-22.10.2020 Tue–Sun 11, 2 pm, 3:30 pm (ger)
Guided Tours
From 25.10.2020 Sun and public holidays 11am (ger)
Times may vary. For specific dates, please visit our calendar.
Guided tours also on advance notice

Mon-Thurs 9am-11pm
Fri-Sat 9am-1am
Sun 9am-8pm
T: +43-316/714 957



26th October 2020
5th April 2021
24th May 2021
1st November 2021

24th/25th December 2020
1st January 2021 10am - 1pm
1st January 2021 5pm - 6pm
16th February 2021
24th/25th December 2021

Want to see what's happening on the BIX façade right now?
>>  follow this link to the Livecam​​​​​​​