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Art Review: This Artist Foresaw Our Digital Future in a Meadow of Dandelions

In the digital fever dream of Thomas Bayrle’s work, pixelated pictures twist and bend and resolve into fuzzily warped images. Abstract films and videos pulse with psychedelic patterns. But if Mr. Bayrle’s art seems like the ultimate in early computer design, most of the 115 works in his first major New York retrospective, “Playtime,” at the New Museum, are actually handcrafted. Made over nearly 60 years, Mr. Bayrle’s work instead offers a window into digital thinking or, it could be said, how we got to where we are now.Consider this anecdote. Rather than taking the usual path through art school, Mr. Bayrle, now 80, started his career…

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