Thomas Baldischwyler was born in Lage in the county of Lippe, Germany, in 1974. He graduated from the Hochschule für bildende Künste (University of Fine Arts) in Hamburg in 2006. Baldischwyler is an artist who works with many different media, including music, film and photography. He also explores such artistic techniques and genres like collage, reverse glass painting and installation, adapting his working methods to fit the subject and context. Baldischwyler focuses on how events from cultural history act as reference points that help us to understand the subjective structural conditions of “written” history. He has been awarded several prizes and scholarships, including the artist-in-residence grant awarded by the Philipp Otto Runge Foundation and the Westfälische Kunstverein Münster advancement award. He also founded his own artist’s record label Travel By Goods in 2010. In addition to regular exhibitions in Hamburg, where he lives today, Baldischwyler’s works have been shown in cities like Berlin, Basel, London, Guadalajara and, most recently, at the Düsseldorfer Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen.
The annual edition (Jahresgabe) that Baldischwyler created especially for the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof consists of three parts. The first is a variation of the cover for the single “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” by the British pop band The Cure in which he made a three-colour risograph print on A3 sized paper (11.69 x 16.54 inches) on which he sprayed another colour with an airbrush. The second part includes a seven-inch record with a three-minute audio recording of the last steps of production of this work. On the visual level, the word “Jumping” from the song’s title is replaced by “Bombing”, turning “Jumping Someone Else’s Train” into “Bombing Someone Else’s Train”, which in sprayer slang means spraying over or “crossing” another graffiti. On the audio level, Baldischwyler captures the last step of his working process – spraying the risograph – in which he imitates the sound of a train with the airbrush gun. The premise was to spray each edition for the running time of a seven-inch dubplate, which is three minutes. (Note: dubplates are individually manufactured records that can be played on a record player, but instead of being pressed in vinyl, they are cut onto an aluminium plate that is coated with a more sensitive material.) The third part of his annual edition consists of a photocopy on regular copy paper of the original lyrics to “Jumping Someone Else's Train” by Robert Smith.
In 2015, Thomas Baldischwyler participated in the project Recordings at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof. Recordings is phonographic library of historical and current audio releases made primarily by visual artists that are accessible to the public. Other contributors to the phonographic library include Apparent Extent, Archive Books, Katja Aufleger, Oliver Augst, Thomas Baldischwyler, Stefan Beck, belleville Verlag, Nika Breithaupt, Brigade Commerz, BQ, Corvo Records, Edition Block, Edition Fieber, EN/OF Editions, Flipping the Coin, Gruenrekorder, Detlev Hjuler, Armin Hundertmark, ImageMovement, Infinite Greyscale, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Käthe Kruse / Die Tödliche Doris, Felix Kubin, Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.V., Kunstverein St. Pauli, LTM Recordings, Mathew Gallery, Michaela Melián, Mmodemm, Monika Enterprise, NYT, OAE, PAN, Picture/Disk, Pork Salad Press, Pudel Produkte, Sammlung Hasenbein, Sleeperhold Publications, Test Centre, The Vinyl Factory, Whatness, Klaus Weber, Weserburg Studienzentrum für Künstlerpublikationen, and Adrian Williams.