Heute früh stand ich auf aus meinem Bett und ging, ich fühlte mich tatsächlich so wie gesteuert, ans Fenster und schaute in den immer gleich grünen Baum. Das war um 4 Uhr, 56 Minuten. Mir war der Satz eingefallen (oder aufgegangen), mit dem ich den Text für das Buch über Emoji anfangen muss, damit das einen Sinn ergibt. Der hatte mit Arles zu tun, mit den weissen Pferden der Camargue, mit den Flamingos. Und vor allem natürlich mit Beda, denn ich befinde mich ja noch immer in seinem Denksystem. Vor über einem Jahr hat er mir zugeworfen «Du hast natürlich überhaupt keine guten Ideen. Aber: Wenn ich Dir sage, worüber Du nachdenken sollst, hast Du natürlich die allerbesten Ideen!»

On Beda

He’s not wearing a watch. That seems important to me, because Beda is Swiss. And he seems bigger to me in my memory than he actually is when I meet him again. In my memory Beda is about Kirchturmhoch. A friendly giant. We have known each other for more than twenty years, and I can’t remember any meeting where Beda didn’t have to laugh when I told him something to laugh about. And that is, above all his ability: Beda can be inspired. He craves it. I could imagine that there might be people who imagine something that leaves him cold. But he never tells me about them. But always the same about those he thinks are great; extraordinary!

I usually get his calls in the morning, around six. Then Beda joggs through the linden woods on Züriberg, greets the deer sideways and tells the world his feelings of embracing the world.

I can count myself lucky to belong to this circle of the rung.

As already often described, Beda works in his studio on an immense desk, the wooden top is custom made and about six meters long and very wide. This area is covered by a mountainous landscape of books and magazines. He does not use a computer. A tiny mobile (Nokia) is all he needs to call for input from the world outside his studio. Then he sits there, there is no door to this room, and yet you only go in when you are called by your last name and take notes by hand. For example, he keeps these legendary black folders in which he notes down ideas and tasks that he strokes out with a black paintbrush pen during completion or implementation in such a way that when an entire pad is completed, there are only black lines on the pages. As with Jenny Holzer. There’s a whole shelf of it in the adjacent storage room.

And therein lies, in order not to go into too much detail now: his principle. You can also try and write postcards to Beda. If he thinks they are perfect, he will find a place for them.

He lives in a way that has long been forgotten in this country. One could say: out of fashion. Beda lives like a prince. Once when we met for coffee early in the morning, he used his tiny telephone to steer his landlady through the weekly market. She then had to tell him by telephone what kind of vegetables he had on offer at which stand. And he then gave his placet based on her descriptions of tomato shapes. Thereupon we drove, he himself sat at the wheel, in his VW «Lupo» to the countryside to do our work.

Later in the evening the landlady had brought all the vegetables to a restaurant near the studio. They were prepared there. According to Beda’s specifications.

I could go into much more detail about the studio workflow now, but that would probably go too far; it would seem like a fantasy of a working world that no longer exists in this country—perhaps never existed before. It would be too much. And Beda himself would say: there’s not too much (in abundance)!

Sometimes I think of our age, how long we have known each other. I don’t know what I should do without him — though: I already know. But life wouldn’t be pretty anymore.