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untitled (central part with rolling ball) (2001)
sand trace 152, 10x10in.


anne spalter, brown university, author of 'the computer in the visual arts' (2003): 'jean-pierre hébert art works are framework for meditation that takes the mind somewhere it otherwise cannot go. the philosophy and aesthetic of his work is informed by eastern practices, both spiritual and visual: the construction of mandalas, the japanese garden, and the goal of achieving the greatest impact with the maximum reduction of form or visual words. like such practices, the work is highly disciplined but it is from such relentless discipline that the spiritual element arises.

the works are drawings, graphite or ink on paper. they are created with the intermediation of the computer, used to express both the exactitude and complexity of the experiences. often the work has been termed computer art and thus confused with a host of image-making approaches that do not qualify as artwork or that are in pursuit of goals unrelated to his. i believe hébert would be making essentially the same work, perhaps not as effectively, if the computer had never been invented. he uses the computer, an icon of the modern age, to bring ancient thoughts into a format relevant to our time and place in history.

the use of simple curvilinear form maps out the space of the project and seems related to natural curved elements such as those created by water on a beach, wind on the desert sand, or the human body. with the logical calculations and highly accurate drawing abilities of computer-driven apparatus (which he often designs and assembles himself), hébert can take this language to new extremes, exploring ways of using these basic graphical elements which have not previously been investigated. the result is often sensual and draws the viewer in to experience a type of space at once ancient and highly modern, one that does not reject technology and progress but adapts it in pursuit of unchanging ideals.

the relationship to time in the pieces is paramount. they are slow. the viewer cannot take in the full effect in a glance-it emerges upon reflection, just as the intricate designs of mandalas help focus the mind and free it from external distractions. but the visual sophistication is unique to the mind of and tools used by the creator--the density and complexity mirror the density and complexity of modern life.

in an era that has seen the instant gratification of photography come and go, and the invention of computing machines that now dominate our lives and interactions with one another, these pieces stand apart. they perform the crucial job of new art works - to give viewers an innovative perception of space and time that expresses both the complexity and potential of being alive in late 20th and early 21st century.'

first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
(mohandas gandhi)

creative commons license jean-pierre hébert contact. (17 Jun 2015)