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divertissement, lie de vin (1976-77)
ink on paper, pen plotter drawing in a single continuous line, 25x25cm.

rcm galerie - pioneers in computer art

i am delighted to be in the Pioneers in computer art 1960s-70s group show in paris, at rcm galerie from June 15-July 31 2017. also showing: colette bangert, ken knowlton, manfred mohr, vera molnar, frieder nake, edward zajec and several others

these small early drawings were never shown before. gradually, i have come to recognize that my early works are an important part of my history and witness to my progress. so, instead of focusing almost exclusively on my later, more elaborate, larger pieces, i have been sharing them, first privately to collectors visiting my studio, and here they are in this show in paris, where they were created some forty years earlier!

these drawings were mostly made with the first computer i personally owned (an hp9825) in 1976. i was proofing my ideas on its thermal printer, so they faded away. but in anticipation of better output i was keeping the code for some projects. so when i acquired a small pen plotter (an hp9872a), in 1977, i was able to draw these pieces with ink on paper. hence the two dates for these works: the first date is for their software completion, the “creation date”, the second is the actual drawing with ink on paper, the “drawing date”

it is hard to remember now all the clever ruses, stratagems, and tricks involved in programming to squeeze enough power from the minuscule 31kb expanded ram of the hp9825 to compute my algorithms, while outputting the resulting plotting commands in real time so as not having to save them. and it is hard to grasp how, since these early days, computing has changed by six orders of magnitude both in speed and capacity

every day is a good day | nichi nichi kore ko nichi.
(yun-men and john cage)

creative commons license jean-pierre hébert contact. (17 Jun 2017)