Lifetime Achievement Awarded to Hébert

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jean-Pierre HebertJean-Pierre Hébert has been awarded the 2012 ACM SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award in Digital Art for his pioneering achievements in creating art through computer programming. Hébert's work has been exhibited in 17 SIGGRAPH Art Gallery juried shows; it appears in private and museum collections ranging from the Getty Research Center to the Brooklyn Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). As Artist in Residence and active participant at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, his work has been engaging physicists since 2003. Hébert’s art graces the walls at the KITP and has been featured in numerous shows and talks, both at the KITP, at other UCSB venues and around the globe. His first public exhibition was in France in 1989 at the Galerie Alphonse Chave in Vence. Other landmark exhibitions he has participated in include “Alien Intelligence” at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland in 2000, “Drawing with the Mind” at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and “Imaging by Numbers” at the Block Museum of Art, Chicago in 2008, “Digital Pioneers” at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London in 2010, and “Drawing with Code” at the deCordova Museum, Boston in 2011.

Hébert's work derives from an algorithmic exploration of form and beauty in science. In his own words: "Pursuing an ideal of beauty and ideal Platonic forms, inspired by my interests in patterns of geometry, mathematics, physics, and nature, I create drawings by composing and writing down for each piece an original, defining code, or score.The aesthetic vision is expressed by the precise instructions and algorithmic processes necessary to release its potentiality."

Beyond the merely conceptual, Hébert defines and renders algorithmic proofs of concept in the chosen medium: sand, copper plates, paper, wood, water, etc. His attraction to patterns and textures inspired him to develop his own software to use calculations to create ever more complex, organized drawings. He coined the word Algorist, led the creation of the Algorists group in 1995, and mounted several Algorists KITP art shows. His pioneering work in algorithmic art has been widely recognized by numerous publications, including Nature, The American Scientist, and several books and PhD theses. In addition to the recent SIGGRAPH award, Jean-Pierre Hébert has received grants and awards from Fondation La Ferthé/Fondation de France, New York Artists’ Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and  David Bermant Foundation. His thought-provoking and mesmerizing works can be seen at numerous galleries and museums, at the KITP, and on his web site:

[SIGGRAPH Award Announcement]