Jonathan Perez Looking Outwards 2

Sands of Changes, Jean Pierre Hebert, 2005

This week, I came across a generative piece called Sands of Changes by Jean Pierre Hebert. At first glance, I was a bit confused: how could this be a generative piece done by a program? The piece is done with real sand, actually using a computerized metal ball to roll on top of the sand to create minuscule lines.


Hebert here emulates the Zen garden style, giving the piece a very calming and centering aesthetic. I truly admire the way in which Hebert uses a material so susceptible to the forces of nature and chance with something as exact and calculated as an algorithm. It almost seems to me that to get the full artistic value of this piece, one would have to watch the metal ball etch out the entire thing, witnessing the interaction of these two disparate elements.

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