Neighborhood Time Exchange: Pato Hebert

artist Pato Hebert

Oscillator in Brandywine Creek State Park Archival pigment print

About the Artist and His Projects 

Pato Hebert enjoys collaborating with communities to help make them more vibrant and healthy. He engages young people in public schools and neighborhood settings, and teaches art at New York University. He also does work that addresses HIV among people of color and LGBT communities worldwide. As an artist, he often works with other people to develop sculptures out of everyday materials, and projects that play with language. He has experience in photography, graphic design, and writing.

In addition to helping me to develop various community-based projects, NTE served as a valuable base for me to deepen my ongoing series of performances for the camera, “In, If Not Always Of.” The resulting performative works feature the “Oscillator” in park settings across numerous Mid-Atlantic woodlands landscapes. I photographed in state and city parks in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. I worked right in the heart of Philadelphia in Fairmount Park and Wissahickon Valley Park, as well as the Poconos on down to the shores of Chesapeake Bay. The resulting images consider the continuity yet subtle differences of the region, while also pushing The Oscillator character beyond the figurative and into more indeterminate forms that query animism, the performing object, and the limits of ecomimesis.