Art installation by Professor Ted Hiebert on exhibit in Kirkland


September 28, 2011
Photo Attached; see caption below
CONTACT: Richard Penny, (425) 352-3395,

BOTHELL, Wash. – “Excerpts from the Library of Babel,” an art installation by UW Bothell Professor Ted Hiebert, will be on display from September 24 through December 3 at Kirkland Arts Center.

For the past two years, Hiebert has been collecting used copies of books that contain Jorge Luis Borges’ short story, "The Library of Babel." The story is about a library of infinite knowledge – a library so complete that it contains every book that was ever written and every book that could be written.

Hiebert’s art installation is conceived as a reversal of Borges' formula. Rather than the documentation of every book, the exhibition is a documentation of only one book, Borges' book. The idea behind the exhibition is to re-tell the story multiple times.

In order to do so, Hiebert uses a process called Kirlian photography, an imaging technique that utilizes electricity instead of light to generate its pictures. By subjecting the book pages to a high-voltage charge, images can be made of each page. Every image has a unique appearance based on the condition of the paper, the age of the text and any traces left by the readers of the books, such as fingerprints, coffee stains or signs of wear and tear.

According to Hiebert, "The exhibition attempts to give a tangible presence to an imaginary idea – an example of my belief that creative practice is most meaningful when it resonates with life outside of the classroom.”

Kirkland Arts Center is located at 620 Market St., Kirkland. More information can be found at

About the Artist: Ted Hiebert is an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences Program at UW Bothell. Hiebert’s recent exhibitions include “Werewolf Stories,” Shift Studio (Seattle, 2011) and “Of Brains & Magnets,” Latitude 53 (Edmonton, 2011).

About UW Bothell: The University of Washington Bothell combines the benefits of a small campus with the resources and prestige of a world-renowned university. Offering over 30 degrees, options, certificates and concentrations, its curriculum emphasizes close student-faculty interaction, collaboration among students, and hands-on learning.For more information, visit

Photo Caption: Image from Ted Hiebert’s “Excerpts from the Library of Babel.”

 Hiebert book