Ben Rubin

What's that Ticking Sound

Date 11/2/09

Affiliation Artist, EAR Studio, New York City


Long established forms of writing (and reading) are being radically transformed. The economics of transmission and distribution that have constrained and shaped journalism, fiction, and letters home from camp are being rescaled and inverted, recasting the role of text in our lives. Ben Rubin's work inserts itself between authors and readers, obsessively pulverizing and re-synthesizing all manner of texts (internet chat, The New York Times, novels, application source code, cosmic background noise, Shakespeare) to form new messages. Rubin will present current and recent projects, including Shakespeare Machine, Moveable Type, Listening Post, Dark Source, Terre Natale, and San Jose Semephore. He will also present his latest project, a theatrical performance in collaboration with statistician Mark Hansen and Elevator Repair Service, a New York theater company.


Ben Rubin is a media artist based in New York City. He is the co-creator of "Moveable Type" (2007), a large-scale public artwork in the lobby of the New York Times headquarters building. He is currently developing a site-specific sculpture called "Shakespeare Machine" for the Public Theater in New York and a luminous rooftop beacon for a new museum in Philadelphia. Other recent public artworks include "San Jose Semaphore" for the city of San Jose, California, and "Four Stories" for the Minneapolis Public Library, both completed in 2006. Rubin's work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Fondation Cartier in Paris, Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles (in a show organized by the Getty Museum), the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the San Jose Museum of Art. He has collaborated with artists and performers including Laurie Anderson, Diller+Scofidio, Ann Hamilton, Arto Lindsay, Steve Reich, and Beryl Korot. Rubin's installation Listening Post (2002, with statistician Mark Hansen) won the 2004 Golden Nica Prize from Ars Electronica as well as a Webby award in 2003. Mr. Rubin received a B.A. from Brown University in 1987 and an M.S. in visual studies from the MIT Media Lab in 1989. Mr. Rubin teaches at the Yale School of Art, where he was appointed critic in graphic design in 2004.

-- As of 11/2/09

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