Ben Rubin

Ben Rubin

American, born 1964

And That's The Way It Is

2012
6-Channel Video Projection Approximately 120 × 42 feet
Commission, Landmarks, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
Location: CMA, Walter Cronkite Plaza GPS: 30.289108,-97.740819

More Information

Project History

Landmarks commissioned Ben Rubin to create a project for the university’s public art collection in association with construction of the College of Communication’s Belo Center for New Media. Rubin’s new media installation, And That’s The Way It Is, was unveiled in April 2012 at the dedication of the Walter Cronkite Plaza in honor of Walter Cronkite. And That’s The Way It Is consists of an evolving stream of text vignettes projected on the southern façade of the CMA building.

Rubin’s piece introduces the first work of art from the electronic arts movement to the university campus. To produce the piece, Rubin designed a digital interface that selects paired sets of words and phrases mined from both live television news and historical CBS Evening News broadcasts from the Walter Cronkite era.

The project was funded through the College of Communication’s capital improvement project and represents less than one percent of the total project cost. It can be viewed every evening from dusk until midnight in the Walter Cronkite Plaza, located on Whitis Avenue, between 25th and Dean Keeton Streets.

Lauren Hanson, a doctoral student of art history at the university, contributed an artist essay that describes Rubin’s work in greater detail. For their support and assistance, Landmarks would like to thank the artist, Michelle Gorman, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, the College of Communication, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the School of Information, Kathleen Forde, Bill Throop, Dennis Duff, Frank Serpas, Stephen Littrell, and Bill Haddad.

Press Highlights

The Office of Creative Research, a New York data lab, has a lot to teach journalists
Polynter
By Melody Kramer, 21 June 2016

If you were walking on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin campus one spring night in 2012, you would have seen a number of people getting their news from the side of a five-story building. Read more.

The Way It Is and Isn’t
The Austin Chronicle
By Robert Faires, 07 September 2012

In those days, 5:30pm was a sacred time – and not just because it kicked off the cocktail hour. That was the time, in the Central zone, at least, when the evening news began. Read more.

Interview with Ben Rubin
Glasstire
By Katie Geha, 12 August 2012

Ben Rubin is a media artist living in New York City who recently unveiled his 6-channel video projection, And That’s The Way It Is ... on the University of Texas campus. Read more.

Ben Rubin’s And That’s The Way It Is
Austinist
By Caitlin Greenwood, 29 April 2012

And That’s The Way It Is, a collaboration between the University of Texas’s public art program Landmarks and New York artist Ben Rubin, debuted last Thursday. Drawing on transcripts from the Cronkite archives held by the Briscoe Center and live news feeds from around the country, Rubin has designed a digital interface that intertwines Cronkite’s legendary broadcasts with contemporary journalism projected into a choreographed basket weave across the CMA facade. Read more.

New video artwork at UT graces Cronkite Plaza
Austin360
By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, 28 April 2012

You really have to be there. Read more.

Press Release - 4 April 2012

Landmarks Brings Ben Rubin Installation to The University of Texas at Austin

AUSTIN, Texas – 4 April 2012 - Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, announces the unveiling of Ben Rubin’s six-channel video projection entitled And That’s The Way It Is. In conjunction with the dedication of the Walter Cronkite Plaza, the work will be projected onto the southern façade of the College of Communication A Building (CMA).

And That’s The Way It Is will illuminate the CMA façade with compositions of moving text, choreographed into a series of scenes that alternate in a variety of patterns. The text is drawn both from archival transcripts of Cronkite’s broadcasts and from recently published news. As daily news is generated, the language adapts to reflect current events, connecting the past and present in surprising and poetic ways.

Ben Rubin (b. 1967) lives and works in New York City and is highly regarded for his pioneering experiments in audio, visual, and digital electronics. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe. Rubin has created largescale public artworks for the New York Times, the city of San Jose, and the Minneapolis Public Library, and his work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Science Museum, London.

And That’s The Way It Is will become the first sitespecific commission for the university’s growing public art collection. To realize the project, Landmarks collaborated with the Briscoe Center for American History, which contributed transcripts from its archive of Walter Cronkite Papers.

The College of Communication will inaugurate the Walter Cronkite Plaza on April 19, 2012. Kathleen Forde, artistic director of the Borusan Contemporary Museum in Istanbul, will conduct a Q&A with Ben Rubin at the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s Visualization Lab, located at the Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences Building (ACES) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The commission will be unveiled that evening at the College of Communication A Building (CMA) at 8:30 p.m. All events are free to the public.

Cronkite attended The University of Texas at Austin in the 1930s and studied political science, economics and journalism and worked for the school newspaper, The Daily Texan. From 1962 to 1981 he was the anchorman and managing editor for the CBS Evening News, where he covered events including the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the first moon landing and Watergate. Cronkite established the News Media History Archive at the Briscoe Center with the donation of his personal and professional papers.

He was well known for his CBS Evening News signoff, “And that’s the way it is.”

Rubin’s installation will be visible every evening from dusk until midnight in the Walter Cronkite Plaza.

About Landmarks, the Public Art Program of The University of Texas at Austin

Landmarks is the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin. Its projects are located throughout the main campus and are viewed by thousands of people every day. Landmarks brings the finest works of public art to the main campus in order to support the university as a leading research institution, to enhance its aesthetic character, and to provide a source of civic pride and welfare.

Download the press release.

Contact

Landmarks

The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts
2305 Trinity St., PAC 3.204
Austin, TX 78712
landmarks@austin.utexas.edu
512.495.4315

Press Office

Nick Nobel, External Affairs Coordinator
The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts
2305 Trinity St., PAC 3.204
Austin, TX 78712
nobel@utexas.edu
512.232.5904