Ben Rubin For Adolescents

silhouette of building facade

And That's The Way It Is


Ben Rubin

American, born 1964

Subject: Patterns in newspaper headlines

Activity: Collage

Materials: Paper, scissors, glue, Internet access, and computer printer

Vocabulary: Collage, pattern


Ben Rubin is an artist who often creates artworks that isolate text from its original source. His previous works have presented text from Internet chat rooms (Listening Post, 2004) or from current and past issues of the New York Times (Moveable Type, 2007).

This piece combines text from current news broadcasts with older segments by Walter Cronkite for the CBS Evening News. Rubin’s software scans the text for patterns in speech and grammar and selects pieces to project, creating a conversation between past and present.


Can you tell which headlines are from today and which are from the Cronkite archives? How do you know?

What patterns do you see in the headlines projected?


Take a look at the headlines of a newspaper from today. Then look at the headlines from a thirty- to fifty-year-old newspaper. What patterns do you see? What has changed and what has stayed the same? Create a collage from the headlines highlighting the patterns you see.

Source for newspaper archives:


Ben Rubin studied semiotics (the study of signs or symbols) and computer science in college. 


Collage—A work of art created by pasting various materials onto a surface

Pattern —A collection of recurring events or objects

Semiotics —The study of signs and symbols