San José Semaphore was created by media artist Ben Rubin
Ben Rubin (b. 1964, Boston, Massachusetts) is a media artist based in New York City. Rubin’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Science Museum, London, and has been shown at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia 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 large-scale public artworks for the New York Times, the city of San José, and the Minneapolis Public Library. He is currently developing a site-specific sculpture called Shakespeare Machine for the Public Theater in New York, and just completed Beacon (2010), a luminous rooftop sculpture commissioned for National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.
Rubin has worked closely with major figures in contemporary culture, including composer Steve Reich, architects Diller+Scofidio/Renfro, Renzo Piano, James Polsheck, and James Sanders, performers Laurie Anderson and Arto Lindsay, theorists Bruno Latour and Paul Virilio, and artists Ann Hamilton and Beryl Korot. He frequently collaborates with Columbia University statistician Mark Hansen, and their joint projects include Moveable Type (2007), and Listening Post (2002), which won the 2004 Golden Nica Prize from Ars Electronica as well as a Webby award in 2003.
In 2011, Rubin and Mark Hansen joined forces with the Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble to create Shuffle, a new performance and installation that will remixes text from three American novels of the 1920s. In 2012, Rubin and Elevator Repair Service began work on Arguendo, a theatrical interpretation of U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments. Arguendo will debut at the Public Theater in New York in 2013.
Mr. Rubin received a B.A. from Brown University in 1987 and an M.S. from the MIT Media Lab in 1989. Mr. Rubin has taught at the Bard MFA program and the Yale School of Art, where he was appointed critic in graphic design in 2004.
- 2011 Vectors, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York
- 2008 Listening Post, Art Collection of the Science Museum, London (with Mark Hansen)
- 2006 A Ticking Sound, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York
- 2002 Listening Post, Whitney Museum of American Art (with Mark Hansen)
- 2001 Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music (with Mark Hansen)
- 1995 Not Dreaming in Public, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, New York (with Leni Schwendinger)
- 2012 Shakespeare Machine, commission for the Public Theater, New York
- 2012 And That’s the Way It Is, commission for the University of Texas, Austin
- 2010 Beacon, commission for the Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia
- 2009 Teardrop Park, Battery Park City, New York (with Ann Hamilton and Michael Mercil)
- 2007 Moveable Type, for the New York Times Building, New York (with Mark Hansen)
- 2008 Can You Not Tell Water from Air, commission for Morimoto Sushi Bar, Boca Raton, Florida
- 2006 San Jose Semaphore, commission for Adobe Systems, San Jose, California
- 2006 Four Stories, commission for the New Central Public Library, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- 2002 Blur, Swiss Expo ’02, Yverdon, Switzerland (with Diller+Scofidio)
- 2000 Video Beam, Brasserie Restaurant, New York (with Diller+Scofidio)
- 1996 Jump Cuts, United Artists Multiplex, San Jose (with Diller+Scofidio)
- 2012 Now Boarding, Denver Art Museum, Denver
- 2011 Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, MoMA, New York
- 2010 On Gaps and Silent Documents, STUK Arts Centre Leuven, Belgium
- 2009 Quick, Quick, Slow: Word, Image and Time, Experimenta Design Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
- 2009 Textual Landscapes, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York.
- 2009 Enter Action - Digital Art Now, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark
- 2008 Terre Natale, Fondation Cartier, Paris
- 2008 Machines and Souls, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
- 2008 LIVE, Beall Center for Art and Technology, University of California, Irvine
- 2008 In the Beginning: Artists Envision Genesis, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
- 2008 For Reasons of State, The Kitchen, New York
- 2007 Dark Matters, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
- 2007 Kit Bashing, Western Bridge, Seattle
- 2006 Open House, Vitra Design Museum at Zeche Zollverein, Essen, Germany
- 2006 Derivatives: new art financial visions, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
- 2005 Making Things Public, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
- 2004 Sign Language, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York
- 2004 Zones de Confluences, La Villette Numérique, Paris, France
- 2004 Son et Lumière, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
- 2004 Tactical Action, Gigantic Art Space, New York
- 2004 Social Capital, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, Exhibition New York
- 2003 Picture This: Windows on the American Home, National Building Museum, Washington, DC
- 2002 Sonic Garden, presented by Creative Time, Winter Garden, New York
- 2001 Habitats Techtonicas, Paisajes, Sala de Exposiciones, Ministerio de Fomento, Madrid
- 2000 Volume: Bed of Sound, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, New York
- 2000 Cell Rules, presented by Createve Time, Meat Market Art Fair, New York
- 1999 Venice Biennalle (soundtrack for Ann Hamilton’s Myein)
- 1997 Art in the Anchorage, Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, Brooklyn
- 1997 Gramercy Art Fair, Henry Urbach Architecture
- 1995 Code, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
- 1993 The Tuning of the World, Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary
MEDIA DESIGN FOR PERFORMANCE AND FILM
- 2012 Arguendo, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival (with Elevator Repair Service)
- 2011 Shuffle, New York Public Library, New York (with Elevator Repair Service)
- 2005 Timescapes, Museum of the City of New York
- 2001 5.1: Six Evenings of Experimental Surround-Sound, Tonic, New York (with Arto Lindsay)
- 2000 Electric Landscapes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Electronic Arts Performance Series, (with Zeena Parkins, Martha Swetzoff)
- 2000 Virtual Cantos, New Museum / Tonic, New York (with Arto Lindsay)
- 2000 Golem, Multi-Arts Festival, Seoul, Korea
- 1999 Laurie Anderson’s Songs and Stories from Moby Dick, world tour
- 1998 Macbeth, New York Shakespeare Theater Festival, Public Theater, New York
- 1996 Audible Runway, DKNY Men’s Fall Collection Show, New York
- 1996 The Builder’s Association’s Imperial Motel (Faust), Theater Neumarkt, Zurich
- 1994 The Builder’s Association’s Master Builder, 16th Street performance loft, New York
- 1995 The Food Chain, Westside Theater, New York
- 1995 Tartuffe: Born Again, Circle in the Square, New York
- 1995 Laurie Anderson’s Nerve Bible, world tour
- 1993 Steve Reich & Beryl Korot’s The Cave, world tour
MEDIA DESIGN FOR EXHIBITIONS
- 2004 Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC
- 2003 Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Washington DC
- 2000 New York City Police Museum, New York
- 1999 The American Century, Part 1, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
- 1997 Memory and Hope, Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York
- 1996 Behind the Screen, American Museum of the Moving Image, Queens
SOUND DESIGN FOR PRODUCTS AND DEVICES
- 2012 EES surgical instruments
- 2009 Logitech set-top box
- 2007 HP Photosmart printers
- 2006 HP Pyxis Design Initiative
- 2003 Mural (artwork by Diller+Scofidio at the Whitney Museum)
- 2000 AOL-by-Phone (not released)
- 1999 Ericsson Research, experimental automotive communication interface
- 1998 New York City Subway System (case study and design proposal, not realized)
- 2004 – 2006 Yale School of Art, MFA program in Graphic Design
- 2004 Yale School of Art, MFA Seminar: “Sight Unseen: Sound Theory and Practice”
- 1997 – 2002 New York University, Interactive Telecommunications Program
- 1999 – 2000 New York University Undergraduate Film and Television Program
- 2000 Bard MFA program, visiting faculty, music department
- 2008 Guest critic, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture
- 2001 Guest critic, Yale Graduate School of Architecture
- 2001 Guest critic, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture
- 1999 Curriculum consulting for the American Museum of the Moving Image, Queens
- 1997 Sound & visual performance design workshop at Dancas Na Cidade, Lisbon
- 1995 Performance workshop at Gessneralle Theater, Zurich (with the Builders Association)
- 2009 “What’s That Ticking Sound,” Art, Technology and Culture Colloquium, UC Berkeley
- 2006 Dean's Forum Lecture, University of Virginia School of Architecture
- 2005 “Architecture and Sound” at the Architectural League, New York
- 2005 AIGA Design Conference, Boston, Massachusetts
- 2004 Alaska Design Forum lecture series, state-wide speaking tour
- 2004 Digital Media lecture series, Rhode Island School of Design
- 2004 Design/Politics/Information lecture series, University of Minnesota Design Institute
- 2003 Evolution 2003, Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds, UIK
- 2003 Motion Studies lecture series, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York
- 2003 Third Coast International Audio Festival, Chicago
- 2003 Distinguished Visitors Series Lecture, University of Michigan School of Art & Design
- 2003 Princeton University School of Architecture
- 2002 AIGA Design Conference, Washington, DC
- 2002 Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH
- 2001 Dean's Forum Lecture, University of Virginia School of Architecture
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
- 2006 United States Artists Fellowship nomination
- 2005 Rockefeller New Media Fellowship (with Mark Hansen)
- 2004 Prix Ars Electronica, Golden Nica for Listening Post (with Mark Hansen)
- 2003 Third Coast International Audio Festival, Best Documentary Award for Open Outcry
- 2003 Webby Award, NetArt category, for Listening Post (with Mark Hansen)
- 2003 Wired Rave Award nomination for Listening Post (with Mark Hansen)
- 2002 Creative development residency, On the Boards, Seattle
- 2000 Chrysler Design Award nomination
- 1999 Arts In Multimedia Residency, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Bell Laboratories
- 1994 Artistic Residency, Steim Foundation, Amsterdam
- 1993 Artistic Residency, Banff Centre For The Arts, Alberta
“Words to Look at, Words to Listen to: Designing a ‘Proliphonic’ Display for the Lobby of the New York Times Building,” by Mark Hansen, Ben Rubin, Hans-Christoph Steiner, and Tyler Walker. Linux Audio Conference Proceedings. 2008.
“Mix House,” by Joel Sanders, Ben Rubin, and Karen van Lengen. Open House: Architecture and Technology For Intelligent Living. Eds. Alexander Von Vegesack and Jochen Eisenbrand. Weil am Rhein: Vitra-Design-Museum, 2006.
“Dark Source,” by Ben Rubin, in Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy. Eds. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.
“Listening Post: Giving Voice to Online Communication,” by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin in Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Auditory Display, Kyoto, Japan, Jul. 2-5, 2002.
“Babble Online: Applying Statistics and Design to Sonify the Internet,” by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin. Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Auditory Display. Helsinki, Jul. 29-Aug.1 2001, 10-15.
“Yahoo/Bounce,” by Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen, in State of the Union (CD) produced by Elliot Sharp, Electronic Music Foundation, Inc. 2001. (Invited contribution to a 3-disc set, with profits going to the National Coalition Against Censorship)
“The Audiences Would be the Artists and their Life Would Be the Arts,” by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin. IEEE Multimedia 7.2 (2000): 6-9.
“Audible Information Design in the New York City Subway System: a Case Study,” by Ben Rubin. Proceedings of the 1998 International Conference on Auditory Display, Glasgow, 1998.
“Structured Content Modeling For Cinematic Information,” by Glorianna Davenport and Ben Rubin. SIGCHI Bulletin 21.2 (1989): 78-79.
PROFILES AND INTERVIEWS
“Media artist Ben Rubin explores the interaction between light, sound and symbol,” by Elizabeth Donoff. Architectural Lighting Magazine. Jan./Feb. 2007: 26-29.
“Human After All: Ben Rubin and the Art of Data,” by James Gaddy. Res Magazine Jul./Aug. 2006: 56-57.
“Lo in audible en lo corpóreo: Una entrevista con Ben Rubin/The Inaudible in The Corporeal: An Interview with Ben Rubin,” by Juan Sebastián Cárdenas. ArteContexto Spring 2005: 36-45.
“Orange and White,” by Adam Gopnik. The New Yorker. 3 Mar. 2003: 31
“Sound + Vision,” by Christopher Hawthorne. Metropolis Jul. 2002: 120-123, 144, 147,149.
EXHIBITION CATALOGS, BOOKS, AND FILMS
Native Land, by Raymond Depardon and Paul Virilio. London: Thames & Hudson: 2009
Public Art New York, by Jean Parker Phifer. New York: 2009.
Art and Electronic Media, edited by Edward A. Shanken. London: 2009
Enter Action: Digital Art Now, edited by Pernile Taagaard Dinesen, Anne Sophie Warberg Løssing, Anne Sophie Spanner Witzke, and Gitte Ørskou. Aarhus, Denmark: ARoS: 2009.
“Ben Rubin + Mark Hansen: Listening Post,” by Nancy Durant, in Mácuinas y Almas / Souls and Machines, edited by Montxo Algora and José Luis de Vicente. Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia: 2008.
For Reasons of State, by Angelique Campens, Erica Cooke and Steven Lam. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art; New Haven: Distributed by Yale University Press, 2008.
Secrecy (film), by Peter Galison and Robb Moss, distributed by Argot Pictures, New York, 2008.
Responsive Environments: Architecture, Art and Design, by Lucy Bullivant. London: V&A Publications: 2006.
“The Listening Post: Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen,” in 4dspace: Interactive Architecture (Architectural Design), by Lucy Bullivant. London: Academy Press: 2005.
Blur: The Making of Nothing, by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, New York: Abrams: 2002.
ARTICLES AND REVIEWS
“Strange Sounds Afoot in Teardrop Park,” by Carl Glassman. The Tribeca Tribune. November 2009.
“Textual Landscapes,” by Robert Shuster. The Village Voice. October 6, 2009.
“’Four Stories’: une oeuvre d’art documentaire,” Bibliofrance. Jul. 20, 2008.
“Making Sense: The MIX House,” by Joel Sanders et al. Architectural Design. V.78 No. 3 (May/ Jun. 2008) p.16-19.
“Moveable Type,” by Brooke Gladstone. On the Media. National Public Radio, 30 May 2008.
“Erase You,” by Ed Halter. Rhizome. 22 May 2008. http://rhizome.org/editorial/tag.php?tag=censorship
Tim Cooper, review of Listening Post. The Sunday Times, London, 30 Mar. 2008.
Nancy Durrant, review of Listening Post. The Times, London, 18 Feb. 2008.
“News Flows, Consciousness Streams: The Headwaters of a River of Words,” by Randy Kennedy. The New York Times. 25 Oct. 2007: E5.
“‘Listening Post’ brings the Internet into view,” by Kenneth Baker. San Francisco Chronicle. 4 Aug. 2007: E1.
“A Portrait of 100,000 people logged on to a global chatroom,” by Ciar Byrne. The Independent. 19 Feb. 2008.
“Times’ Lobby Artwork ‘Explodes’ Daily News,” by Gillian Reagan. The New York Observer. 18 Dec. 2007.
“Code Breakers,” by Caitlin Jones. Rhizome. 12 Sept. 2007. http://rhizome.org/editorial/42
“A Push In the Dark,” by William Hanley. Rhizome. 5 Sept. 2007. http://rhizome.org/editorial/28
“The Year in Arts and Entertainment,” by Kenneth Baker. San Francisco Chronicle. 31 Dec. 2006: PK-20.
“Design Research on Responsive Display Prototypes: Integrating Sensing, Information and Computation Technologies,” by John Rothenberg and David Small. Architectural Design Sept./Oct. 2006: 46-49.
“Artists Mine Internet Forums to Catch Musical Essence of Chat,” by Kenneth Baker. San Francisco Chronicle. 8 Aug. 2006: E1.
“Capturing humanity’s conversations in the ether,” by Jack Fischer. San Jose Mercury News. 11 Jun. 2006.
“Living Skins: Architecture as Interface,” by Peter Hall. Think Tank. Feb. 2006
“Informational Landscapes in Art, Science, and Evolution,” by Irun R. Cohen. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 2006.
“Ars Electronica Asks What Will Be Next,” by Ed Ward. The New York Times. 8 Sept. 2004: E3.
“The Machine Speaks the World’s Thoughts,” by Margot Bouman. Parachute Oct.-Dec. 2003: 108-125.
“Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,” by Peter Eleey. Frieze. May 2003: 88.
“Listening In,” by Kevin Fitchard. Telephony. 7 Apr. 2003.
“Listening Post: On-line Fora as Art,” by Jill Franklin. Linux Journal Mar. 2003: 14.
“Poised Between Old and New,” by Eric Gibson. The Wall Street Journal. 14 Feb. 2003: W4.
“Whitney’s ‘Listening Post’ a Fly on Chat-Room Walls,” by Jad Abumrad. Weekend Edition Saturday. NPR. 22 Feb. 2003.
“Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin; Édouard Vuillard; Donald Moffet,” by Roberta Smith. The New York Times. 21 Feb. 2003: E45.
“The Listening Post,” by Carey Gibbons. Museo. Vol.6: 2003.
“First Take: Philip Nobel on Ben Rubin,” by Philip Nobel. Artforum Jan. 2002: 126.
“Making an Opera From Cyberspace’s Tower of Babel,” by Mathew Mirapaul. The New York Times. 10 Dec. 2001: E2
“Listening Post.” Rhizome. 22 Nov. 2001. http://www.rhizome.org/editorial/665