Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Ben Rubin Vectors

Ben Rubin Vectors

trajectories #1 by ben rubin

Ben Rubin

Trajectories #1, 2011

Price on Request

state boundaries as audio wave forms by ben rubin

Ben Rubin

State Boundaries as Audio Wave Forms, 2011

Price on Request

anecdotal history #2 by ben rubin

Ben Rubin

Anecdotal History #2, 2011

Price on Request

afghanistan stability - counter insurgency dynamics by ben rubin

Ben Rubin

Afghanistan Stability - Counter Insurgency Dynamics, 2011

Price on Request

Friday, January 14, 2011Friday, February 18, 2011


New York, NY USA

Opening Reception: 13 January 2011, 6-8pm

New York, NY, December 14, 2010- Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by multi-media artist Ben Rubin. In his first solo show at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, Ben Rubin uses mid-20th-century technological artifacts, miniature image projection, sound, and electronic text displays to reveal vectors of movement, language, politics, and information.

The show will feature all new work, including The Language of Diplomacy (2010-2011), a 24-foot text wall that mines the newest Wikileaks collection of diplomatic cables, searching for lexical patterns and linguistic constructions that may point to new layers of meaning. This work is the next in Rubin’s ongoing series of large-scale language visualizations that began with his groundbreaking installation Listening Post (2002), and has continued with Moveable Type (2007, commissioned by The New York Times for its lobby), and Shakespeare Machine (2012, for the lobby of the Public Theater, both in New York).

In 2010, Rubin began An Anecdotal History, a new series of sculptural work based around predigital media and communication artifacts (oscilloscopes, typewriters, cameras, loudspeakers), and these works will be shown here for the first time.

Other works in the show include Optical Semaphore (2011), a mechanical semaphore transmitter, Afghanistan Stability/Counterintelligence Dynamics (2011), a diagrammatic abstraction of the coalition forces’ war strategy, and Boundary Conditions (2011), a new series of miniature video projections that focuses on the dynamics of borders (political and otherwise).

“The Boundary Conditions series is a direct outgrowth of the work I did for Paul Virilio’s Stop- Eject exhibition in 2008,” says Rubin. “That show centered around the collapse of geographic and political space in the mobile, connected world, and Virilio wanted the artists to show how people, goods, animals, money, and information flow across borders of all kinds. This got me thinking about vectors as a way to characterize these flows, and from there I started to see how vectors actually connect much of the work that I do.”

“A moving train is a vector; the wind blowing from the northeast at seven miles per hour is a vector; the change in the price of Google’s stock is a vector. When you look at it statistically, any collection of language – a novel, a newspaper, an archive – is packed with vectors. A vector is an indicator, a hint, a single clue about where we’re headed. If we could somehow understand the mix of vectors that influence our trajectory at a given instant, we would be able to briefly glimpse the future.”

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 UCLA 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 will join forces with the Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble to present “Shuffle”, a new performance and installation that will re-mix text from three American novels of the 1920s.

Rubin received a B.A. from Brown University in 1987 and an M.S. from the MIT Media Lab in 1989. He is on the faculty of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and has previously taught at the Bard MFA program and the Yale School of Art, where he was appointed critic in graphic design in 2004. During the Fall of 2010, he taught a new graduate seminar, “An Anecdotal History of Sound,” at NYU/ITP.

For further information, please contact Amanda Bhalla Wilkes at (212) 243 8830 or by email at amanda@brycewolkowitz.com.