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Architecture Based on Sound Principles

“Joel Sanders and Karen Van Lengen should run for office. They’re two of few leaders we can think of who practice what they preach.”

(from UVA Today)

So says a new article about the architects in the magazine Interior Design. EAR Studio agrees! Sanders and Van Lengen’s new Sound Lounge at the University of Virginia School of Architecture’s Campbell Hall plays with and into the increasing tendency toward public withdrawal facilitated by devices such as iPods. Now students can share private soundscapes in public, using specials sorts of sound booths situated throughout the common space of the building. You can read more in Interior Design or on Sanders’ website.

Ben collaborated with Sanders and Van Lengen  in 2006 on Mix House for the Open House: Intelligent Living by Design show at the Vitra Design Museum, Art Center, LA. Check out Mix House for another great example of thoughtfully and playfully sound building.


Ben Rubin’s Dark Source in Artefact Festival


What is missing? Has it never been there or has it been removed? Does available information exist that is not looked at, read or used?

The Artefact Festival, at the STUK Arts Center in Leuven, Belgium, ran from February 9-14, 2010 and featured Ben Rubin’s artwork, Dark Source, as part of its exploration into the meaning of archives, secrecy, memory and silence.

Dark Source shows the inner workings of a commercial electronic voting machine, the Diebold AccuVote-TSTM touch-screen voting terminal that has recently been adopted in many U.S. states. What you see [in Dark Source] is a representation of the software program that runs inside this machines. To be specific, it is a printout of version 4.3.1 of the AccuVote-TSTM source code 49,609 lines of C++. 720 pages of the printout are suspended, and several hundred additional pages can be accessed on microfiche.

Calling its source code a trade secret, Diebold has asserted its proprietary interest in protecting its intellectual property. Therefore the code, which had been obtained over the internet following a 2002 security failure at Diebold, has been blacked out in its entirety in order to comply with trade secrecy laws.

What is on display, then, is not the forbidden source code, but rather the state of affairs in which we find ourselves today, one in which the critical infrastructure of democracy in the United States is becoming privately owned, and being private, is also being made secret.

You can see more photos of Dark Source on EAR Studio’s Flickr page here.

Ben acquired the source code for Dark Source with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can learn more about EFF, Diebold and electronic voting machines here.


His Master’s Voice

Shown in the exhibition:

In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis

In the Beginning re-imagines the first chapter of Genesis through a series of commissioned works by dynamic and internationally acclaimed contemporary artists including: Alan Berliner, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Matthew Ritchie, Ben Rubin, and Shirley Shor. Featuring diverse conceptual approaches and artistic practices, the artists challenge viewers to consider various ideas about the origins of our universe and our beginnings.

The exhibition In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis was organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, and was adapted by the Yeshiva University Museum for presentation from November 2009 – February 2010 in New York, NY.

National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History

EAR Studio is producing multi-channel audio environments and interactive kiosks for the exhibits in the Smithsonian’s new transportation hall, America on the Move.

Opened November 22nd, 2003 in Washington, D.C.

Textual Landscapes

Shakespeare Machine
Textual Landscapes
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
New York, NY
September 17 – October 31, 2009

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery inaugurated its new location with a group exhibition entitled Textual Landscapes: Real and Imagined. The exhibition featured works by Jim Campbell, Airan Kang, Yongseok Oh, Alan Rath, Ben Rubin and Marina Zurkow. Each of the artists represent different generations of art making, and deploy a variety of media including the moving image, language, photography, and virtual imagery to depict places both real and imaginary. (From the Gallery Press Release)

Ben Rubin debuted his new works, The Shakespeare Machine and Lolita.

A Ticking Sound

A Ticking Sound: Ben Rubin
at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
New York, NY
March 16 – May 20, 2006

A Ticking Sound combined video, computer software, and LED displays in five new works that “investigate the nature of communication and the means by which information is processed.” The work “draws on a number of diverse references, from modernist literature to internet diaries to the traffic outside Rubin’s studio.”

Shown for the first time in A Ticking Sound were the pieces: Ulysses, The Quiet Ticking of Dreams , Sandstorm, Something Is Boiling and Traffic.