Compared to cities like New York and Chicago, Austin is not known for its public art pieces.
Not only are there few pieces to gawk at, but their rating on the scale of epicness falls a little short. Stand out pieces include a bunch of blue solar panel flowers on the side of I-35 to make a freeway big box exit look less uninviting (not sure they succeeded), a foreboding statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn that looks like he wants to eat your young and street art by Daniel Johnston made famous by Kurt Cobain. I’ve also spotted a giant metal spider in a planned community, some Shepard Fairey pieces and yarn bombing around town, but it terms of big! and abstract!, there is little to see.
That is why when I walked through the campus of University of Texas last week I nearly fell backwards upon seeing, “And That’s the Way It Is”, Ben Rubin’s Walter Cronkite-inspired installation art projected on the college’s Radio-Television-Film building. If you live in Austin and haven’t seen this phenomenal piece yet, stop by the next time you’re near campus. I cannot confirm the exact hours, but it appears to run from dusk to midnight every night.
Imagine projected on a four story building the words of Walter Cronkite scrolling, darting and whisking through the skeletal workings of the architecture. Selected Cronkite transcripts have their way with the building in a mesmerizing dance worthy of a place at MoMA. New York media artist Ben Rubin was commissioned by UT to honor Longhorn alum Cronkite. Rubin’s work has been seen all over the world, with notable collections at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum in New York and the Science Museum in London.
Here is a video I shot from my NEW PHONE! Though simple in design and execution, the video does not do this breathtaking piece justice.