And That's The Way It Is

projecting the nightly news onto a five story building in Texas

Date: Spring 2012
For: University of Texas CMA
Collaborators: Ben Rubin, Mark Hansen
Role: custom software design

And That’s The Way It Is is a collaboration between the University of Texas’s public art program Landmarks, Ben Rubin and The Office for Creative Research. Drawing on transcripts from the Cronkite archives held by the Briscoe Center and live news feeds from around the country, Rubin has designed a digital interface that intertwines Cronkite’s legendary broadcasts with contemporary journalism projected into a choreographed basket weave across the CMA facade. In this, we see Cronkite’s transcripts represented by the Courier font while the live news is represented by Verdana. As a group of sixty students, faculty, and art enthusiasts gathered for the debut of the piece, the collective loud of the crowd carried throughout the newly appointed Walter Cronkite courtyard and struck the appropriate tonality for this unveiling: acknowledging communication.

The projection begins with the visual transcripts from the first 30 minute broadcast Walter Cronkite gave in 1963. This seminal broadcast includes an interview with then President John F Kennedy and marks a turning point in Cronkite’s relationship with CBS, a career that would span almost 20 years. It also ushers the viewer into an era rife with conflict, with Cronkite driving the dialogue to poignancy.