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Cynthia Beth Rubin


John Maul
Synagogue de Bruxelles
Cynthia Beth Rubin is a New Haven artist who began experimenting with digital media in the early 1980’s. The transition from painting to the electronic arts provided the means and the impetus for a shift in the subject matter in her work. Although trained as a painter in the era of abstraction, her work now incorporates strong historical and personal references.

Rubin writes: "My work is an investigation of the threads of cultural memory which I feel both from my own visual experiences, and through that mysterious transmission of sensibility which comes from some place beyond the individual. I am interested in how cultural traditions collide and merge, and how this is embedded in all of us. These images grow from the affinity between my life as a contemporary American, and what I regard as my heritage, extending to times, places, and philosophies far from my own experience."

"Echoing the ambiguity of memory, the computer is the instrument for allowing some images to sing, some to come forward as clear images, others to fall back into barely representational dreams of textures and colors. The interweaving of image fragments within the computer renders the texture of the memories, and creates a narrative out of final composition, even when it is rendered as a fixed two-dimensional print."

Rubin’s work has been featured in exhibitions across North America and around the world. Recent exhibitions include ARCADE II, which opened in England and traveled to Siberia and Belarussia, The Digital Muse at Wellesly College, SIGGRAPH 1999 (and 1995) and the subsequent touring exhibition. Her work is scheduled to be included in the exhibition for ISEA 2000 in December in Paris. She has also exhibited in recent years in Brazil, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada.

As an outgrowth of the sister city relationship between New Haven and Avignon, France, Rubin has developed close ties to Provence. She participated in the 1999 and 1998 exhibitions Spiri/tu/elles I and II, near Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence, and the 1999 Journées de Images Professionals in Marseilles. While artists in residence at Vidéochroniques in Marseilles, she produced a computer animation, les affinité recouvrées, which has been shown at major festivals around the world, including opening night of Boston Jewish Film Festival in 1995, and the ground-breaking 1996 Pandemonium Festival at the Institute for Contemporary Art in London. Her most recent animation, Inherited Memories, was shown at SIGGRAPH and at the 1998 inaugural show at the video screening room of the De Cordoba Museum.

Rubin’s work has been written about in numerous publications. Most recently, the 1988 mural, which she did under the Arts in Public Spaces program of the Connecticut Commission, was featured in an article by Martin Rieser in Printmaking Today. Other articles have been published in Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Brazil. Her work is discussed extensively in 1999 book, The Computer in the Visual Arts by Anne Morgan Spalter.

Rubin is a native of Rochester, NY and holds degrees from Antioch College and the Maryland Institute, College of Art (BA and MFA). She has been on the faculty of Frostburg State College, Connecticut College and the University of Vermont. She currently teaches part-time at the Rhode Island School of Design.


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