Russ RuBert’s work combines diverse industrial materials into art environments with an interactivity that engages the viewer to become something more.
At the Language Research Center – a collaboration of Georgia State University and Emory University – Russ designed and built stainless steel and aluminum tool sites used to encourage and research tool-use, problem-solving, and creative-thinking for the chimpanzees Sherman and Austin. Later he built and developed touch screen computer systems driven by a multi-layered “Language Vision” symbolic operating system for the bonobos Kanzi and Panbanishi.
The touch computer screens allowed the bonobos to use their symbolic language of lexigrams to communicate with their human care-takers about daily activities, wants, needs, and feelings. Being able to participate in sophisticated conversations about “going to the Play Yard,” “seeing Mr. Bunny,” or “wanting to eat onions” has been documented in National Geographic, Nova, Discover, Time, and Newsweek, and many video documentaries by NHK of Japan.
Russ RuBert is founding owner of Sculpture.net, the largest on-line community of sculptors on the internet and received the “Missouri Individual Artist of the Year Award” in 2007. He served for nine years on the board of the directors of the International Sculpture Center, and five years as chair of the ISC committee that provided oversight to the publication of Sculpture magazine.
An alumnae of the Kansas City Art Institute, RuBert works from his 22,000 square-foot sculpture studio in Springfield, Missouri. Using a combination of 3D computer CAD/CAM systems and laser-cutting technology, RuBert creates public art and multimedia environments using stainless steel, aluminum, neon, plastics and photography. He also works with many non-profit community organizations to empower artists.