Ruth Hayes

Ruth Hayes produces experimental works in film, video and digital media as well as flipbooks and other pre-cinema formats. She learned to animate in the Visual and Environmental Studies department at Harvard and earned her MFA in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts in 1992. She has taught animation in Washington State schools and juvenile institutions and at the California State Summer School for the Arts. She currently is a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College where she teaches animation in broadly interdisciplinary thematic courses that, depending on the year, examine and apply animation techniques in the context of media literacy and media studies, the visual arts, history, literature and the sciences.

Featured image credit: Ruth’s Vimeo Page

Ruth Hayes’ Website, Vimeo Page, Teaching Blog


Select Filmography:


On Our Way (2011)

Traveling in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, Ralph Waldo Emerson reflected on the contrasts between the English and the American landscapes and the relative impact of humans on each. On Our Way is a contemporary response to Emerson, an animated, audio-visual, exploratory collage that contrasts wild and settled western Washington landscapes as a means of considering where we are now, where we are going, and what we have lost.

On Our Way from Ruth Hayes on Vimeo.


Reign of the Dog: A Re-Visionist History (1994)

Reign of the Dog animates allegorical and documentary images, maps and text to explore and deconstruct the history of the conquest of the Americas. The film’s canine spin derives from the Spanish fighting dogs introduced and first used against native resistance by Columbus in 1494.


Wanda (1990)

Wanda is a short story of feline and feminine desire. In this delightful piece composed of video animation and live-action footage in Super and Video 8 the narrator reflects on the unrestrained behavior of her cat in heat.

Wanda from Ruth Hayes on Vimeo.


Eggs (1977)

Motion studies of eggs which break and fall. Vulnerably, helplessly propelled into life
and fleeing hordes of stampeding sperm, they generate a vision of Eden
and exact revenge on the chickens.


Body Sketches (1978)

Nine separate animated cycles of human figure drawings intercut with self-portraits and rotoscoped ocean footage repeat, converge and spill over into watery confusion.

Body Sketches from Ruth Hayes on Vimeo.


Odyssey: 20 Years in 2 Minutes (1975)

Ruth’s first animated film made in anticipation of her 20th birthday.

Odyssey from Ruth Hayes on Vimeo.