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Directed by Ruth Hayes


Beginning with the earliest forms of animation and optical toys, Olympia animator Ruth Hayes has created handmade objects such as flipbooks, zoetropes, and praxi-scopes, some of which are in the library collections of the Museum of Modern Art and will be on display before the screening. Her films range from the use of camera-less techniques to hand-drawn animation exploring both science and myth. Films to be screened include:


Odyssey: 20 Years in 2 Minutes, 16mm, silent, 2 min, 1975

Ruth’s first animation, made in anticipation of her 20th birthday, and inspired by a conversation with her mother about how the myth of Odysseus returning to Penelope echoes the movements of the sun and moon in relation to each other.


Eggs, 16mm, 4 minutes, 1977

Motion studies of eggs that 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, 16mm, 6 minutes, 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.


Wanda,¾ Video, 4 minutes, 1990

A narrator reflects on the unrestrained behavior of her cat in heat.


Reign of the Dog: A Re-Visionist History, 16mm, 16 minutes, 1994

Allegorical and documentary images, maps and text 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.


On Our Way,14:40 minutes, 2011.

Traveling in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, Emerson reflected on the contrasts between the English and the American landscapes and the relative impact of humans on each. Animated drawings, photographs and video stills respond to Emerson, contrast wild and settled western Washington landscapes, and consider where we are now, where we are going, and what we have lost.


Textures and Variations, 16mm direct animation loops, 2011-2017

two projectors alternating loops:

Grater Film, Copper Perforation Loop, Heavenly Angel CP Loop, Scratch Basket, Flower Basket, Fresnel Scrape, Fresnel Foam, Malheur Eclipse Tests.

Seeking more spontaneous and hands on strategies for experimenting in animation, and inspired by Devon Damonte and Olympia’s Crackpot Crafters, I began to explore cameraless imaging and hand-processing in 2011. These loops are the result, some meant for pure enjoyment projected privately or in live performances, others used as raw material for linear, digital works.


Copper Perforation Loop Triptych, 16mm/Digital HD, 1080, 30p, 3:21 minutes, 2016.

Iterations of Copper Perforation Loop, an original piece of direct animation created by scraping emulsion off of 16mm black leader against a 5” diameter circular disc of perforated copper. The Triptych includes the original loop, and hand processed contact prints of it, one of which I exposed onto Liquid Light treated clear leader.


Perilous Experiment, 16mm,2:46 minutes, 2016.

After I tried to explain to my mother what experimental animation was, she commented that the Latin root of the word experiment is “peri”, suggesting a boundary, as in “perimeter.” She explained that experimenting means to venture beyond boundaries, an action potentially full of peril. This is a three screen attempt to enact that idea using the direct animation technique of letterpress printing on 16mm film leader. A previous version was presented as a live projection performance in 2015. Printed on a Vandercook proof press using 10 and 12 point Gothic lead type at Community Print, Olympia WA.


Between Two Cities Exquisite Corpse: Barking Dog to Fir Tree excerpt.Digital, 3 min. 2017

I took an invitation by Salise Hughes to participate in the 2017 Between Two Cities Exquisite Corpse project to process and exorcise some negative emotions about the 2016 election season.


Optical Device on Display

Zoetrope with Ron’s World sketch

Zoetrope with Gluttony sketch


Flipbooks, 1979-1990


Birthrite original art: scratchboard drawings


Turntable Praxinoscopes with disks


The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.