Artist and agitator Ruth Sergel creates compassionate works that explode out the boundaries of traditional mediums. Fascinated by what makes it possible for people to move from the inner realm of dream, thought or feeling to the exterior world of public action, she exploits public interventions and interactive media to create experiences of agency. Inspired by rebels, visionary pedagogues and magicians, Ruth’s work bridges art and technology, memory and wonder to incite individual and social transformation.
Ruth’s films, public interventions and interactive installations have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, New-York Historical Society, Gray Art Gallery, Anthology Film Archives and 3LD Art + Technology Center. Her work has been shown internationally including Clermont-Ferrand (France), Shift Festival (Basel) and Théâtre de la Ville, (Paris) as well as broadcast on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) and PBS.
Ruth’s projects have been supported by the Jerome Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Experimental Television Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the 21st Century ILGWU Heritage Fund. Ruth was the Resident Researcher in Video at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and a fellow in Public Humanities at Brown University. Additional residencies include Yaddo, Squeaky Wheel, CESTA (Czech Republic), Digital Performance Institute, and Here Arts Center. Her work has been widely covered in the press including the New York Times, NY Daily News, NPR, CNN, and the Huffington Post. In 2011, Ruth was honored to be invited to the Obama White House to participate in the Community Leaders Briefing Series.
Ruth’s first book, See You in the Streets: Art, Action + Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, was published by the University of Iowa Press in June 2016.
For more on her work please visit: www.streetpictures.org
Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, Rebecca Solnit + Joshua Jelly-Schapiro (University of California Press, 2016) p. 88
The Poetry of Everyday Life: Storytelling and the Art of Awareness, Steve Zeitlin (Cornell University Press, 2016)
Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic Independent Children, Marjorie Ingall (Harmony, 2016) p. 210-212.
Mapping the Soul of the City, Katharine Harmon (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016) p. 134-135.
Fire and Blood so Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy, Al Marrin (Knopf Books for Young Reader, 2011) p. 145 – 146
The New York City Triangle Factory Fire, Leigh Benin, Rob Linné, Adrienne Sosin, and Joel Sosinsky with Workers United (ILGWU) and HBO Documentary Films (Arcadia Publishing, 2011)
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, Rebecca Solnit (Penguin Books, 2010)
Terror Dream, Susan Faludi (Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2008) p. 287 – 289
Jewish Currents Commemorating the Fire, Esther Cohen 16 March 2017
The Forward The Art World Responds To Trump’s Inauguration With A Call For Strikes, Jake Romm 9 January 2017
The New Yorker City of Women, Rebecca Solnit, 11 October 2016
WBAI Beyond the Pale, Lizzy Ratner + Jesse Meyerson, 24 March 2013
New York Times In Tragedy: A Mission to Remember, Steven Greenhouse, 19 March 2011
NY Daily News Artist captures 500 9/11 memories in archive of filmed testimonies, Barry Paddock, 9 September 2011
Fishko Files/WNYC See for Yourself, Sara Fishko, 9 September 2011
Huffington Post Who Should Tell the Story of 9/11?, Kate Kelly, 8 September 2011
New York Times Triangle Fire: In Memoriam, Steven Greenhouse, Steven Greenhouse, 25 March 2011
CNN Ruth Sergel: Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, on it’s 100th Anniversary, Jay Kernis, 25 March 2011
NPR A Somber Centennial for the Triangle Factory Fire, Jon Kalish, 24 March 2011
WNYC Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 100 Years Later, Caroline Cooper, 21 March 2011
Huffington Post The Triangle Factory Fire Centennial and Why it Matters Today, Kate Kelly, 8 March 2011
Voice of America 100th Anniversary Recalls Horror of New York Triangle Fire, Adam Phillips, 24 March 2011
Alef; The NEXT Conversation The Poetry of a Chalk Memorial, Rachel Cahn, 30 March 2011
The Villager Thousands will Mark Triangle Factory Fire 100th Anniversary, Albert Amateau, 17 March 2011
New York Times Remembering the Triangle Fire, 100 Years Later, Joseph Berger, 14 March 2011
The Forward Paying Tribute to the Fire’s Pained Legacy, Lillian Swanson, 23 February 2011
New York Times Choosing Not to Forget What is Painful to Recall, Clyde Haberman, 25 March 2010
Daily News Workers Who Died in Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Honored, Barry Paddock, 26 March 2011
The Forward Triangle Shirtwaist Fire: An Indelible Memory, Etched in Chalk, Josh Nathan-Kazis, 24 March 2010
New York Times Remembering Lower Manhattan’s Day of Horror:Without Pomp or Circumstance, Edward Rothstein, 11 Sept 2007
The Forward Remembering the Triangle Fire, Marjorie Ingall, 20 April 2007
New York Times Memorials in Chalk, Michael Molyneux, 3 April 2005
WomenArts Its Time to be Fierce Dreamers, Sarah Browning, Feb. 2005
New York Times Belle: Breakthrough Roles, 8 of Them, 25 April 2004
Film Threat Girls on Film, MaryAnn Johanson, 19 July 2004
Washington Post Mourning, Still a Work in Progress, Michael O’Sullivan, 13 September 2002
Brooklyn Rail Cusp, Deborah Evrett, 4 March 2002
The Chicago Reader Women in the Director’s Chair International Film, Jennifer Vanasco,, 16 March 2001
New York Times Young Men Journeying Into Wilds of Manhood, Lawrence van Gelder, 8 April 2000
IndieWire Long Form Shorts Come of Age, Andrea Meyer, 28 March 2000
Village Voice Devil Inside, Jessica Winter,17 October 2000
I’m back + forth between NYC + Berlin. The best way to reach me is by email:
Read about Ruth in the NYT.