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Summer 2019

What I am doing right now…

Immerwährende Verwandlung (Perpetual Metamorphosis), an interactive cabinet of wonders premiered in September 2019. The four part piece was commissioned by the University of Hamburg + is now on permanent exhibition in their museum. Stay tuned for first sightings of The Worst Jew in Berlin in the coming months.

See You In the Streets! won a 2017 American Book Award. Perhaps we are made for these times… was broadcast on C-Span.
If you’re interested in participating in Chalk 2020, please drop me a line!

It’s the fight of our lives in the streets + on the plains.
Looking forward to seeing you in the streets!


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Public Intervention (2004 – present)

On 25 March 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire took the lives of 146 workers, mostly young immigrant women and girls, and galvanized a movement for social and economic justice.

Each year since 2004, on the anniversary of the infamous blaze, volunteers fan out across the city to inscribe in chalk the names and ages of the Triangle dead in front of their former homes. The chalk will wash away but the following year we return, insisting on the memory of these lost young workers.

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Gaza Ghetto

Public Intervention (2014 | 2018)

A response to Operation Protective Edge/the destruction of Gaza, summer 2014.
Re-up for the 2018 Great March of Return

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Forbidden Words

Public Intervention (2017)

“The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.”
-Washington Post (15 December 2017)

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Public Intervention (2016 – 2017)

52 cards (a full deck) created between the 2016 Electoral College vote and the 2017 Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. Collect the full set!

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See You In the Streets

Book (2016)

What makes it possible for people to move from the inner realm of thought, dream or feeling to the exterior world of public action?

See You in the Streets offers an exuberant perspective on an art practice which explodes out the boundaries of traditional mediums to create experiences of agency as an incitement to individual and social transformation.

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Alice in Berlin

Interactive Installation (2012)
It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards – Lewis Carroll

Alice in Berlin slyly evokes our fantasy of childhood innocence to lead the audience on a hallucinatory trip into today’s global chaos. Each scene of the interactive installation builds on the audiences physical participation to question our place in history and individual accountability.

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Interactive Documentary (2012)

Commissioned by theater director Bulat Atabayev of Kazakhstan, Zhanaozen was created for the one year anniversary of the massacre of striking miners. The interactive documentary reacts to the viewers’ physical movement to upend state media, revealing evidence of the slaughter and the protests that followed.

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Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition

Public Intervention (2008 – present)

In anticipation of the 2011 Centennial of the infamous fire, Ruth founded the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. Over a three year period, the Coalition grew into a national network of over 250 partners who created hundreds of educational, activist and artistic actions across the country.

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Alchemy of Light

Performance (2010)

Alchemy of Light melds 19th century illusionism with current interactive technologies to depict the life of the legendary magician Torrini as a parable from a time when our lives first became mediated by machines.

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Magic Box

Interactive Installation (2009)

Magic Box melds 19th century illusionism with current technologies in the guise of a pre-cinema device. The Magic Box mirrors our current confusion about human connection with the 19th century hope that emerging technologies might at last allow us to breach the life-death divide to see our lost loved ones once again.

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Interactive Documentary Performance (2007)

Created with Ethel Greenbaum, 89 years old.

Viewers enter a room where Ethel sits quietly at a dining table. Raising her hand, the table becomes a projection surface. Her movements triggers clips from her life story. The audience is invited to move their hands across the table to learn more about Ethel.

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Turing Machine

Interactive Documentary (2007)

Created in collaboration with Gian Pablo Villamil.

Turing Machine utilizes a re-purposed typewriter as a model Turing Machine to depict the life of Alan Turing, the father of modern computing. Reknowned for his role in breaking the infamous Enigma code during World War II, Turing was later persecuted for his homosexuality.

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Interactive Documentary (2005)

A portrait of homeless artist Alfred Carlo based on his stories and paintings. The audience moves physical objects which reveal the documentary of Al’s multifaceted life as painter, vet, raconteur and man of the street.

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Fiction Film (2004)
35mm • 16 min. • color

Quietly shocking in its frankness
– Film Threat

Belle is a subversive fable of old age and beauty. The film was made with a community of 80 – 93 year old women whose participation as actors and advisors shaped the heart of the work.

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Voices of 9.11

A People’s Archive (2002 – 2003 | 2011)

Who gets to tell the story of 9.11?

Voices of 9.11 was explicitly designed to provide an experience that affirmed each individuals narrative of September 11. With radical simplicity we insisted on the people’s right to tell their own story. The collection of over 500 personal video testimonies provides a unique time capsule from 2002 through early 2003, in New York City, Washington D.C., Shanksville, PA and in the Pentagon, when the language to describe the experience was still being formed.

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Fiction Film (2000)
35mm • 25 Minutes • Color

Lays bare the growing pains of a
12 year old girl
-New York Times

There is an electric moment for girls as they leave behind the bold egoism of girlhood for the shaky dislocations of adolescence. Cusp is a fiction film created with a group of 11-12 year old girls hitting the wall of early adolescence.

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Fiction Film (1998)
35mm • 3 Minutes • B&W

A duet for camera + dancer that challenges expectations of grace and disability.

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Thank you for looking | See you in the streets.