Sheri Wills an artist who works with film, video, and sound to make single-channel videos, installations, sound works, and live video performances. She explores the material, psychological, and philosophical potentials of cinema to reveal small moments that often go unseen and pull forward the emotional content of abstract imagery.

She has had one-person shows at venues including the Director’s Lounge in Berlin, the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema in NYC, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Her films have been screened internationally, such as at the Museum of Modern Art in NY, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Cinémas Différents in Paris, the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, the London Film Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, Fisura in Mexico City, the Abattoirs Museum in Toulouse, France, and Microscope Gallery in NYC. Her films are distributed by Light Cone in Paris.

Her collaborations include live video projects with music composed by Jan Jirásek, Charles Norman Mason, Bright Sheng, and Ofer Ben-Amots and video performances with music ensembles, including the NYC choral group, Khorikos, the Providence String Quartet, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, and Ensemble QAT in Montreal, at venues including Roulette in Brooklyn, the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, and the Czech Center in NYC.

She has participated recently at residencies including the Narva Art Residency in Estonia, At Home Gallery in Slovakia, and the Studios at MASS MoCA.

Sheri Wills is an American Council on Education Fellow and a Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, where in 2019 she was honored with the Frazier Award for Teaching Excellence.

Sheri Wills is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. She lives in New York City.


I see the physical characteristics of time-based media as a framework for understanding human experience. I work with the material qualities of analog film, audio & digital media, (such as optical illusions, frames, sprocket holes, light leaks, audio feedback, time interpolation, etc.), combined with historic & contemporary research on how the human visual and auditory systems operate to examine the gaps between what is measurable in the physical world and what we perceive as experience. Just as peripheral vision is essential to survival, I believe it is by paying attention to the gaps, the margins and the in-between moments that we gain a fuller understanding of others and of our relationship to the world outside of our own bodies. It’s the absence I am most drawn to – in my own story and other people’s – and imagery that is unresolved and abstract.

In my site-responsive installations I push away from the traditional black box viewing experience by allowing the natural light in a space to interact with the projections. The daylight in the space forms a dialog with the projections, inviting visitors to consider the build-up of information carried in the various light sources. I ask people to contemplate the ‘memory’ their presence, the projections, and the daylight itself is imprinting into the space, creating overlapping histories. This work creates tension by leveling the tacit hierarchy of where meaning resides in the experience – is it in the video projection or in the existing natural light?