University of Illinois MFA in Moving Image candidate
Tamara Becerra Valdez uses photography, video, drawing, and installation alongside an adoption of methods in archaeology and ethnography to consider how historical topographies can be discovered in traces and fragments in the urban social landscape. Through intervening methodologies and chance encounters, she observes the uses, meanings, and functions of discarded materials. The ephemeral nature of human behavior leaves an impression in her work.
Valdez earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with formal studies in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin (2008). She has held positions in programming and special collections at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and The Harry Ransom Center. She has worked in field based, ethnographic projects in Texas, Mississippi, Illinois, and states in México. In 2017, she served as a Graduate Research Fellow supervising the artistic and creative direction in the collaborative, multi-disciplinary project, “Political Ecology: Platform Chicago”, supported by the Institute for the Humanities (UIC) Humanities Without Walls consortium, and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.