Tommy Becker

Profile  |  Artworks  |  Exhibitions  |  Network
"They'll Give You Power You've Only Dreamed Of", 2014 Gouache And Acrylic Ink On Paper Triptych, 36"X 18" (Total) © Tommy Becker
"Can You Feel, The Pain-body?", 2014 Gouache, Print Ink, Charcoal And Acrylic Paint, On Paper Triptych, 36"X18" (Total) © Tommy Becker
"To Every Moment, The Juice Is Inside", 2014 Print Ink, Acrylic Ink & Paint Diptych, 24"X18" (Total) © 2014
"Song for Elliott Jaques", 2014 Print Ink On Paper, Monoprint Diptych, 24"X18", (Total) © Tommy Becker
Song for the Lemons, 2014 Dv Https://Vimeo.Com/69423986 © Courtesy of the Artist and Southern Exposure
Song for the Pain-body, 2014 Dv Https://Vimeo.Com/79567823 © Tommy Becker
Song for Disobedient Youth, 2008 Dv Https://Vimeo.Com/15232958 © Tommy Becker
Song for Bobby XP1, 2012 Dv Https://Vimeo.Com/47182464 © tommy becker
"Primary Colors, Cat", 2014 China Marker On Paper 8.5"X11" © Tommy Becker
"Primary Colors, Lion", 2014 China Marker On Paper 8.5"X11" © Tommy Becker
"You're a Mother Guiding a Child Around a Puddle", 2012 Block Print, Ink & Typewriter Print 11"X17" © Tommy Becker
"You Nourishment, You Hopeful Mess", 2012 Ink & Archival Pigment Print With Manual Typewriter Text On Paper 11"X17" © tommy becker
"Cosmetic Flashes Between Folded Limbs", 2012 Block Print And Archival Pigment Print, Oil Pastel & Typewriter Print 11"X17" © Tommy Becker
"The Refrigerator Sound Between Transitions", 2012 Block Print And Archival Pigment Print, With Ink And Manual Typewriter Text On Paper 11"X17"
"Song for the Fate of Animals", 2012 Block Print And Archival Pigment Print With Pastel And Manual Typewriter Text On Paper 11"X17" © tommy becker
“Mic in Hand, Bird in Nest”, 2012 Block Print And Archival Pigment Print, Pencil & Typewriter Print 11"X17" © Tommy Becker
Quick Facts
Minneapolis, MN
Lives in
San Francisco, CA
Works in
San Francisco, CA
California College of the Arts, 2001, MFA
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), 1999
handcrafted prints mixed-media, handcrafted prints, printmaking, poet, Poetic, poems, poetry, poetry-reading, visual-poetry, visual/poetry, mixed-media, video-art, performance, surrealism, exhibition/performance


The video work for Tape Number One blends poetics, songwriting, performance, costuming, found footage and hand made props. Each track is presented as a song dedication, the videos run song-length, never more then a few minutes.

At times, absurd visual elements pertaining to a characters’ situation, gesture or costume, contrasts with the blunt sentimental honesty of the voice. The tension between fiction and heartfelt truth, often leads viewers into the surreal as the work struggles to convey experiences of beauty or insight into our being. The tape is an incomplete visual monument, a documentary continuously being built upon through bits of poetry  honoring the past.   


Tommy Becker attended the San Francisco Art Institute as an undergraduate before receiving his MFA in Film/Video/Performance from California College of Arts where he was awarded, "The All College Honor Award”. A poet trapped in a camcorder, Becker continues to feed video, music and poems into his never-ending saga, “TAPE NUMBER ONE”. Often Becker’s single channel works are translated to live performance. In 2005, he was awarded an artist in residency at Headlands Center for The Arts and included in Bay Area Now 4 at the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts. His work has been presented at Freewaves’ 10th Biennial Film, Video & New Media Art Festival, Los Angeles; White Columns, New York; Black Maria Film Festival, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY and most recently at the Portland Experimental Film Festival and Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, BC.  Since 2004, he’s worked as an arts educator in the Bay Area.




Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA  | This Will Never Work - "Song for the Lemons" | group screening | juried by Mary Magsamen

Antimatter International Media Art & Experimental Cinema | "Song for Primary Colors" | Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, BC | group screening

The Carrboro Film Festival, 8th Annual, Carrboro, NC | Film Block 8 - Century Center | "Song for Bobby XP1 | group screening | curated by Jim Haverkamp & Joyce Ventimiglia

OPTRONICA, "Song for the Lemons" & "Song for Disobedient Youth" | Other Cinema, San Francisco, CA | live video poem reading | curated by Craig Baldwin

Experimental Film Festival Portland | Catalyst - "Song for Elliott Jacques" | Studio 2, Portland, Oregon | screening

Montreal Underground Film Festival,  MUFF 8 | Song for Elliott Jaques & Song for Bobby XP1  | group screening | curated by MUFF collective & Allan Brown

Time is Love | "Song for Disobedient Youth" |  screening | UK, USA, Germany, Norway, Iran, Netherlands | group show | curated by Kisito Assangni

OPTRONICA, "Song for Primary Colors", Other Cinema, San Francisco, CA | live video poem reading | curated by Craig Baldwin |

San Francisco Cinematheque Art Auction | Center for New Music, San Francisco, CA | print work


Strange Beauty Film Festival | "Song for Bobby XP1 & Song for the Collectors" | Man Bites Dog Theater, Durham, NC - January 24-26th | group screening | curated by Jim Haverkamp & Joyce Ventimiglia

Visible Verse - "Song for Elliott Jaques" & "Song for Disobedient Youth", Pacific Cinematheque, Vancouver, BC group screening | curated by Heather Haley

OPTRONICA, "Song for Elliott Jaques", Other Cinema, San Francisco, CA | live video poem reading | curated by Craig Baldwin

Shapeshifters Cinema, Arbor, Oakland CA | TAPE NUMBER ONE | live  video poem reading | curated by Gilbert Guerrero and Kathleen Quillian

The 31st Black Maria Film Festival | “Song for Hellos and Goodbyes” - Jury’s Citation | touring experimental film festival

17 Days | "Song for the Movement of Snow Angels" | Gwen Frostic School of Art,  Western Michigan University | | installation | curated by Adriane Little

2012 Crossroads Film Festival - San Francisco Cinematheque, Victoria Theater, SF, CA | "Song for the Collectors" | video poem reading | curated by Steve Polta

Royal Nonesuch Gallery, Oakland, CA | “Pages of Video, TAPE NUMBER ONE: side one” | print work, single channel video & video poem reading | solo show & performance


AMP art micro patronage | Material Motion | online exhibition | curated by Sarah Klein presented by The Present Group

ATA Film and Video Festival 2011, SF CA | video poem reading

Basement Media Fest, Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn, New York | TAPE NUMBER ONE side one | screening

Krowswork, Oakland CA | “2011 Summer of Video Art” | TAPE NUMBER ONE | video poem reading | curated by Jasmine Moorhead

Other Cinema, SF CA | Avant to Live, New Experimental Works | video poem reading | curated by Craig Baldwin

Temescal Street Cinema, Oakland CA | “Experimentation + Animation” | screening | curated by Kathleen Quillian

Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, Milwaukee WI | TAPE NUMBER ONE side one | screening

E6 Gallery, SF CA | “Say Something!” | video poem reading | curated by Ashley Lauren Saks 

Roxie Theater, SF CA | “Playback 2006-2010” A five year retrospective of ATA’s Film & Video Festival  | video reading | curated by Isabel Fondevilla & Shae Green

MICROWAVEFEST, Hong Kong Space Museum, China | Selected Shorts From ATA’s 4th Film & Video Festival | screening

2008 - 2010

ATA FIlm and Video Festival 2009, SF CA | “Stories We Tell Ourselves” | screening

Manresa Gallery, University of San Francisco, CA | “The Icon & The Iconic” curated by James Blaettler & Lynn Kirby | video installation

Climate Theater, SF CA | “TAPE NUMBER ONE” - Night Visions Series curated by Kaliisa Conlon, & Brendan Leonard | video poem reading

HALLWALLS Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY | “TAPE NUMBER ONE” | solo installation / video poem reading

San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery | “Poems to be Read With Small Stones” part of the series, “A Grass Mound” curated by Anthony Marcellini | instructional poetry reading

Electric Works Gallery, SF CA | Stop & Go Film Festival, traveling festival curated by Sarah Klein

2006 - 2007

Patricia Sweetow Gallery, SF, CA | “Inchoate”, a multifaceted show celebrating the California College of the Arts Centennial | installation

Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA | Film and Video at California College of the Arts: Performative, Gestural, Collaborative Work -

celebrating the CCA Centennial | video poem reading

Artists’ Television Access Second Annual Film & Video Festival, SF CA | screening

De Fabriek, Eindhoven, Netherlands | screening

The Portland Documentary & Experimental Film Festival | screening

Freewaves’ 10thBiennial Film, Video & New Media Art Festival, UCLA Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles | “Too Much Freedom?” | installation

Aurora Picture Show, Houston TX | Media Archeology Festival: Software Cinema | video poem reading

Best of Aurora Picture Show, Volume 3, touring show U.S. | screening

Artists’ Television Access First Annual Film & Video Festival, SF CA | screening

TART, San Francisco CA | “The Lords, Notes on Vision” | installation & video poem reading

Ninth Annual Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Victoria, BC, Canada | screening

Ampersand International Arts, SF, CA | “Interior Life” | installation

2004 - 2005

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, SF CA | “Bay Area Now 4” | installation & video poem reading

Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA | Artist in Residence

Art in General, New York, NY | “Audio in the Elevator” | audio installation

PlaySpace Gallery, SF CA | “Evidence Is Everywhere”, curated by Tanya Zimbardo, | video installation

Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, SF CA | Paper, 8.5" x 11", White | Momentary Academy curated by Ted Purves | paper performance course

Invisible Venue | “You Don’t Know San Francisco”, curated by Christian L. Frock | on-line video

Oliver Art Center, Oakland CA | “Advance To Go” selected works from recent CCA alumni | installation

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF CA | “DEFUNCT” curated by Grace Hawthorne and Marisa Olson | installation

White Columns Gallery, NY NY | “Score: Action Drawing” curated by Marisa Olson | installation

San Francisco Art Institute, SF CA | The 11th SFAI Film & Video Festival | screening

2001 - 2003

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF CA | “Adventures in Video”  | video poem reading | curated by Total Mobile Home

Catherine Clark Gallery, SF CA | “Introductions 2003” | video installation

Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley CA | Recent Revelations, “New Social Modeling” | screening

Video 825, Los Angeles Art Association, Los Angeles, CA | “Video Shorts by Tommy Becker” | solo screening

The San Francisco Performance Cinema Symposium, Dimension 7 Video Gallery | video poem reading | curated by Henry Warwick

Southern Exposure, SF CA | Temporary Services “Audio Relay” | recorded spoken/music

Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, UW Seattle WA | “Signal 2 Noise” | screening

It Can Change,| “Free Record Label”/“Clothing Project” | recorded spoken/music

Ampersand International Arts, SF CA | “Daily Docudrama” | solo installation

SF Camerawork, SF CA | “Same/Difference” | video installation

WORKS, San Jose CA | “What Is Now” - Performance Art Festival | video installation

SF Cinematheque @ Fine Arts Cinema, Berkeley CA | “The Short & Shorter of It” | screening

Boston Underground Film Festival | “A Celebration of Alternative Visions” | screening

Film Fest New Haven | “7th Annual Film Fest New Haven” | screening

ATA @ Echo Park Film Center, Los Angeles CA | “2002 Best of Open Screening” | screening

San Francisco Independent Film Festival | “Digital Underground” | screening

Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley CA | “Alternative Requirements” | screening

WORKS, San Jose CA | “Viva la Video” a showcase of emerging Bay Area video artists | installation

Refusalon, SF CA | “Introductions 2001” | installation

GenArtSF, Herbst Int’l Exhibition Hall, SF CA | “New Fangle 2001” | installation & performance

Pond, SF CA | “Face II Face To Face”, curated by It Can Change | installation




ArtSlant has shutdown. The website is currently running in a view-only mode to allow archiving of the content.

The website will be permanently closed shortly, so please retrieve any content you wish to save.