Julia Scher grew up in Hollywood California. She received a 1975 B.A. in Painting/Sculpture/Graphic Arts from U.C.L.A., and a 1984 M.F.A. in Studio Arts, from the University of Minnesota.
In the last 20 years, her research has explored social control dynamics in the public sphere. The art projects have taken the form of interactive installations, reformulated surveillance, site tours, interventions, performances, photography, writing, web work, linear video, and sound.
Scher’s work has been included in several exhibitions including The Venice Biennale, The Whitney Biennial, The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tapias Museum, Barcelona, Museo Nacional, Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, Madrid, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museé d’art Moderne, Paris, Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, and the ICA, London.
She is the recipient of grants and fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Installation Art, 2005, The Bunting Institute Fellowship for Surveillance Studies at Harvard University, 1996-1997, and the NEA Grant for Installation Art, 1992.
She has taught and lectured at a number of institutions including M.I.T., The Cooper Union for Art and Science, Hartford University Art School, U.C.L.A., U.S.C, Harvard University, Columbia University, The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and Rutgers University. While teaching in the Department of Film and Video at Massachusetts College of Art, 1995-1996, she inaugurated the first art “Surveillance Studies” class in the United States.