Picture of Lisa Birke

Lisa Birke BFA (Emily Carr); MFA (with distinction, University of Waterloo)

Associate Professor Digital and Extended Media; PI shARed spaces

Faculty Member in Art & Art History

Murray Building 282

Research Area(s)

  • Performance for video
  • Video Art
  • Augmented reality
  • Installation
  • Digital Imaging
  • Media Theory
  • Painting
  • Representation and woman's studies

Artistic Works



Dawn of Melancholy: A Birthday Soliloquy (Jan 16 – Jan 25th 2024). Single-channel augmented video, initially part of exhibition: TrippingTime, Stuttgart, Germany: Stuttgarter Filmwinter Festival of Expanded Media, exhibition presented at GEDOK Gallery.

Film Festival Screening: Arizona International Film Festival (Tucson, USA)

TrippingTime (Jan 16  – Jan 25th 2024). Solo exhibition curated by Marcus Kohlbach [augmented multi-channel video installation with augmented picket signs created in collaboration with grade 8 students and teachers, Josepha Lutz and Nicola Hoellwarth, from FSG Marbach]. Stuttgart, Germany: Stuttgarter Filmwinter Festival of Expanded Media, exhibition presented at GEDOK Gallery.

accumulate (Jan 27 – Jan 28th, 2024). Group exhibition, PADA Studio Residency: Winter 24 [two-channel video installation with performance objects]. Barreiro, Portugal: PADA Gallery.

Signs of our Times (Mar 17 – Apr 21st  2023). Single-channel video, group exhibition curated by David LaRiviere. Saskatoon, Canada: “20/50 Double Anniversary Exhibition”, PAVED Arts.                        

Film Festival Screenings: International Short Film Week Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany), VASTLAB Experimental 2024 (Los Angeles, USA), Festival Fotogenia Vol 5 (Mexico City, Mexico), Tortona IndieFilm Session (Tortona, Italy), The Magikal Charm Experimental Video & Film Fest (New York, USA), Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), Arizona International Film Festival (Awarded: Best Experimental, Tucson, USA), Bideodromo International Experimental Film and Video Festival (Semi-Finalist, Bilbao, Spain), InExperimental Film Fest (New Bern, USA), Video Art Miden (Greece), Fonlad (Coimbra, Portugal), Torrance Art Museum & The New Museum of Networked Art (Torrance, USA), International New Media Art Festival Videomedeja (Serbia)

Natures of Reality (Sep 11 – Nov 30th 2021). Solo multi-media exhibition with AR curated by Sandee Moore. Regina, Canada: Regina Art Gallery. 

An augmented reality version of this work is also hosted on the shARed spaces app (University of Saskatchewan).

The Land of Milk and Honey (Sep 26th 2020 – Feb 15th 2021). Group exhibition curated by Sandra Fraser and Felicia Gay [interactive 360 video installation]. Saskatoon, Canada: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art, Remai Modern in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Alberta.

Film Festival Screenings: Geelong Underground Film Festival at G Biennale Australia (awarded Best 360, Australia), International Short Film Week Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany), Mirror Mountain Film Festival (Ottawa, Canada), Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality, FIVARS (Canada), Fisura International Festival of Experimental Film and Video (Mexico), Bideodromo International Experimental Film and Video Festival (Awarded: Finalist, Spain), and MAAM (Muestra de Antropologia Audiovisual de Madrid) in collaboration with the National Museum of Anthropology (Spain).

Different Ways (Aug 31 – Sep 1st 2018). Feature Artists, live multi-media performances with two-person exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery curated by Wynne Palmer. Richmond, Canada: Digital Carnival/Richmond World Festival, hosted by Cinevolution.

An earlier version of this work was also presented at Flotilla (conference, performance and exhibition), organized by the Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic, Sept 21 –24th 2017 in Charlottetown, PEI.

The Knits (Sept 15 – Nov 4th 2017). Solo exhibition curated by Iga Janik (3-channel video installation with furniture, performance objects and photographs). Cambridge, Canada: Cambridge Galleries Idea Exchange. 

This work was also part of a solo exhibition Volte Face (Apr 12 – Jun 1st 2019). Solo exhibition curated by Heather McLeese [4 video work installation]. Owen Sound, Canada: Tom Thomson Art Gallery and as an installation at the International Short Film Week Regensburg, Germany.

Film Festival Screenings: Slamdance Film Festival (Park City, USA), Vancouver International Film Festival, Oxford International Film Festival (Oxford, England), Florida Film Festival (Maitland, USA), Mirror Mountain Film Festival (Ottawa, Canada), Tally Shorts Film Festival (Tallahassee, USA), Another Hole in the Head: San Francisco Underground Film Festival (San Fransisco, USA), Stockholm Experimental Animation Film Festival (Stockholm, Sweden), 12-14 Contemporary (Vienna, Austria), CCA Center for Contemporary Arts, (Glasgow, Scotland), Utopia of a Transformation, UNAM Mexico City/Mexican Cultural Institute Vienna (Mexico/Austria), AVIFF (France and Poland), Gimme Some Truth Documentary Fest (Winnipeg, Canada), International Panorama: Videoart & Experimental Cinema VOL#2 (Brazil), Cinque Terre (Italy), SK, Congress 2018 (Regina, Canada), TIME is Love.11 (Touring/Glasgow), Arizona International Film Festival (Tucson, USA), Milwaukee Underground Film Festival (Milwaukee, USA), International Short Film Week Regensburg (Germany), Woordfees (Stellenbosch, South Africa), along with others.

Bombshell (May 28 – Jun 26th 2016). Large-scale projection onto city hall in public art festival. Kitchener, Canada:, CAFKA 16 (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener & Area).

Film Festival screenings and curated media programs including: Gstaadfilm (international festival for short art films, Uruguay), 7a*md8 in partnership with (Un)settled (Guild Park and Gardens, Canada), Art Film Festival Cannes, AVIFF (Cannes, France), Arizona International Film Festival (Tucson, USA), Toronto Short Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), Tally Shorts Film Festival (Tallahassee, USA), Hamilton Film Festival (Hamilton, Canada), Fem Tour Truck (touring screening program: Bilbao, Madrid, Covilha, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcelona, Vitoria, Cuenca, Bogotá, Manta, Quito and Guayaquil, Spain, Portugal, Ecuador and Colombia) 

End Game (Jun 4 – Sep 9th 2016). Group exhibition with Robert Achtemichuk, Patrick Cull, Laura De Decker, and Barbara Hobot curated by Crystal Mowry [video projection in response to permanent collection]. Kitchener, Canada: “Our Mutual Friend” Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery (KWAG).    

Film Festival screenings and curated media programs: “Earth Games”: ALPHABET @ The New Museum of Networked Art, New Media Fest 2020 WowRetro (curated film screening by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, online), “Wow.12 India 5.0 (Universal Com)”, artvideoKOELN & The New Museum of Networked Art @ TransArt 2 (Kolkata, India), and Swedenborg Film Festival (London, England)                                                            

Calendar Girls (Feb 17 – May 14th 2017). Group exhibition/biennale [video installation on monitor]. Quebec City, Canada: Manif d’Art (La Biennale de Quebec).

(Sep 11 –  Oct 25th 2015). Solo exhibition [video installation with digital prints]. Saskatoon, Canada: PAVED Arts.

Festival Screenings: Cold Cuts Video Festival (SOVA Gallery) in conjunction with the Dawson City International Short Film Festival (Dawson City, Canada), Experimenta Canadá, presented by Colectivo Toronto (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Cuarto Aparte, Biennial of Cuenca (Cuenca, Ecuador), Strangloscope, International Experimental Video/Film, Audio, Performance Festival (Florianópolis, Brasil), 22nd International Short Film Week Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany), European Film Festival (Berlin, Germany), Vancouver International Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada), SESIFF, Seoul international Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival (Seoul Korea), Rural FilmFest Valle de Alcudia y Sierra Madrona (Sierra Madrona, Spain), Groupe Intervention Video: Videos de femmes dans le parc 2015 (Montréal, Canada), Tracce Cinematografiche Film Fest (Rome, Italy), Windsor Independent Film Festival (Windsor, USA), Short Circuit 2015, CineVic (Victoria, Canada), “Les irrécupérables #5”, ARTVIDEO LAB (Paris, France), 24th Arizona International Film Festival, (Jury Award: Creative Achievement, Tucson, USA), cellu l’art Short Film Festival Jena (Jena, Germany), Athens International Film + Video Festival (Ohio, USA), Conference Intersection/Cross Section: “Thresholds: Presence, Absence, and Territory”, York University and Ryerson University, (Toronto, Canada)

Happy Days (after Samuel Beckett) (Feb 3 – 16th 2016). Group exhibition [video installation on monitor]. Sochi, Russia: Sochi Winter International Arts Festival.

Tea Service (Sep 2013). Group Exhibition. Waterloo, ON: Faculty Show, Artery Gallery, University of Waterloo.

Film Festival screenings and curated media programs: “Non-Normativity in Kurzfilm & Video Art”, Filmgalerie im Leeren Beutel, Medienwissenschaft Universitat Regensburg in collaboration with Filmgalerie Arbeitskreis Film e.V., (Regensburg, Germany), “CologneOFF 2016 Argentina” FIVA Festival Internacional Videoarte (Buenos Aires, Argentina), “artvideoKOELN - audiovisual experiences”, TENRI - Japanese-Cultural Centre Cologne (Germany), National Art Centre’s Ontario Scene Festival, SAW Video Media Art Centre (Ottawa, Canada)

Egg Stock (Jun 2 – 5th 2014). 2-hour live performance and video installation in group performance art series/exhibition with Terrance Houle, Johannes Zits, Jessica Thompson and Adrian Blackwell curated by Bojana Videkanic and Ivan Jurakic. Waterloo, Canada: “This Could Be the Place”, CAFKA in partnership with the University of Waterloo Art Gallery.

Screening of the video version of the work has also taken place on Dec 4th 2020: “Utopia de una Transformacion”. Traveling exhibition and screening, a project by Luciana Esqueda and co-curated by Denise Parizek. Vienna, Austria: 12-14 Contemporary.          

Semiotics of the {Postfeminist} Kitchen (after Martha Rosler) (Jul 25th 2014). Live performance, keynote artist at audio art festival. Saskatoon, Canada: “Sounds Like IV Audio Art Festival”, a co-production: AKA Artist Run, PAVED Arts, and Holophon.

Red Carpet, single channel video, 15 min, 2013


(Apr 3 – 14th 2015). Group Exhibition [single channel projection with photographs]. Vancouver, Canada: Capture Photography Festival, “35 Years of Reflection: Alumni & Student Show”, Remington Gallery in association with Arts Umbrella.                                

(Dec 5– 7th 2014):  Dance Film Festival Installation [single-channel projection in São Luiz Teatro Municipal]. Lisbon, Portugal: InShadow International Festival of Video, Performance and Technologies.                                  

(Nov 14th 2014 –Jan 15th 2015) Video installation [video on monitor]. Regina, Canada: Dunlop Art Gallery, Central Mediatheque.                                                                                                                                                                     (Oct 18 – Nov 15th 2014) Solo exhibition [single-channel projection]. Toronto, Canada: VTape.                                         

(Aug 7 – Oct 3rd 2014) Juried group exhibition [single-channel projection]. Orillia, Canada: “Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition”, Orillia Museum of Art & History.                                                                                 

(Apr 18 – 20th 2014). Group exhibition with Pipilotti Rist, Kelly Richardson, Ryan Trecartin, Kent Monkman, Stephen Andrews & John Greyson, and Istvan Kantor [single-channel video]. Dawson City, Canada: Cold Cuts Video Festival: Dawson City International Short Film Festival.                          

(Nov 6 – 20th 2014). Group exhibition/video installation. Fredericton, Canada: “Cold Cuts Video Festival <revel in it>”, Connexion ARC. 

(Jul 5 – Aug 25th 2013). Juried group exhibition [single-channel video]. Cambridge, Canada: “the Show13”, Cambridge Galleries.

Film Festival screenings and curated media programs: “Kurzfilme Deutscher Filmemacherinnen” a program of short films by German and German-born Female Filmmakers, Heimspiel Film Festival (Regensburg, Germany), “Ave’02 Audio Visual Experiences” ArtVideoKoeln at Novo ArtSpace (Cologne, Germany), CeCe 2015 in partnership with Cologne Off X Video Art Festival, (Shillong, India), Syracuse International Media & Film Festival (Syracuse, Italy), “Gesamptkunstwerk: Alienated Identities”, Cologne OFF X, Torrance Art Museum (Torrance, USA), “Gesamptkunstwerk: Alienated Identities”, Cologne OFF X, (Tel Aviv, Israel), Cyprus International Performance Art Festival (Nicosia, Greece), 20th International Short Film Week Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany), Other Venice Film Festival (Venice, USA)

Lost (re-edit from MFA work) 7min, digital video loop, 2013

Film Festival screening: Videoholica, (Varna, Bulgaria)

Pictures in an Exhibition, (Apr 11 – 25th 2013). Solo Exhibition: MFA thesis exhibition [six-channel video installation]. Waterloo, Canada: University of Waterloo Art Gallery.               



Jury Award for Creative Achievement, “Dawn of Melancholy: A Birthday Soliloquy”, Arizona International Film        Festival, Tucson, USA


Canada Council for the Arts, Grow Grant (Innovation Strategy Fund: Cultivate Grants) (Principle Investigator; with the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries) “shARed spaces 2.0- Public Augmented Art Response Team (PAART)” an Augmented Reality outreach project for communities in Saskatchewan


Best Experimental Short, “Signs of our Times”, Arizona International Film Festival, Tucson, USA

Semi-Finalist, “Signs of our Times”, Bideodromo International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Spain


USSU Teaching Excellence Award, University of Saskatchewan

2022 Provost’s New Teacher Award, University of Saskatchewan


Canada Council for the Arts, Explore and Create For the production of “Natures of Reality” at the Art Gallery of Regina

Finalist; (3rd place overall), “The Land of Milk and Honey”, Bideodromo International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Spain


Best 360, “The Land of Milk and Honey”, Geelong Underground Film Festival, Australia


Canada Council for the Arts: Concept to Realization, “Different Ways”

Canada Council for the Arts: Arts Abroad To attend screening of The Knits at Slamdance Film Festival, Park City, USA


Canada Council for the Arts: Research-Creation Grant

Nominated: Ottawa Rickshaws Best Director Award, Mirror Mountain Film Festival, Ottawa 

Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant: Ed Video (for travel to Flotilla, PEI)


First-round selection: Arte Laguna Prize, Venice Italy 


Ontario Arts Council-Media Artists: Emerging: Production Grant: “The Knits”

Canada Council for the Arts: Travel Grant (Media Artists) To attend screening of “Calendar Girls at the Vancouver International Film Festival)

Jury Award: “Calendar Girls”, ForadCamp 2015, Barcelona                                                                                    

Jury Award: Creative Achievement: “Calendar Girls”, Arizona International Film Festival


Lakehead/Carmichael Juror’s Prize, “red carpet”, Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition, The Orillia Museum of Art & History

Audience Choice Award, “red carpet” in the “Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition”, The Orillia Museum of Art & History


Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies, Convocation Distinction (shortlist for Governor General’s Gold Medal), University of Waterloo 

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Master’s Scholarship, University of Waterloo

President’s Graduate Scholarship (awarded in conjunction with SSHRC) University of Waterloo     

PRESENTATIONS (since 2017)

Women in Narrative, Documentary and Experimental Filmmaking: Online Panel Discussion, April 19th 2024: Arizona International Film Festival, Tucson, USA.

Lisa Birke in conversation with Ken Hess (podcast), May 2023: Experimental Film Podcast- Season 3 Episode 15—Interdisciplinary Artist Lisa Birke.

Steve Bates, Terry Billings, Lisa Birke, Linda Duvall, Ellen Moffat, Sandra Semchuk in conversation with David LaRiviere (panel discussion), Mar 2023: 20/50 Double Anniversary Exhibition, PAVED Arts, Saskatoon, Canada.

Lisa Birke (podcast in conversation with Wenona Partridge), Dec 5th, 2022: Mastering Teaching Podcast: Mastering Teaching with Lisa Birke, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Saskatchewan.

Lisa Birke (public talk), Jan, 2023: Unlocking Creativity: The Power of Striving for Failure, Tedx University of Saskatchewan.

Lisa Birke (artist talk and virtual screening of The Land of Milk and Honey, The Knits, and Bombshell), Jun11th, 2021: Struts Gallery, in association with TIMEshare artist mentorship program, Sackville, Canada.

Laura St. Pierre and Lisa Birke in conversation with Sandra Fraser (exhibition artist talk for borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art) Nov 2020: Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada.

Lisa Birke, (Volte Face exhibition lecture), 2019: Tom Thompson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Canada.

Lisa Birke (SOVA Air Resident Artist Talk), Feb 2019: SOVA Air: School of Visual Arts and Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture, Dawson City Yukon, Canada.

Terrance Houle and Lisa Birke, Different Ways (artist talk), Sep 2018: Young Artists Association, Digital Carnival/Richmond World Festival/Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC.

Lisa Birke, (artist lecture), Aug 2018: Digital spirits haunt the white cube–Discussing video art, Viewpoints: Remai Modern, Saskatoon, SK.

Lisa Birke, (Kein Heim in Sicht/Gleichgewicht, artist talk), Apr 2018: 12-14 Contemporary, Vienna, Austria.

Michael Fleig and Lisa Birke (filmmaker Q&A and presentation), Mar 2018: International Short Film Week Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Morgan McGlothan Michelle Uranowitz, Emily Ann Hoffman, Dan Roe, and Lisa Birke, Slamdance TV: making of short films, Jan 2018. Slamdance Film Festival, Park City, USA.


Teaching & Supervision

Animation Digital Integrated Practice Video Art autonomy competence creative process forward thinking fundamentals relatedness risk taking technical learning

Birke founded the Digital and Integrated Practice (DIP) area in the Department of Art & Art History in 2019.  She teaches: Video Art and Sound, Animation and Digital Space, Digital and Integrated Practice, and Digital Imagery and served as the grad chair for the department between 2019 and 2022.  She was awarded the Provost’s New Teacher Award in 2022 and the USSU Teaching Excellence Award for 2021-2022.

Teaching Philosophy:

"In their book Glued to Games, Scott Rigby and Richard M. Ryan argue that “video games are most successful, engaging, and fun when they are satisfying specific intrinsic needs: those of competence, autonomy, and relatedness” (1) In my pedagogy, I am fully committed to the three pillars of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Competence, the drive to master skills in order to move forward, translates in my classroom to the acquisition of a strong grounding in the fundamentals, as well as an ongoing commitment to exploring and applying burgeoning techniques and technologies. Autonomy, the desire to define our own narratives, is achieved by encouraging exploration, experimentation, and risk taking, buttressed by inspirational support material and ongoing instructor and peer review. Relatedness, the desire to feel like we matter and that we are contributing meaningfully to a group, grows out of students and the instructor playing on the same console to engage with and affect the world around them.

I believe that pedagogical practice should be rooted in proven fundamentals (traditional art theories and techniques) but should be flexible enough to evolve with emerging technologies and ideas that enrich our experiences of the world. In this way, the classroom as a living entity does not stagnate; it is forward thinking. "

  • [1] Rigby, Scott, and Richard M. Ryan. Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2011. Print.


Composition and Colour Theory Contemporary Art Digital Imaging Feminist Media Theory Film Installation Painting Performance Art Relational Aesthetics Representation Video media theory

Lisa Birke is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is a result of the collision of video, performance art, painting and installation.  Situating on the border and in the “in-betweens”, she is interested in the stories that we re-cite and re-brand and how these reflect our conception of the world and the tragi-comic perception of ourselves. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in complex single and multi-channel videos and installations that trouble viewer expectations in the mixing of referents from art history, popular culture and the everyday. The thin line between theatrics and documentation is blurred, exposing an indeterminate subject and an even shakier subjectivity. In her most current work, Birke has been exploring immersive multi-media approaches, special effects, 360 video and augmented reality.

Lisa Birke is the current Principal Investigator for Shared Spaces: Shared Spaces | sharedspaces.usask.ca 

Education & Training

BFA, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Visual Art, 1999, Painting

MFA (with distinction), University of Waterloo, Fine Arts, 2013, Studio Art