Picture of Lisa Birke

Lisa Birke BFA (Emily Carr); MFA (with distinction, University of Waterloo) Assistant Professor Digital and Extended Media

Murray Building 282

Research Area(s)

  • Performance for video
  • Video Art
  • Digital Imaging
  • Media Theory
  • Women's Studies
  • Installation
  • Painting
  • Composition and Constructing Representation

Artistic Works

Artist Works* (*since July 1, 2017)

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

Birke L. (Apr 12th to Jun 1st 2019). Solo exhibition, juried: Volte-Face [4 single-channel video works installed in main gallery]. Owen Sound: Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

Houle T and Birke L. (Aug 31st to Sep 1st  2018). Collaborative multi-media project and two-person exhibition, juried: Different Ways [Live performance, video installation, live-capture animation, 360 video, community project]. Richmond, BC: Feature Artists: Digital Carnival, part of Richmond World Festival and hosted by Cinevolution, installed at the Richmond Art Gallery.

Benning H and Birke L. (Apr 6th – May 2018) Two-person gallery exhibition, juried: Kein Heim in Sicht/Gleich Gewicht, [video installation of The Knits and Endgame]. Vienna, Austria: 12-14 Contemporary,

Birke L. (Sept 15th – Nov 4th 2017). Solo exhibition, juried: The Knits [three-channel video installation]. Cambridge, ON: Cambridge Art Galleries (Idea Exchange)

Group Exhibitions/Performances

 Houle T and Birke L. (Sept 21st –24th 2017). Live performance and video installation, juried: Different Ways [Part of Flotilla Atlantic; two-hour live performance and video installation] Charlottetown, PEI: Association of Artist-Run Centres from the Atlantic and Ed Video

Curated Screenings (Galleries and Media Centres)

Birke, L.  (Dec 1 2018). Curated group screening program: Fragonard’s Swing (Miss La La; Hung Out to Dry) [single-channel video, 5min 31sec, 2012. This is a previously exhibited work with a newly re-edited soundtrack for this screening]Toronto: Medi(t)ating the Temporality of the Untimely curated by Masaki Kondo, Vtape.

Birke L. (May 28th 2018). Curated screening program: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Regina, SK: Congress 2018, Neither Straight Nor Flat: Prairie Women Filmmakers curated by Blair Fornwald, Dunlop Art Gallery/RPL Film Theatre

Birke L. (Feb – Dec 2018). International touring video art program: The Knits [single-channel video]. TIME is Love.11 curated by Kisito Assagni: (Feb 17-24th) Malta: Lily Agius Gallery, (Mar 31st) Glasgow: CCA Center for Contemporary Arts, (May 3rd – 6th) Milan, Italy: EX- NEW Contemporary Art Center

Birke L. (Mar 14th – 21st 2018). Film survey program and solo video installation: The Knits, Red Carpet, Egg Stock, Happy Days, Endgame, Bombshell, Looking Glass, Tea Service [week-long three-channel video installation and eight film survey screening program]. Regensburg, Germany: International Short Film Week Regensburg,

Birke L. (Jan 21st 2018). Curated video art program: Endgame [single-channel video projection]. Kolkata, India: Wow.12 India 5.0 (Universal Com), artvideoKOELN & The New Museum of Networked Art @ TransArt 2

Birke L. (Aug 2017). Curated screening program: Babe in the Woods (trilogy) [single-channel video projection]. Durham Region, ON, FFFF festival

Birke L. (Jul 2017). Curated performance for video screening program: Bombshell [single-channel outdoor video projection]. Guild Park and Gardens, ON: 7a*md8 in partnership with (Un)settled

Screenings (Film Festivals)

Birke, L. (Dec 6th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. San Francisco, USA: Another Hole in the Head Film Festival

Birke L. (Nov 23rd 2018) Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm Experimental Animation Film Festival

Birke L. (Oct 19th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Cinque Terre, Italy: Cinque Terre International Film Festival

Birke L. (Oct 2nd 2018). Official selection: The Knits [no screening]. Chicago, USA: Blow-up Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival

Birke L. (Jun 2nd 2018). Official Selection: The Knits [no screening]. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland International Film Festival.

Birke L. (Oct 19 2018). Festival screening, Semi Finalist: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Bilboa, Spain: Bideodromo: International Experimental Film and Video Festival 

Birke L. (May 12th – 14th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Cannes, France:  AVIFF (Art Film Festival Cannes)

Birke L. (May 11th – 13th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Oxford, UK: Oxford International Film Festival

Birke L. (April 25th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Tucson, USA: Arizona International Film Festival

Birke L. (April 19th –22nd 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Milwaukee, USA: Milwaukee Underground Film Festival

Birke L. (Apr 14th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Maitland, USA: Florida Film Festival

Birke L. (Mar 12th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Toronto, ON: Toronto Short Film Festival

Birke L. (Jan 27th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Tallahassee, USA: Tally Shorts Film Festival

Birke L. (Jan 20th & 25th 2018). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Park City, USA: Slamdance Film Festival

Birke L. (2018) Awarded Honorable Mention: for vision and the film's unique contribution to cinema: The Knits [no Screening], Los Angeles, US: LA Underground Film Forum

Birke L. (Dec 1st – 3rd 2017). Festival screening and Nomination: Ottawa Rickshaw’s Best Director Award: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Ottawa, ON: Mirror Mountain Film Festival

Birke L. (Nov 16th – 18th  2017). Festival screening: Bombshell [single-channel video projection]. Uruguay: Gstaadfilm (international festival for short art films)

Birke L. (Nov 17th 2017). Special programs festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Regensburg, Germany: Heimspiel Filmfest (Internationale Short Film-Highlights)

Birke L. (Oct 5th and 12th 2017). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Vancouver, BC: Vancouver International Film Festival

Birke L. (Aug 23rd – Sep 2nd 2017). Festival screening: The Knits [single-channel video projection]. Kansk, Russia/Siberia: International Kansk Video Festival

Birke L. (July 2017). Official selection: Awarded honorable mention: The Knits [no screening] Los Angeles, USA: Experimental Forum

Teaching & Supervision

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

"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.

Birke has developed the "Digital and Integrated Practice" area in the Department of Art and Art History.  She teaches: Video Art and Sound, Animation and Digital Space, Digital and Integrated Practice, and Digital Imagery.





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 and 360 video.

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