Lisa Steele works in video, photography, film and performance as well as writing and curating on video and media arts. Steele was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1947, and studied English Literature at the University of Missouri. She immigrated to Canada in 1968 and is now a Canadian citizen. Steele's videotapes have been extensively exhibited nationally and internationally including: at the Venice Biennale in 1980, the Kunsthalle in Basel, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Canada, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Long Beach Museum. Her videotapes are in many collections including: The National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, Texas, Ingrid Oppenheim, Concordia University in Montreal, Newcastle Polytechnic in England, Paulo Cardazzo in Milan, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the Akademie der Kunst in Berlin, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She is a co-founder of Vtape, a Toronto media arts resource centre.
Since 1983, Steele has worked exclusively in collaboration with Kim Tomczak, producing videotapes, performances and photo/text works. They have received numerous grants and awards including the Bell Canada prize for excellence in Video Art, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts; the Peter Herndorff award for Media Arts through the Toronto Arts Awards, and, in 2005, a Governor General’s Award for lifetime achievement in Visual & Media Arts. They have been awarded two public art commissions, one for an outdoor screen at Dundas Square and Watertable, a light installation that marks the original shoreline of Lake Ontario. Steele and Tomczak were awarded Honourary Doctorates by the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) in 2009.
A major survey of their photo and video work opened at Wharf Centre d'art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in January 2010. Becoming…, a 4 channel installation work was in Montreal in September as part of Le Mois de la Photo a Montréal. A travelling survey of their work from the past decade entitled The Long Time, and curated by Paul Wong, opened in Vancouver in September 2012, traveled to A Space Gallery in Toronto in December 2013, and will travel to Halifax in June 2014 and The Art Gallery of Windsor in September 2015.