Daniel Cockburn

WRITER/DIRECTOR DANIEL COCKBURN has been making short films and videos since 1999; inhabiting a space between narrative film and experimental video art, they have been screened at over 80 festivals and galleries worldwide.

He is a subject of Mike Hoolboom's recent book Practical Dreamers: Conversations With Movie Artists (Coach House Books, 2008), and a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artists Award for Film & Video (2008).

In 2009, Pleasure Dome will present an international tour of a retrospective of his short works, and he will be one of three directors selected from a worldwide call for the DAAD's six-month filmmaker residency in Berlin.

Drawing from the precedents of contemporary artist/filmmakers such as Miranda July (Me And You And Everyone We Know), Cockburn's feature You Are Here takes the techniques and concepts he has honed over the last decade as a video artist with a penchant for narrative, and works them into a complex and unique cinematic structure.

“Toronto’s best new video artist. Last year’s Metronome was shockingly inspired, mixing Wittgenstein, movies, and pattern theory. This year Cockburn continued the heady ideas and subtle performance...”
- Cameron Bailey, “Top 10 Toronto filmmakers”

“He has a rare literary talent which he serves up with visual élan, smart design sense and a playful philosophical project whose deeply lived roots is leavened throughout with humour.”
- Mike Hoolboom,
Practical Dreamers: Conversations With Movie Artists

“Watching one of Cockburn's videos is like watching a Philip K. Dick novel stripped down to its girders: a collection of peculiar personal obsessions spun out into elliptical, witty/paranoid mini-narratives.”
- Wendy Banks, NOW Magazine

Images Festival: Homebrew Award for work by a local emerging artist (Metronome and The Other Shoe)
Media City: Jury Award for best Canadian film/video/installation (
Tranz Tech Media Art Biennial: FAMEFAME Jury Prize (
One Minute Film & Video Festival: Special Jury Prize (


The Argument (with annotations)

2017, 20:00 minutes, colour, English

You are Here

2010, 78:00 minutes, colour, English

Brother Tongue / Langue Fraternelle

2006, 15:46 minutes, colour, English with French Subtitles

Figure vs. Ground

2004, 07:00 minutes, colour, English

Nocturnal Doubling

2004, 04:07 minutes, colour, English

Chicken/Egg: The Williams Equation

2004, 01:00 minutes, colour, English


2004, 21:58 minutes, colour, English

Stupid Coalescing Becomers.

2004, 02:31 minutes, Colour, English


2003, 07:15 minutes, Colour, English

The Impostor (hello goodbye)

2003, 08:48 minutes, Colour & B/W, english


2003, 01:00 minutes, Colour, English


2002, 02:18 minutes, B/W, English


2002, 10:40 minutes, colour, English

i hate video

2002, 08:00 minutes, colour, English

PSYCHO 28 x 2

2002, 03:00 minutes, colour, English

monopedal Joy

2001, 01:20 minutes, colour, English

Rocket Man

2000, 05:00 minutes, colour, English

Doctor Virtuous

1999, 05:30 minutes

Critical Writing

Daniel Cockburn: You Are Here
by David Balzer. Canadian Art, Aug. 18, 2011.
Memorable Mexican Video: Vtape brings in fascinating works as a...
by Stephanie Rogerson. Now, Jan. 3, 2007, v. 27, no. 18.
Toronto Video: Challenging forms, channelling change
by Marc Glassman. The State of The Arts: Living with Culture in Toronto, 2006. Toronto: Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in publication, 2006.
Unplugging the Evil Twin, The Dismantler, and the Singer of Songs:...
by Alissa Firth-Eagland. Canadian Theatre Review, Summer 2006, no. 127.
Feats, might
by Paul Couillard and Alissa Firth-Eagland. Feats, might, 2005.
Daniel Cockburn: Preliminary Notes
by Mike Hoolboom. POV, Winter 2005, no. 60.
Minutes of Video Glory
by John Terauds. The Toronto Star, Nov. 18, 2004.
Foreword: VS Program
by Jon Davies. VS (Event Program), Dec. 2004.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: (Vs. Program)
by Scott SØrli. VS (Event Program), Dec. 2004.
by Daniel Cockburn. Point of View, 2004, no. 54.
Videos Ante up the Fear Factor: This year's video-art feast marks...
by Catherine Osborne. The National Post, Apr. 10, 2004.
VS: 640 480 - original programme
by Jon Davies et al. VS, Dec. 2004.
by Daniel Cockburn. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
The Saint(s) and the Cynic
by Chris Kennedy. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
The wwworst ever
by Linda Feesey. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
Wigga of Mass Deception
by Alissa Firth-Eagland. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
Jubal Brown: Mr. Misunderstood
by R. M. Vaughan. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
Visual Vulture: (An Essay Written on Any Given Sunday)
by Daniel Borins. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
Canadian Ugly
by John Marriott. Pleasure Dome presents Apotheoses of Everything, 2003.
Video Past and Present:: Three Perspectives
by Andrea Carson. Poolside, 2003. Wnnipeg: Video Pool Inc., 2003.
The enjoyment of seeing: Images Festival 2002
by Daniel Cockburn. LIFT, May 2002, v. 22, no. 3.
Images Festival of Independent Film and Video
by Stephen Lam. Take One, May 2002, no. 37.
Ten Years of Rendezvous with Madness
by Shannon Brownlee. LIFT Magazine, Nov. 2002, v. 22, no. 6.
Shocked and constrained
by Bambi Acconci and Trixie von Lukacs. Lola, Summer 2001, no. 9.