Burgin was born in Sheffield in England. He studied art at the Royal College of Art, in London, from 1962 to 1965 (A.R.C.A., 1st Class, 1965) before going to the United States to study at Yale University (M.F.A. 1967).
Burgin taught at Trent Polytechnic from 1967 to 1973 and at the School of Communication, Polytechnic of Central London from 1973 to 1988. From 1988 to 2001 Burgin lived and worked in San Francisco. He taught in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he became Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness. In 2000 he was Robert Gwathmey Chair in Art and Architecture, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York. From 2001 to 2006 he was Millard Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. In 2005 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Sheffield Hallam University (Hon. DUniv).
In 1986, Burgin was nominated for the Turner Prize for his exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Kettle's Yard Gallery in Cambridge and for a collection of his theoretical writings (The End of Art Theory) and a monograph of his visual work (Between).
Burgin has mounted more than one hundred solo exhibitions internationally, since 1970.
2004 Restored, Permanent video installation for London Symphony Orchestra, St. Luke's, Old Street, London.
1994 Permanent video installation for the Médiatheque d'Orléans, Ville d'Orléans, France.
1994 Design for permanent video installation for the Hotel Furkablick, Furkapasshöhe, Switzerland.
1993 Venise, 30 min video, Ville de Marseille, France.
1993 Poster for 'Images pour la lutte contre le sida', Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France/Agence française de lutte contre le sida: national poster campaign with posters commissioned from an international selection of 35 artists.
1989 Original print for ‘Estampes et Revolution: 200 Ans Après,’ Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, France (100 sets of prints, commissioned from an international selection of artists, and distributed throughout France as part of the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution).
1989 Fall, Video-wall [Edited version (9 monitors)], two-minute videodisk programme, Tate Gallery, London.
1987 Fall, Video-wall (36 monitors), two-minute videodisk programme, Mississauga Shopping Mall, and other locations, Toronto.
1976 'What does possession mean to you?,' color poster, 1000 copies posted in the streets in the center of Newcastle upon Tyne, summer; other poster works, various dates.
2009 Situational Aesthetics, Leuven University Press
2008 Components of a Practice, Skira
2007 Objets Temporels, Boulouch, Nathalie; Mavridorakis, Valérie; Perreau, David (Eds.), Presses Universitaires de Rennes
2006 Victor Burgin—Voyage to Italy, Hatje Cantz
2004 The Remembered Film, London, Reaktion Books
2004 Ensayos, Barcelona, Gustavo Gili
2002 Relocating, London and Bristol, Arnolfini
2001 Victor Burgin, Barcelona, Fundació Antoni Tàpies
2000 Shadowed, London, Architectural Association
2000 Victor Burgin: Robert Gwathmey Lectures, New York, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 1997 Venise, London, Black Dog Publishing
1997 Szerelmes Levelek/Love Letters, Mücsarnok Museum, Budapest
1996 In/Different Spaces: place and memory in visual culture, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press
1996 Some Cities, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, and London, Reaktion Books
1995 Japanese translation of: The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity (see 1986, below), Tokyo, Keiso Shobo Publishers
1995 History Painting, Buffalo, University at Buffalo Art Gallery/Research Center in Art + Culture 1991 Passages, Lille, Musée d’art moderne de la Communaté Urbaine de Lille, Villeneuve d’Ascq 1989 Taideteorian Loppu, Helsinki, Suomen Valokuvataiteen Museon Säätiö, Literos, collection of essays by Burgin in Finnish translation
1988 Victor Burgin, Opere 1982–1986, Milan, Le Case d’Arte
1988 Victor Burgin: Office at Night and Danaïdes/Dames, Charlotte, North Carolina, Knight Gallery, City of Charlotte 1986 The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity, Macmillan Press, London and Basingstoke, and Humanities Press International, New Jersey (1986), reprinted 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1996
1986 Between, Basil Blackwell, Oxford and New York
1986 Formations of Fantasy, (co-edited with Donald, J. and Kaplan, C.), Methuen, London
1982 Thinking Photography, Victor Burgin (ed.), [Burgin: Introduction, three essays, bibliography], The Macmillan Press Ltd., London and Basingstoke, and Humanities Press International, New Jersey (1982), reprinted 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987 (twice), 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994
1982 Hôtel Latône, Calais, Edition Musée de Calais
1977 Family, New York, Lapp Princess Press, Ltd., in association with Printer Matter, Inc.
1977 Victor Burgin, Eindhoven, Stedelijk van abbemuseum
1976 Two Essays on Art, Photography and Semiotics, London, Robert Self Publications
1973 Work and Commentary, London, Latimer