Elisabeth Penker was born in 1974 and studied sculpture until 1998 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She later studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and was a visiting artist at the Art Center Pasadena in California. In 2005 she worked as a theory researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie of Maastricht, as well as a university assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
She then obtained a doctoral scholarship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She also worked on film post-production in Chicago and London sound studios. Since 1998, her sculptures are anchored in the fields of comparative art and sound art. She uses language morphology (including contact languages) to investigate the links to musical and visual grammars. She lives and works in Vienna.