The Keynote Speakers for U2 Conference 2018
Catherine Owens is an Irish artist living and working in New York City. Her work is largely installation based, originating from ideas that evolve through drawings, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, sound and virtual reality.
Owens has exhibited works at Feldman Gallery, New York, Morris Healy Gallery, New York, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, the Kerlin Gallery and the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin Ireland.
As well as her own solo art practice Owens is known for her collaborative work with the band U2. As creative director of screen imagery for animation, film and video, she created their visual content for five world tours from 1992 – 2010
She directed and was a producer on the first digital 3D film (U23D) made for Imax theatrical release in 2008. Shot in South America, its creation spearheaded a series of major technological breakthroughs in 3D filmmaking. The New York Times hailed it as “The first IMAX movie that deserves to be called a work of art.”
Using the technical and production knowledge gained while collaborating on large scale global projects over the last 20 years, Owens has incorporated this information into her current work, creating a series of LED based light works that seamlessly bring technology and mark making together.
In November 2017 she will exhibit a series of new LED light based Triptych painting and a 360° soundscape at Kustera Projects in Red Hook Brooklyn.
Other collaborative projects include directing visual content and animation for the San Francisco based group Kronos Quartet and for the Chinese Pipa player Wu Man, whose Carnegie Hall debut featured an intricate 20-minute animation composed of watercolor paintings.
Owens has attended four Lincoln Center Director’s Labs in New York as a guest artist and was a keynote speaker at SIGGRAPH in 2008, where she spoke about working in 3D under the title; Giving Technology Emotion: From the Artist’s Mind to U23D.
In April 2010 she traveled to India to make a 3D documentary about Kumbh Mela, the largest spiritual gathering in the world that takes place once every 12 years.
And in 2012 she shot her third 3D film project, a documentary on the Irish Dancer Colin Dunne – It was broadcast on the BSkyB 3D and the Sky Arts network in November 2012. The Theatrical version was launched at the Jameson Dublin Film Festival in February 2013.
In 2014 she launched “Field Prints” a set of prints representing impressions of the vistas found close to her studio in the Blackwater Valley, Co. Waterford, Ireland.
Owens has spoken widely about the interaction of Art and Technology, recently delivering speeches at the ‘VR On The Lot’ conference at Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles, ‘The Art Of VR” Sotheby’s, New York and INSPIREFEST, Dublin Ireland.
Stuart Bailie is a music writer and broadcaster based in Belfast. He has been a music industry professional for 30 years, writing for NME, Mojo, Uncut, Q, The Times, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, Classic Rock, Music Week, Belfast Telegraph and Hot Press.
He has written U2 cover stories for NME, The Sunday Times Culture and Alternative Ulster and has covered the band for many more publications. He wrote the sleeve notes to the U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle DVD and was Associate Producer of a BBC Radio 2 documentary on U2 in 2001.
In his feature on U2 for NME in 1992, while discussing with Bono the contradictions implicit in rock ‘n’ roll, he mentioned to Bono that William Blake’s poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” tries to reconcile similar contradictions. He then heard Bono reply, “I know. I’ve just written a song for our next record called ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience,’ after reading Blake,” making Bailie quite possibly the first person outside of U2 to know – in 1992 – that U2 was planning to release music inspired by Blake’s poems Songs of Innocence and Experience. (Thanks to Dirk Rüpke at u2tour.de for bringing this to our attention.)
Bailie lived in London for 11 years and was Assistant Editor of NME from 1993-1996. He also wrote sleeve notes for Clannad, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle and The Waterboys. He wrote the authorized story of Thin Lizzy, The Ballad Of The Thin Man, in 1997. He was the writer and narrator of Still In Love With You: The Gary Moore Story (BBC TV, 2011). He was the author, originator and narrator of So Hard To Beat, a two-part documentary on the story of music from Northern Ireland. (BBC TV, 2007), and a scriptwriter for BBC Radio 2 documentaries on U2, Glen Campbell, Thin Lizzy and Elvis Costello.
Bailie wrote the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s essay on popular music, A Troubles Archive Essay and is currently writing a book about music and conflict in Northern Ireland, to be released in 2018. He blogs at www.digwithit.com.