Catherine Owens
New York-based artist Catherine Owens speaking at Inspirefest 2017. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Have that nagging, doubting voice inside you? There’s only one thing to do

15 Sep 2017

As a pioneer of 3D filmmaking, artist Catherine Owens knows what it takes to bring the right energy levels to a crucial pitch.

From her base in New York, Irish artist Catherine Owens has worked on some of the biggest projects ever undertaken in the arts, most notably with the mega-band that is U2, as producer on the first digital 3D film – U2 3D – made for theatrical release in 2008.

In addition, throughout her 20-year career of collaboration on large-scale global projects, Owens has incorporated this experience into her current work, creating a series of LED-based light works that seamlessly bring technology and mark-making together.

Speaking on stage at Inspirefest 2017, Owens described her experience working with U2 on five of their tours as a “technical adventure”, with the band giving her and the team significant creative freedom to forge wonderful art through stage performances.

It wasn’t just art though, Owens added, but a fusing of advanced technologies and creativity that was the big and bold embodiment of science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM), as spoken about at Inspirefest 2016.

“A lot of the technologists were in their world, and a lot of the creatives and artists were in their world, so to have those things come together for me was like dipping into the lucky bag and picking out all the best things,” she said.

Her biggest point was for those in the audience, particularly women, who are faced with the daunting challenge of ‘the big pitch’ to get the green light for a project.

As someone who has had to walk into boardrooms and venues to explain why she thinks significant amounts of money should be spent on an art project, Owens believes it is vital that we all become aware of not just the energy around us, but the energy inside us.

“Part of being able to walk into these spaces and being able to collaborate and deliver … I am very aware of my energy levels,” she said.

“When you find yourself in the room and your brain is saying, ‘Oh no’, or, ‘I’m not sure’, [you need] to be able to close off that conversation and push forward on what you can bring.”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Ultra Early Bird Tickets for Inspirefest 2018 are on sale now!

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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