The Art of Elevation 2001

26 Jun 2001
Several hundred thousand U2 fans have seen what Jennifer Steinkamp has contributed to Elevation 2001 but Jennifer Steinkamp isn't one of them writes Matt McGee at

It's an almost cruel irony that several hundred thousand U2 fans have seen what Jennifer Steinkamp has contributed to the Elevation 2001 World Tour ... and Jennifer Steinkamp isn't one of them.

Steinkamp is an artist, but not in the traditional sense; she's a digital animator and the computer is her canvas. So far on the first leg of the Elevation Tour, her animations have been shown on the video screens as a backdrop for songs such as "Discotheque," "Staring at the Sun," and "Kite."

"A lot of my recent work has been long and thin," Steinkamp told @U2, "and [the band] thought it was serendipitous because that's the shape of what they're doing on this tour."

Sure enough, many of Steinkamp's animations seem to be a perfect fit for the long width and relatively short height of the video screen in use on the Elevation Tour. But this is actually her second tour of duty providing art for U2's live shows. The relationship began when she was approached in 1996 about having her work shown on the massive PopMart video screen.

"They explained what they were working on and what they were looking for," she says, "and I sent a tape with about 200 pieces [of animation] on it. They liked it a lot!"

U2 liked it enough to license some of her work for use on tour. The band has carte blanche to use the videos as they see fit, even if it means editing an animation to fit the production. And that's just fine with the artist.

"I think it's great that they pay so much attention to the visuals in their shows," Steinkamp says. "Most rock bands don't care about that side, but it's really important to U2. And the whole band gets involved in it. They really emphasize the visual side of their music."

Complete story at


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