Kathleen MacQueen began her career in documentary film and photography, working for the pioneers of direct cinema, Bob and Ann Drew, and has published photo essays in various Mondadori publications, Corriere della Sera, and Le Monde. She later studied photography, performance, and installation at New York University and the International Center of Photography, receiving a masters degree in art from NYU and exhibiting her work in a variety of venues including Exit Art, Pulse Art, Apex Art, P.S. 122, Artist Space, and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore.
Leaving behind her studio practice while pursuing a doctoral degree, she turned to a conceptual practice in 2011, performing Speech Fast, a practice of selective speech and reflective listening, eliminating personal communications from her day-to-day engagement with others for a six-month period from September 11, 2011 through March 6, 2012. During this time she kept a log, entering no more than 100 words per day. Excerpts from this log were performed for Cine Capellini in April 2012.