Walker Art Center> Cute cats take over the world
Too adorable! Everyone’s favorite viral obsession is about to become enshrined in museums and film festivals
BY HELEN STUHR-ROMMEREIM, FULL STOP via Salon.com
SATURDAY, JUL 21, 2012
Next month, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will be holding the Internet Cat Video Film Festival (ICVFF), presenting a near-universal but mostly private obsession for collective enjoyment. Like most other people, I have watched a few videos of cats on YouTube. In the spectrum of time wasters and how bad they make me feel, it is an activity I would rank slightly above Facebook voyeurism. When I heard about this film festival, I thought it sounded like the stupidest idea I had ever heard. And, as the board of the L.A. MoCA falls apart in reaction to what is basically a corporate takeover of the museum, it seemed yet another indication of the total dissolution of any hope of seriousness on the part of American art institutions.
But maybe such an alarmist reaction isn’t necessary. Even if getting a bunch of people together to watch cats jump on things is dumb, the project still brings up some interesting questions about how real-space institutions these days interact with the Internet.
The ICVFF is a part of the Walker’s Open Field programming, a series of events organized around building community and bringing people together to experience and create art collectively. In this context, the cat video festival kind of makes sense.
The organizer of the festival, Katie Czarniecki Hill, described her intention on the Walker’s blog:
I could not be more excited to literally bring this solo cat video viewing behavior out in the open … Come together on Open Field and LOL in the presence of others.