Given the ubiquity of cat videos on teh internets (which really means YT in this particular context), it seems inevitable that someone would come up with the idea of a festival devoted to cat videos. The perpetrator in this instance was the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, back in 2012. If one believes the write-ups and quotes from people at the Walker, they didn't expect it to be as big a hit as it was. The Walker will be doing their 3rd version of the festival on August 14, and a touring version is here in town @ the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis tonight (no, 3CM isn't there; besides, all the tickets sold out anyway). More, such as it is, below the flip.....
To read the condensed history of this festival from the Walker's page for this year's festival:
"In August 2012, the Walker Art Center planned a small experiment as part of its outdoor summer programming on Open Field, the green space adjacent to the building. What if there was an evening program dedicated to the Internet phenomenon of cat videos? Would anyone come to watch videos what they could easily view with a few clicks at home or work? How would this solo hobby translate to a public setting?"In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this past weekend, Calvin Wilson had this article on the festival at CAMSTL this weekend, where he quoted the Walker's curator of public practice and director of education, Sarah Schultz, on what she thought the attendance would be at the time:
"In all seriousness, we really thought maybe a hundred people would come."Well, she was off by 2 orders of magnitude, going back to the Walker's page:
"Word of the program quickly spread internationally via social media and the press, including coverage as varied as the New York Times, the BBC, Japanese television, Australian talk shows, Brazilian newspapers, CNN, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Cat Fancy, Slate, Time, CHEEZburger, and many more. The result was 10,000 people gathered on Open Field enjoying the first Internet Cat Video Festival - together."In fact, it was such a hit that the 2013 installment took place at the Minnesota State Fair. It is that video compilation from the 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival which will be featured at CAMST, per Wilson's P-D article:
"CAM will present last year’s program, which runs 73 minutes and is the same on both nights."For those who care:
On the KWMU 90.7 (St. Louis Public Radio) arts show Cityscape yesterday, host Steve Potter had a segment on the cat video festival, where he admitted to his guests, from CAMSTL, more or less, about cat videos: "I don't get it". In the P-D article, Wilson quotes Will Braden, who has a huge cat video following because of his "Henri" videos that spoof French films and existentialism, as giving an explanation of why people go for cat videos:
"“They try to be so stoic, and they try to be sort of graceful and agile - and they are, for the most part. But that just means that when they do something clumsy, or when they do something silly, we like it all the more. It’s funnier to see somebody trip and fall down in a tuxedo than to see them do it in overalls.”One other way to look at it is that cats don't obviously express emotions on their faces the way that humans do, except irritation or hostility, perhaps. In other words, as long as one doesn't put them in any sort of dangerous situation where they'd be expected to show irritation or hostility, cats will maintain what, in human terms, would be a "deadpan" expression. It's the same reason that Monty Python is funny, where you have 5 Brits (with occasional appearances by an American) saying and doing completely silly things while maintaining a straight face, namely the sheer cognitive dissonance between the two phenomena. Same with cats; animals with "straight faces" are being put in silly situations, and keeping those "straight faces" as they react.
Shows what depths 3CM has sunk to now, namely a pootie SNLC, especially given world craziness now. (Having a series that must run at a particular time of week does limit the timeliness of pontificating, pointlessly, on current events of true importance in any case, when the current events are several days old.) But there it is. Plus, if nothing else, as the details on the CAMSTL tour date for the festival show, it's a great way for animal welfare groups to show their presence and advocate for pet adoption.
With that, time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....