When the Queens-based Museum of the Moving Image exhibits How Cats Took Over the Internet, based on our previous interests (cats, cats, and more cats), you better believe there's a palpable excitement in our office air. Having literally taken over the web over the last few years, the internet-based cat phenomenon has become more than a passing fad or a time-killer at work: now, it's a real social and creative fact, to be deeply and critically discussed in a museum, starting Friday, August 7.
“The Internet’s collective obsession with cats offers a window into the way we understand ourselves," Jason Eppink, the Associate Curator of Digital Media who organized the exhibition, states. "This exhibition examines the many reasons for this deceptively frivolous phenomenon and highlights the new ways we’re creating, consuming, and sharing culture," he adds.
Videos, GIFs, pictures, screenings and live events—including a world map of international animal memes by collectie The Civic Beat, and a stunning selection of video by Will Braden, curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival—will be hosted at the museum to claw into the ever-growing internet feline craze and provide critical and sociological insights.
Presented through an historical timeline of cats' takeovers of contemporary media, the show will start from early cinema and photography and take us step-by-step through modern representations. Moreover, to accentuate and emphasize today's user-generated content, as well as open-sourcing and sharing behaviors, How Cats Took Over the Internet will offer a participatory aspect, allowing viewers to contribute by creating photos, GIFs, and videos that will be added to the exhibition.
How Cats Took Over the Internet will run through January 31 2016, along with a series of one-shot events, the first of which to be announced is the cat-van garde show, a program focused on how cats inspired some of the masters of experimental film. Check-out the website for more information.