Walker to host Cat Video Film Festival, Internet LOLz


(Image: http://icanhas.cheezburger.com)

Keyboard Cat will live again.

The Walker Art Center is hosting the first ever (that we know of) Internet Cat Video Film Festival.

Cat videos are some of the Internet's most popular methods to waste time. Many of us have spent hours (and hours) watching cats do things like sleep, talk and attack small children.

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The Walker's Katie Hill is the one responsible for the feline film festival.

"Basically, I just like them. And sort of jokingly self-identify myself as a cat lady. And spend a little too much time on the Internet," said Hill, who does have two cats. "Somehow this translated into an awesome program opportunity at Open Field at the Walker."

The Open Field events held throughout the summer transform the Walker's yard into what Hill calls a "collective cultural commons."

"It's a way of engaging a new community of people who might not otherwise come," Hill said. "People who don't think there's a place for them, hopefully will find a place here through things like the cat video film festival."

This kitty Cannes (sorry) is being held in the spirit of fun. But the cat video is an art form typically watched alone on a laptop.

"I wonder how it will translate into the public space of a social gathering," Hill said. "Maybe people will be proud to be cat video fans, or maybe they might be a little more shy about it."

The Internet is made of cats, so it's no surprise that the story of the video festival has already been picked up by online news venues like Wired and Gawker.

People can nominate their favorite videos on the Walker site. Since the nomination process opened on Monday, the Walker has already received 1,000 videos.

"[It's] everything from just your average cute kitten yawning or meowing to the sort of more artful, crazy, French-speaking existentialist cats," Hill said. "I sort of challenge haters to not laugh at the cat on the vacuum."

But this isn't the Walker's first foray into the feline. The Walker news site has published a post every Friday titled, "Cat Break." And the Walker permanent collection includes a six-minute video of a cat drinking milk.

Dog lovers need not despair. Last year, the Walker hosted a dog opera in the Open Field.