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After Cat Video Film Fest, Art World Asks: Is This The End?

A still from YouTube video "Cute Cat Thinks Its a Dog," one submission to the Walker's cat video festival.

Scott Stullen and Katie Hill, co-curators of the now legendary Internet Cat Video Festival of 2012 spoke to a room full of cat lovers at SXSW Interactive. Their session featured…adorable cat videos! The questions the project raised were inevitable: Why cats? and Is this art?

What made the event significant was not only that it was the first, but also that the event took place at the highly renowned Walker Art Center. The cat video festival was a new translation of the center’s formal experimental program. This particular experiment was a runaway success.


The call for video nominations went viral and the center received 10,000 videos to review. A group of jurors made selections and organized the selected videos into categories. The 79 winners were presented in a 75-minute screening before a crowd of 10,000 people. The winners can be viewed on the Walker Art Center’s #catvidfest YouTube page.


Some more #catvidfest facts:

  • It was the most covered event in Walker history. But the art world overwhelmingly ignored it.

  • Web traffic for entries and the event exceeded all other programming traffic.

  • The #catvidfest went on tour last fall and is still roving about.

  • Minnesota’s 2013 festival will take place at the Minnesota State Fair where cats will share the stage with Garrison Keillor and Maroon Five. 

A cat themed party is planned during SXSW, sponsored by Animal Planet. It's today, March 9th

from 5-7 p.m. at Fado on W 4th St. Below, watch the Walker's top-ranking video, "Henri 2, Paw de Deux:"


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