When cat videos are outlawed, only outlaws will force their cats to perform tricks on camera.
September 4, 2012 3:01 PM   Subscribe

The Walker Internet Cat Video festival took place last week I was there, and I'd say that crowd estimate of 10,000 was pretty accurate as far as I could tell. Most of the content was, eh, but speaking as a not-cat-video fan there were a few that were pretty good not that far off. There were videos in multiple categories.

Links - (Some of these links have already been posted, but I don't see one about the Internet Cat Video Festival and these are all related to it).
  1. About the show.
  2. Article about the show from Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. This was the People's Choice winner: Henri 2 . Immortalized on the wall. Forgotten on the floor. The author of this video looks more like Duff Goldman from "Ace of Cakes" than you'd picture from watching the video.
  4. This was a huge crowd favorite - dubstep with kittehs, beef in boots and a beefy bison
And the other Henris:

My filtered water tastes impure.
I try to tell the doctor about my depressive state, but he just checks for gunk in my eyes.

And, because I can't help it, a video that was NOT part of the festival but should have been.

One of those things that I would never have gone to on my own, but was glad I saw. It was a beautiful moonlit night, with a huge full moon on the south side of the open space and 10,000 people sitting on blankets/grass stepping over each other and laughing at cat videos.

The kind of thing that blows into your life uninvited on some idle Thursday and leaves you with a very brief but real sense of how you can never really know what the next hour will bring. And look upon this night. Savor it. So that in the years ahead I can say "I was there that night, with Henri and Maru, the cats". For it is the doom of men that they forget.
posted by lon_star (18 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Much better post, thank you!

But still, fucking French socialist cats.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:58 PM on September 4, 2012

Watching John Candy wrestle a rather placid kitteh made me smile.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:44 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's a link to the playlist of all 79 cat videos shown at the festival.

I've been slowly watching them one or two at a time for the last couple of hours.

Henri 2, the one that won totally deserved it. Really clever.

Another good one is #2 on the playlist, "I want ...". See if you can get thru it without an allergy attack.

(FYI, "I want ..." is a PSA from AHS, not an amateur created video, and as such I imagine it wasn't an entry, but was shown because AHS was a partner in the event.)
posted by marsha56 at 7:15 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yeah, Henri is pretty cool. I really like the live action Nyan Cat.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:44 PM on September 4, 2012

I was there as well, and very excited to be there, because cat videos are awesome.

I enjoyed myself, although I will say there were some flaws in the structure of the program. It seemed to drag a bit because some of the slower videos were placed toward the middle of the program. There was also some unfortunate editing done with several of them, which tended to rob them of their charm and humor.

The main thing that surprised me was that the Walker didn't obtain a larger screen -anyone who was there can attest to the fact that the one they had was shockingly small. I am fairly sure they have access to one. And at some point, it must have occurred to someone that this was going to bring in more people than they anticipated.

Some friends of mine who live right next to Loring Park had no idea this was happening until they realized that they couldn't get out of their driveway.

Contrary to popular belief, cat videos are REALLY REALLY SUPER POPULAR.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:47 PM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I also realized that I have watched way too many cat videos when I said to myself "AH! Ignoramusky!" and everyone on the blanket gave me the side-eye.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:50 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pasted Henry 2 into chat channel at work.
(15:34:11) stephenj: attn blaphod (and cat lovers, and Francophones) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q34z5dCmC4M
(15:34:46) florent: stephenj: francophones should avoid trying to understand with the audio only
(15:35:28) florent: The guy doing these is (IIRC) from South America, and his French is quite terrible, both pronunciation-wise and in the overall grammar and vocabulary
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:38 PM on September 4, 2012

Wired reporter tries (and fails) to interview Maru/Maru's owner:

In Search of the Living, Purring, Singing Heart of the Online Cat-Industrial Complex
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:14 PM on September 4, 2012

yeah, the french on that winning video was pretty bad.

this made the youtube comments regarding this absolute comedy gold.
posted by EricGjerde at 4:16 AM on September 5, 2012

Hey! I was there! I saw a picture of the crowd on the hill before I left my place, and contemplated not going - I'm sure there were people that showed up who couldn't find a place to watch. The Walker has this big hill next to the main gallery that they use as part of their Open Field project (which is basically just people being weird on a hill), but because of the setup you can really only fit about 10K on it who can see the screen.

Anyway, Maru is still my favorite, though my only beef with the performance was that they cut Nyan Cat short (and the speakers weren't very loud). It was a fun night, and there's no reason we should enjoy cat videos behind the solitary confines of our computers.
posted by antonymous at 7:34 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had a lot of fun at the festival; actually, I think this was my favorite Big Event of the summer this year. The screen definitely should have been larger, and I don't know that the band beforehand really added anything, but it was still a great time.

Moreover, it really cemented my belief that the Walker's the best museum in Minneapolis. I really, really admire their guts in being willing to publicly embrace something so weird and hilarious. Someone suggesting an internet cat video film festival at the MIA would be run out of the meeting by a wall of scowls, and while the Weisman might try something like that, it'd never come together on the scale the Walker succeeded at.

And really, it wasn't that out of line with the Walker's artistic brief. If their thing is that they're the museum that's focused on where the culture is right now, this was an entirely appropriate direction for the museum to go. Internet cat videos are a pretty amazingly widespread shared culture right now.

I do have one piece of baggage that I brought from the festival: I still don't get Nyan Cat. What am I missing, world?
posted by COBRA! at 8:04 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

With Nyan Cat, the endless repetition is part of the joke - it's just supposed to be obnoxious and ridiculous, nothing more.
posted by antonymous at 10:13 AM on September 5, 2012

Someone suggesting an internet cat video film festival at the MIA would be run out of the meeting by a wall of scowls

Ah, you knoweth not of The New People.

I still don't get Nyan Cat. What am I missing, world?

Well, basically, it is a cat who is also a Pop-tart.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:17 AM on September 7, 2012

Ah, you knoweth not of The New People.

I keep hearing things along those lines, and, well awesome. It figures the place would loosen up after I leave.
posted by COBRA! at 7:34 AM on September 7, 2012

Walking the cat ...
posted by homunculus at 9:51 AM on September 10, 2012

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