If you’re looking for the intersection of high and low culture, look no further than the Museum of the Moving Image. Next month, the Queens, New York, museum will be opening an exhibit dedicated to the history of cats on the Internet because what higher form of art could possibly exist than YouTube videos of kittens boppin’ along to a sick beat?
Starting August 7, the Museum of the Moving Image will move you to laughter and perhaps to tears with what can only be described as the highly anticipated How Cats Took Over the Internet. It’s an interesting question to be sure, as I am sure that there was once a time when Facebook news feeds were not inundated by cat GIFs and Twitter was not filled by memes of Grumpy Cat. Though to be honest, I am glad that I never knew those days.
As per the museum website, the exhibit, which will run until January 31, 2016, “tells the history of cats online, examining phenomena like Caturday, lolcats, cat videos, celebrity cats, and more to unearth why images and videos of the feline kind have transfixed a generation of Web users. Touching on concepts like anthropomorphism, the aesthetics of cuteness, the Bored at Work Network, and the rise of user-generated content, this exhibit takes a critical look at a deceptively frivolous phenomenon.”
In a press release, Associate Curator of Digital Media Jason Eppink noted, “The Internet’s collective with cats offers a window into the way we understand ourselves. This exhibition examines the many reasons for this deceptively frivolous phenomenon and highlights the new ways we’re creating, consuming and sharing culture.” And if that’s all just too much theory for you, also bear in mind that you’ll have the opportunity to create your own cat meme during your visit.
Complete with a number of special screenings (including The Cat-vant Garde Film Show on October 10), this six-month exhibit is sure to be a crowd pleaser no matter what your interests are (even if they only marginally include cats). So mark your calendars and prepare to make the trek out to Queens. The cats are here.