Q with Jian Ghomeshi: Defending the Artistic Merit of Cat Videos


of2012cats0830_ Open Field, International Cat Video Festival, August 30, 2012. A live, off-line event as we attempt to gather in physical space and real time to enjoy one of the internetÕs most popular phenomena. The nightÕs festivities start at 4 pm with Death Metal Drawing Club with mnartists.org, and Ò_____________ is what we make togetherÓ Open Field letterpress poster printing with Lunalux, and then live music from Brain Laidlaw and the Family Trade starting at 7 pm! Community partners Feline Rescue, Animal Humane Society, and The Wildcat Sanctuary, will also have a presence at the event.
The world’s first Internet Cat Video Festival was a massive success at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, where thousands congregated to watch videos typically considered guilty pleasures to be watched alone.

Now, the crowd-pleasing, sincerely-programmed event is coming to Canada as the Just For Cats Festival, premiering tonight at a sold out show in Toronto.


For insight on the program’s success, guest host Piya Chattopadhyay speaks with curator Scott Stulen. He argues that cultural institutions should be commenting on popular texts and that, contrary to popular assumption, new audiences do come for the cats and stay for the more traditional offerings.

When deciding what to curate, Stulen says he looks for a middle space where, “traditional art audience feels like [the works are] a little too mainstream to be comfortable, and a mainstream audience feels they’re a little too arsty to be comfortable.”


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