Experts take to panel to discuss both public, juried top 20

On Monday, October 6 art experts lead the conversation around the public and juried top 20 ArtPrize candidates for 3-dimensional and time-based categories.

Panelists (from left) Scott Stulen, Paddy Johnson and Miranda Lash

/Christopher John Wilson

Panelists (from left) Scott Stulen, Paddy Johnson and Miranda Lash

With ArtPrize into its final lap, the discussions are starting to heat up. Serving to foster dialog about the importance of art and culture and the impact that an event as unique as ArtPrize can have on a local community, “Why These Finalists” provided a panel of arts experts to look at the work selected by both jurors and the public in the 3D and Time-Based categories. 

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Cereal Cinema Saturdays at the IMA


When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were meant for giant bowls of cereal and cartoons.” — Annessa Chumbley

Beginning this January, parents and kids are invited to experience Cereal Cinema, a unique family-friendly experience created by the Indy Film Fest, The Athenaeum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). Cereal Cinema features the two things every family needs on a Saturday morning – a classic movie that the whole family can enjoy and a cereal bar! The collaborative project will begin Saturday, January 3 and continue every first Saturday of the month at 10 a.m.

Families will have the opportunity to explore two cultural locations: The Athenaeum Indianapolis and the IMA. Cereal Cinema will alternate between the two cultural locations every other month. Tickets will be sold for $5 each, and includes admission to the film, as well as the cereal buffet. Parents can now buy tickets at

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Off The Wall: Scott Stulen at the IMA


Ahem. Make that Thursday. Thursday, December 11, to be precise. That’s when the Indianapolis Museum of Art will host its first-ever Monster Drawing Rally. There will be no pyrotechnics or metal-crushing action, but an ego or two might get bruised. A fundraiser for a new IMA endowment for educational programming, the Monster Drawing Rally will feature 60-plus local artists working in three one-hour shifts (at 6, 7, and 8 p.m.), creating as many original drawings as they can in their allotted time. Each drawing will sell for a flat fee of $35. Attendance is free.

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Five Wild Ideas to Make Indy Better

Winter Nights Fargo 2015

An All-Night Projection Festival

By Scott Stulen, Curator of audience experience and performance at the IMA

Screens are a ubiquitous presence in our daily lives, providing a constant backdrop in public spaces and a beckoning distraction on our smartphones. Our screen-filled environment provides a stream of vital information, but also becomes white noise, ever-present but unconsidered. What if, for one night, our screens became more than hosts for endless replays of SportsCenter and cat videos? Imagine a night illuminated by 10-story video projections on downtown buildings; secret, location-based cell phone viewing parties; stadium scoreboard takeovers; and entire sports bars becoming art-house cinemas. My idea is to launch an innovative, flagship cultural event for Indianapolis that becomes a source of civic pride.

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SOCIAL PRACTICE: An Interview with Scott Stulen


By Shelby Gilliland:

How would you define social practice as an art form?

I think social practice is a general term we’ve assigned to a lot of work that is performative and event based but I think it’s a very loose definition. For the purposes of this conversation it includes a whole range of work that is socially based and performative. The unifying elements are that the work has a collaborative nature and it takes place in the social realm — the public sphere — and needs public participation. It’s not an object, although it can include objects, but it needs people. 1990s installation work included anything that wasn’t sculpture and in some ways social practice is at the same stage now. A lot of this work has been happening for decades, going back to the 1950s and 1960s, going back to Fluxus. With the recent interest in defining social practice as a distinct discipline, and there is interest by young artists who are willing to define themselves in this practice. Another of the new developments is the increase in funding streams for this type of practice, which have not been in place in the past.

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IMA ready to experiment with bad flicks, speed drawing: Indy Star

Fate Conference 2015

It’s no time to be passive, says museum’s first curator of audience experiences.

Not knowing how the public will react to one of his unconventional ideas is no problem for Scott Stulen. As the first-ever curator of audience experiences and performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Stulen is paid to program events that are engaging, provocative and far from routine. Failure, at times, is part of the process.”You’re setting up a platform for something that could happen,” he said. “Sometimes it works, and sometimes it obviously doesn’t.”

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IMA ARTx Launch Program 11.6.14


Indianapolis Museum of Art is excited to announce the inventive new ARTx series, made possible with a $1 million gift from The Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).

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ArtX 1$1 million grant from The Efroymson Family Fund will support innovative museum programs and initiatives through 2018

Indianapolis Museum of Art is excited to announce the inventive new ARTx series, made possible with a $1 million gift from The Efroymson Family Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).

The ARTx series was developed by the IMA’s first-ever curator of audience experiences and performance, Scott Stulen, and offers smart, dynamic and highly interactive experiences for audiences on the IMA campus and within the local community. The robust lineup features new public programming and community initiatives, along with enhancements to existing campus programs and events. New offerings such as Grown-up Summer Camp, Art Crossfit and Avant Brunch continue to strengthen the IMA’s reputation for quality experiences and intellectual rigor, while creating playful and unexpected points of access for a variety of audiences.

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THE GUARDIAN: What’s new, pussycat? The growing economy of internet cat videos

The Grumpy Cat book has spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list.

BY STUART DREDGE The economy of internet cat videos? Yes, it’s a real thing. The Internet Cat Video Festival? Another real thing. A “meme manager” whose job is to build online brands for Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat and Grumpy Cat? Oh yes, he’s real too.

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6 More Bleeding-Edge Museum Technocrats to Watch

Scott Stulen and Team


MUSEUM: Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA)
POSITION: Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance (first to hold this title)
WHAT HE DOES: Leading a team of four, Stulen curates events at the museum, from traditional lectures to adventurous performance interventions staged across the sprawling 100-acre premises. Think of his position as the marriage of a time-based art curator with art historical training and a public programmer tasked with engaging audiences of all stripes. He started five weeks ago, so even he is still figuring out what he does at the IMA.

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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, 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.


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The Internet is Cats: A Dispatch From The Chicago Internet Cat Video Festival

Illustration by Emily Haasch.

Illustration by Emily Haasch.


There is something inherently voyeuristic about watching the cat videos that populate our social media feeds, YouTube favorites and email chains. Cats are private creatures by nature, but to show their antics (or lack thereof) can be a budding filmmaker’s chance to courageously tackle the trickiest kind of film: home movies.

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Scott Stulen Appointed as Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Scott Stulen and Team

Newly Created Position at the IMA Will Create New Programming in Collaboration with Curators Across Departments 

February 10, 2014, Indianapolis, IN— Dr. Charles L. Venable, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, announced today that Scott Stulen has been named the Museum’s first curator of audience experiences and performance—a brand new position at the IMA developed by Venable to foster innovative and expanded opportunities for audience engagement. Stulen will begin on March 17.

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ARTINFO/IN THE AIR: IMA Names Scott Stulen as First-Ever Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance


The  Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has tapped Scott Stulen to be the museum’s first-ever curator of audience experiences and performance. Created by IMA Director and CEO Charles Venable, the position “will develop a strategic vision for innovative public programming” in the museum’s galleries, theaters, and nature park.

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Glory Days: Six Gen X men revisit their adolescence

Bored and Old

SOUTH BEND — How are the boys of Generation X doing now that their adolescence is over? Based on the works in the exhibition “Arrested Development,” adolescence isn’t necessarily a distant memory for some of them. Nor is it a cause for nostalgia. The exhibition, which continues through Friday in the Little Theatre and Sister Rosaire Galleries in the Moreau Center for the Arts on the Saint Mary’s College campus, contains works by six male artists whose teenage years encompassed the 1980s and ’90s. In one way or another, all six artists appropriate pop culture images in their work, some at an ironic detachment, others more warmly and intellectually.

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INDYSTAR: Scott Stulen’s love of cat videos made him an art museum sensation, but he’s no one-trick kitty.


Scott Stulen’s love of cat videos made him an art museum sensation, but he’s no one-trick kitty.

Newly hired as the first-ever curator of audience experiences and performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Stulen’s assignment is to attract attendees to the museum’s galleries as well as 100 Acres art and nature park, Tobias Theater, outdoor amphitheater and Lilly House and gardens.

His track record at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis includes the surprise success of the Internet Cat Video Festival, which brought 10,000 people together in a field in 2012 and then 11,000 paying customers at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair.

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DESK: Revolver + Paper Darts at Soo Local

Scott Stulen: Desk

Ten artists and writers attack the same desk*. One attack per hour. Each a construction/deconstruction/reconstruction/resurrection & palimpsest. Anything goes**.

It is a place of toil: bills paid, taxes prepared. Across the desk people are hired, fired, told they have cancer. The lives of millions have been signed away on desks.

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Every Hole’s a Piece of Art In This Mini Golf Course

18 Holes in One


In their own way, a lot of miniature golf courses—with their twisting layouts, devious obstacles, and over-the-top designs—can be considered art. Even if their sole purpose is to encourage tourists to pay to knock a ball around. But this spring the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden decided to join forces to take the idea of minigolf as art even further by hiring artists, architects, engineers, and students to design the museum’s annual artist-made minigolf course, Walker on the Green.

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A Theory of Values


Theory of Values

Featuring: Ute Bertog, Jennifer Danos, John Fleischer, Isa Gagarin, Caroline Kent, Chris Larson, Dustin Larson, Kirk McCall, Megan McCready, Andy Messerschmitt, Lester B. Morrison, Jesikah Orman, Joe Smith, Bruce Tapola, Karl Unnasch, Aaron Van Dyke.

Curated by: Kris Douglas and Scott Stulen
This exhibition will present a focused survey of Minnesota’s most innovative contemporary visual artists. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a short story written by Minnesota-born author Sinclair Lewis, in which the protagonist initially wants not to “rot away in this dull, little town and die unheard of” but instead aspires to transcend his surroundings and “do something in and for the world.” In the story, Lewis considers notions of “value” as related to personal and cultural conditions surrounding place and location. The works selected for this exhibition similarly explore place, yet are not bound by regionalism. This exhibition further attempts to define commonalities in critical artistic practice at the particular time. Consequently, this exhibition includes a tightly focused group of artists working within a similar conceptual framework. In keeping with the mission of The Soap Factory, this exhibition promotes experimentation and risk-taking, offers audiences a real and immediate experience of the arts, and encourages a wider understanding of and appreciation for artists and their work.


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SXSW 2014: Cat Cash. The Economy of Internet Cat Videos


Saturday, March 8 
5:00PM – 6:00PM

Austin Convention Center
Room 12AB

Cat videos are no longer just an entertaining distraction between emails and facebook posts; they are now an economic force. In just the past year cat video “cat-lebrities” have inked movie and book deals, inspired touring festivals and are charting out new territory on web TV. What makes cat videos different from other YouTube sensations? Feline flicks transcend language and culture and have demonstrated an unrivaled traction with audiences; with many cat video stars moving successfully from fleeting meme to established brand. This panel of experts and entrepreneurs will discuss how cat videos are making the leap from YouTube to becoming an effective and genuine vehicle for fundraising, marketing, commerce and audience engagement. This session will include cat videos. The track is sponsored by the Knight Foundation.

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SXSW 2013: #catvidfest Is This the End of Art?


On August 30th, 2012 over 10,000 people gathered at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for the first Internet Cat Video Festival (#catvidfest). What began as a social experiment testing the boundaries of online communities and crowd-sourcing content resulted in attention from local, national, and international audiences and press and raised public debate around the role of museums in an internet culture. Fractious questions were raised about the relevancy or ridiculousness of the event and the role of the curator in a crowd-sourced environment. Using #catvidfest as a case study, we will question what it means for a museum to reflect contemporary culture in the era of YouTube, explore the challenges traditional institutions face engaging online audiences and share what we learned from transforming a solitary online viewing experience into a real world social event. This session will include cat videos.

Scott Stulen | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 11

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

“I give my parents credit. They would always be supportive of my work even if they didn’t understand it.”

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Scott Stulen: New American Paintings

53 71a


Region: Midwest

I work within the space between memory and the patterned landscape of popular culture. Emerging from a foggy haze of childhood memories, my work is a delicately woven fabric of images, associations, and stories, a reconstruction of faint memories filtered through the “cabin culture” aesthetic of my childhood home and the landscape of the Midwest. My work is a reconstruction of memory, and the awkward, often false, associations within. I investigate fictitious memories often substituted for actual experience. For example, a memory based not on a pure recollection but derived from a photograph of a place or event. 

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ARTNEWS: Now Putt This: Artists’ Mini Golf at the Walker


BY  POSTED 06/11/13

Carefully putt your golf ball around two massive wheelbarrows and then, using lifesize foosball players dressed as garden gnomes, guide the ball down the green and into the hole. This set of obstacles, designed by artistsBryanSusanne, and Nicola Carpenter, is one of 15 playful, funny, and even interactive holes constructed for this year’s mini-golf course in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. Titled “Walker on the Green,” the course is open through September 8, and local artists and architects conceived each hole.

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WestMusings – #EPICWIN: How I Won the Internet by Taking it Offline

Scott Stulen has many responsibilities at Walker Art Center, including playing a leadership role in their essential public-facing offering Open Field, a lead organizer of the Cat Video Festival, and Director for He elaborates on his work in his artist statement explaining, ““I am interested in how popular culture bonds with fragments of memory to create unexpected connections and points of entry, which linger decades later. I am fascinated in how familiar, yet isolated references can be combined to create a new experience, which is both personal, but strangely out of context.? Scott discussed his role in community building with the Cat Video Festivals in his presentation #EPICWIN: How I Won the Internet by Taking it Offline.

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NEW YORK TIMES: Cats Are Works of Art (but You Knew That)

Rolling out the (yawn) red carpet: The Internet Cat Video Festival, created by the Walker Art Center, has its New York debut on Friday. (Above, a screening at the Minnesota State Fair in August.)

Published: October 24, 2013

THE video reel opens with a big cat squeezing itself into a narrow-mouthed urn, a miniature comedy that ends with the cat’s tail poking sinuously out the top. Later, there is a poignant encounter between ahair dryer and a blind kitten, which flails its paws at the heat, wind and noise. Elsewhere, a black cat plays the villain, rudely swatting a pill bottle off a dresser, then turning to the camera to deliver a contemptuous yawn.

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Stuff I made in my couch fort and my continuing obsession with Bridget Riley



Cultural or shared memory, based on relationships specific to images, politics, texts or other popular media, has the distinct capacity to develop into fiction or fabrication, eschewing an impartial “truth” and creating subjective narrative forms.  Based on these conditional cultural creations, how does one differentiate between an “authentic” memory and the “constructed,” and recognize the impact this consideration has on our reading of history and understanding of the individual’s place within?  In the text Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay/How Art Reprograms the World, author Nicholas Bourriaud states: “ It is no longer a matter of elaborating a form on the basis of a raw material but working with objects that are already in circulation on the cultural market, which is to say, objects already informed by other objects.  Notions of originality (being at the origin of) and even of creation (making something from nothing) are slowly blurred in this new cultural landscape marked by the twin figures of the DJ and the programmer, both of whom have the task of selecting cultural objects and inserting them into new contexts.” 1

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The Critics’ Show

By Jessica Armbruster Wednesday, Jan 14 2009
It’s true that outlets for art criticism around town may be dwindling, but that doesn’t mean that art itself is, nor does it mean that there is a dearth of art critics. “The Critics’ Show” demonstrates precisely that where there is art, there also a critic ready to expound on it in the most poetic and enthusiastic way possible.

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Internet Cat Video Film Festival purrs into Minnesota

Cat-meme lovers unite for a meowing—or wowing—first-ever event
By Erika Wolf Wednesday, Aug 29 2012


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Get Lucky


By Scott Donaldson Wednesday, Jan 25 2012

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Minnesota Stories presents mnartists: Scott Stulen

897c00b1bda6f4001df0f8217be33f12 and Minnesota Stories ( have collaborated on a video series profiling Minnesota artists in all disciplines. Click here to view Minnesota Stories present mnartists Scott Stulen.

Scott Stulen: Kool Aid Drunk



Scott Stulen’s paintings and sculptures investigate how shared cultural memory, in particular memory based on specific images, texts, and popular media, can slip into fiction or fabrication, creating a partial truth recalled as authentic memory or experience. Stulen is fascinated in how familiar, yet isolated references can be combined to create a new experience, which is both personal, yet foreign. Stulen views his role much like a DJ, sampling fragments of pop culture, personal and collective histories and false memories and combining them into a singular work. The key is in selecting, remixing and dropping of the appropriate sequence of samples, thus leading the audience to find meaning in unexpected places. Kool-Aid Drunk is a new body of work, which speaks to issues of failure, loss, hope and anxiety through Little House on the Prairie, family vacations and Midwestern passive aggression.

New City Art – Review: Scott Stulen/Ebersmoore Gallery

New City Art - Scott StulenMinneapolis artist Scott Stulen’s paintings and installations rely on the juxtaposition of form, technique and material to elucidate and focus tensions between individual experience and the shared memory of a certain not-so-distant era awash in cultural detritus.

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Curator and Artist Scott Stulen Appointed Project Director for Online Resource

Scott Stulen Artist

Rochester Art Center curator and artist Scott Stulen has joined the Walker Art Center staff as Project Director for, an online database of Minnesota artists launched in 2001 by the Walker and the McKnight Foundation. Read the full story »



Pitfalls of Parenting


Scott Stulen, painter, writer, sculpter, dj, and father talks about how being a multidisciplinary artist who thinks about creating experiences for audiences informs the kind of experiences he wants to create for his son. Scott shares how teachers have shaped his art practice and career starting with a 3rd grade teacher and about how being the director of influences his work and home life. Also, Scott shares how the often narrow fine arts career tracks can push an artist in impossible to plan for directions.

Listen to the Podcast here »

A Theory of Values



The Soap Factory’s 2010 biennial show, “A Theory of Values,” is all about place, states co-curator Scott Stulen.

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MN Original to throw launch party in Mears Park


​In celebration of their first run of episodes, MN Original is hosting a launch party next month in Mears Park that will feature (naturally) great music and art from the community. Three bands that have been featured on the series — Nachito Herrera, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and the Mad Ripple Hootenanny — will perform, and local artists Mary Griep, Scott Stulen, Calpurnia Peach, Andy Ducett, Doug Padilla, Graham Petersburgh, Melba Price, and Bruce Tapola will set up a “Drawing Club” during the event and invite attendees to create art alongside them.


Happy Mutant Smorgasbord: Scott Stulen at TEDx Indianapolis

Humor can get us through the workday, but for play, we need other people and the willingness to suspend all self-consciousness with them. Scott Stulen shares lessons gathered from Open Field, a three-year experiment in participation and public space at the Walker Art Center. From Live Action Role Playing to a weekly drawing club, to an Internet Cat Video Festival, Open Field is rooted in the idea that we need to learn and practice being together through playing, sharing, creating, conversing, daydreaming, and socializing.


Headphone festival is shared, but isolated. experience



by Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio

It isn’t often that you need to bring your own equipment to an art gallery. But headphones are required for the Sound Art Festival Friday at the Rochester Art Center.

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Well, what can I say more in praise of this artist than these images have not already told you? It’s clear that something is still true about painting – and was used successfully by the likes of Warhol and Rauschenberg: – it can create a vivid, true overview of our society.

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Local Artist Interviews: Scott Stulen


Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am working on several new projects related to how mythologies are constructed and disseminated and the manufactured memory. This has taken the form of a new series of monochrome paintings, both abstract and figurative based on found snapshots, death metal, 80’s baseball cards and houseplants. I am moving into more nuanced approaches to painting than some of my more graphic and cartoon-ish past work. My newer work is less “bright” in palette and tone than my past work. Less Arturo Herrera and more Luc Tuymans.

I have also been very interested in the connections between “art work” (the labor and need to make a living) and “artwork” (the objects created and exhibited). The current upcoming exhibition (Hot 3-way Action) speaks to this in a way by exposing the artists studio as both a place of production and business office.

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