Minneapolis, July 26, 2012—The Walker Art Center’s summer-long experiment, Open Field, presents the first internet cat video festival, Thursday, August 30, 4–10 pm. The Internet Cat Video Festival takes a subject of popular cultural relevance and crowd sourced content and presents it as communal social experience. Cat videos are a guilty pleasure for most, yet they are also one of the most shared entities on the internet–be it through email, blogs, social media, or even word of mouth. Why has this online phenomenon, which has such a massive online audience, not had climactic moment in real life? Why not tap into an online community of cat-video lovers and test the social boundaries of bringing an individual online viewing experience off-line and out into the open with people? So in the spirit of Open Field we decided to just try it. The event is free and open to the public.
The nominations for the festival opened on July 8, and generated over 7,000 submissions to date. What was initially intended to be a few people gathered around a laptop at the end of the summer is resonating, generating countless media stories and conversations. This is not intended to be a curated film program, but an embrace of an internet phenomena and experiment to transform a solitary online viewing experience into a real world social event… and maybe an excuse to watch a lot of cats in boxes. We will try to select a broad range of cat videos that best represent the pool of nominations. The intention is to be inclusive, not exclusive, and to highlight this extremely popular internet phenomenon, in real life. Nominations close July 30.
4–10 pm Open Field, Free
4–8 pm Drawing Club and Letterpress with Lunalux
7 pm Music by Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade
8:30 pm Cat Video Festival
The #catvidfest will last about an hour, and will be broken up into CATegories like Comedy, Documentary, Foreign, etc. and there may or may not be a Lifetime Achievement section as well.
Nominations for videos to be included in the festival close July 30. Nominate your favorite video here. To include the worldwide cat video-loving community, the public will be able to vote for their favorite out of the top five cat videos beginning August 6th here. The evening will close with a countdown of the most popular videos from the online voting to award a “Best Picture” of the festival. We will encourage tweet-in votes (using the #catvidfest hashtag) from the live crowd during the event to vote for a special People’s Choice Award to be revealed online after the festival. The full festival will be viewable on the Walker Art Center You Tube page for audiences unable to attend the event.
Cat Video Festival Merchandise
catvidfest and Cat Video Festival logo t-shirts in black, white, and green
(men’s and women’s sizes) are available for $10 via the Walker’s Shop
Shop the Walker’s Cool Cat Collection
Garden Grill by D’Amico will be serving The Cat’s Meow(Prairie Organic Vodka with cherry, pomegranate and ginger) cocktails as well as non-alcoholic Kitty Cocktails and assorted beverages. A variety of grilled items and snacks will also be available for purchase.
About Open Field
The community has helped shape Open Field into the ultimate mix of public spaces: a patio, a recreational field, a playground, a stage, a beer garden, a hangout, and every once in a while, a zoo. It’s a different type of park, where town square meets community green meets cultural commons. Open Field is a place for social and creative exchange—everyone is encouraged to share their talents and interests by organizing a public event on the Field. Visitors can check out the Open Field calendar to see what’s going on, or simply show up and join in.
Open Field features a shady courtyard and the Open Field Tool Shed, where visitors can check out picnic blankets, books, games, sports equipment, art materials, and other supplies. Garden Grill by D’Amico offers freshly grilled barbeque favorites and summer beverages including a selection of local beers.
Bike racks are located at the Walker’s Hennepin Avenue and Vineland Place entrances. Extra racks will be available for the event. Nice Ride has a station near the Hennepin entrance.
Paid parking is available at the underground ramp on Vineland Place at Bryant Avenue or in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden pay lot.
Metro Transit bus lines 4, 6, 12, and 25 will bring you to the Walker and Open Field.
The Walker is committed to welcoming all visitors, including those with special needs and disabilities. For assistance with these arrangements please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.