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HOW CATS TOOK OVER THE INTERNET Exhibition Opens Today at Moving Image

That cats "rule the Internet" is an undisputed truism. Whether it be lolcats, Caturday, Lil Bub, or other Internet cat sensations, images and videos of felines have delighted many millions online. Beginning today, August 7, 2015, Museum of the Moving Image will present How Cats Took Over the Internet, an exhibition that takes a critical look at the phenomenon of cats online and how they have transfixed a generation of web users. The exhibition will be on view through January 31, 2016 and will be accompanied by screenings and live events.

Associate Curator of Digital Media Jason Eppink, who organized the exhibition, stated "The Internet's collective obsession 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."

Located in the Museum's amphitheater gallery, How Cats Took Over the Internet will feature a selection of Internet cat videos, GIFs, and images, presented through the critical lens of concepts like anthropomorphism and the aesthetics of cuteness, the framework of the Bored at Work Network, and the rise of user-generated content. A multimedia timeline will capture significant moments of cats online, appended with a historical look at the representation of cats in photographs, film, and other visual media. Interactive stations will allow visitors to experiment with creating their own lolcats and to contribute their favorite cat photos, GIFs, and videos to the exhibition. In addition, the exhibition will include a world map of international animal memes by The Civic Beat, a collective of researchers and writers focused on civic technology.

In the adjacent video screening amphitheater, a selection of significant cat videos, organized by Will Braden, curator of the Internet Cat Video Festival (based at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), will also be shown, projected in a continuous loop.

Among the related events is The Cat-vant Garde Film Show, on Saturday, October 10 in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater. In the spirit of the first avant-garde cat film festival, Intercat, which took place in 1969-long before cats took over the Internet-this program focuses on how cats inspired some of the masters of experimental film, including Stan Brakhage (Nightcats, Cat's Cradle), Carolee Schneemann (Kitsch's Last Meal), Joyce Weiland (Catfood), Pola Chapelle (How to Draw a Cat), and more. Other programs will be announced as they are confirmed.

Museum of the Moving Image ( advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In its stunning facilities-acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design-the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 50,000 students each year. The Museum also houses a significant collection of moving-image artifacts.

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for screenings are $12 ($9 students and seniors / free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above) will be available for advance purchase online at Screening tickets include same-day admission to the Museum's galleries.
Museum Admission: $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website:
Membership: or 718 777 6877

The Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and located on the campus of Kaufman Astoria Studios. Its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, visit

Top image courtesy of The Infinite Cat Project.

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