For the second consecutive year, on Saturday, August 22, the Farnsworth Art Museum will present the Internet Cat Video Festival and Fair. Presented by the Farnsworth’s newest membership group the [Collective], the event will take place at Rockland’s Harbor Park beginning at 6 p.m. and is free to the public. At approximately 8 p.m., the 70-minute reel of 85 internet cat videos will begin. The rain date for the event will be the following day, Sunday, August 23, at the same time.
During the fair portion of the evening, there will be face painting; food vendors; live music provided by Clint Hartzel and Andre Lascoutx; as well as other cat-themed shenanigans. PAWS Animal Adoption Center and the Pope Humane Society will have cats onsite that are up for adoption.
Begun in 2012 at the Walker Art Center, a renowned contemporary art museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Internet Cat Video Festival is the first offline celebration of online cat videos. The festival is a live event, gathering fellow feline fanatics to watch a curated collection of cat clips—from six second Vine videos, to short films and everything in between—in a social environment. The first festival was an unparalleled and unexpected success.
The Farnsworth believes that internet cat videos are doing many of the things compelling art should: raising questions, challenging assumptions, surprising people, and—in the case of this festival—creating a real, multisensory experience. This festival is a crowd-sourced social gathering that taps into the growing trend towards socially engaged art and public practice: it’s not just about watching cat videos, it’s about watching cat videos together.
At sundown, the public is invited to bring their own chair or blanket and find their way to the big screen in Rockland’s Harbor Park. Sponsors for the Farnsworth’s second annual Internet Cat Video Festival include The Camden Hospital for Animals; The Cote Corporation; The Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County; Synergy Massage & Bodywork; The Strand Theatre; Flatbread Company and an anonymous donor. For more information, please visit the Farnsworth Art Museum’s website at www.farnsworthmuseum.org/