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#catvidfest: Is This the End of Art?

Nominations for the first Internet Cat Video Film Festival at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis opened July 2012. One week, 7000 submissions and countless media stories later, what started as a small light-hearted event grew into a viral spectacle that raised public debate around the role of museums in an internet culture. We innocently thought we were tapping an internet phenomena but the context of a serious international art institution fueled a media frenzy around the event. 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 an real world social event. This session will include cat videos.

Additional Supporting Materials




Scott Stulen, Project Director,, Walker Art Center

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