If you have scoured the Internet over the past five years or so, there is a 85% chance (yeah, I did the math) that you’ve come across this video. You are looking at Keyboard Cat – a video that defines the Internet cat phenomenon, with over 27 million views worldwide. And it’s just a cat playing a keyboard.
However, you are also looking at the winner of the lifetime achievement award given at the Internet Cat Video Festival that went down this weekend at the neo-modern Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, from what we’ve read, it’s a damn shame it was seven or so states away.
Yes, the history of the Internet is partially written by Al Gore, Steve Jobs, Twitter and maybe even Bill Gates but there’s still that microscopic sliver dedicated to pussycat mischief that dominates bandwidth. Curated by Katie Hill, over 10,000 videos were submitted to the Festival, all for Hill’s viewing pleasure. After hours and hours of ogling cats, Hill narrowed down the viewing time down to about 65 minutes. And 5,000 people showed up to watch every last second of ’em.
Some might ask how in the world a modern art center allowed an Internet Cat Video Festival to happen on its turf. Well, let’s think about this for a second.
Art captures culture, right? And YouTube broadcasts culture, right? Therefore, if cat videos are on YouTube, that must mean that the sheer amount of attention placed upon felines has some sort of cultural relevance. In the end, what we have is a statement that will rile the cynics and skeptics across the land: Internet cat videos form some subsection of what can be called ‘art.’ We’re sorry; we’re just following the syllogistic slope into Hell.
There were 76 finalists in total in Minnesota. Besides the Keyboard Cat, you can coo to/cuddle with/cry over the cuteness of these videos here. And we’ll make sure we’re there next year.
Or, until then, you can check out the art-house, indie, alternative cat video known as ‘Henri 2: Paw de Deux’ over and over and over again: