Google “cat videos” and you’ll get a list of something like 697,000,000 hits. Not 697 thousand; 697 million. Count the zeroes. Other sources estimate as many as 4.5 billion of them on the Internet. For all the people out there who claim that they don’t like cats, that implies an awful lot of web-surfers who can’t get enough of videotaping their kitties and/or watching the antics of other people’s cats.
Many an hour can be wasted by searching for cute or funny cat videos online, but why not let somebody else do the curating for you? The folks at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (yes, these silly things qualify as a modern artform) have already done the legwork of separating the cat chow from the chaff, putting the best of the best together in a single reel called the Internet Cat Video Festival, coming this Friday night to the Spiegeltent at Bard SummerScape.
Will Braden, creator of the Henri Le Chat Noir videos and winner by popular acclaim of the first-ever Golden Kitty Award, is the producer of the Internet Cat Video Festival. The touring show will have traveled to 24 different states plus Canada, Greece and Northern Ireland by the end of September. A key component of the festival’s appeal is the social environment that is created: The tour operates on the premise that watching cat videos with a large group of other people is more rewarding than watching them alone, as we get infected with the Greater Giggle of the collective and have our cynical resistance to cuteness beaten down by the “Awwwww” of the crowd.
Warming you up for the 10 p.m. screening (you thought that this was for kids?) will be a performance by Meow Meow – not the scary drug methedrone that makes youths maim themselves, but the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival prizewinning Australian cabaret star otherwise known as Melissa Madden Gray. The folks at Bard SummerScape describe Meow Meow as a “post-postmodern diva” and “spectacular crowd-surfing queen of song” whose “unique brand of kamikaze cabaret kitsch and performance art exotica has hypnotized, inspired and terrified audiences worldwide.” Her set begins at 8:30 p.m.
Ticket prices for the evening’s entertainment range from $25 to $40 for Meow Meow and $8 to $10 for the Internet Cat Video Film Festival. To order tickets, call (845) 758-7900 or visit https://fishercenter.bard.edu/calendar/event.php?eid=123288. For more information about the Internet Cat Video Film Festival, check out www.walkerart.org/internet-cat-video-festival.
Meow Meow, Friday, August 1, 8:30 p.m., $25-$40, Internet Cat Video Film Festival, 10 p.m., $8-$10, Bard SummerScape Spiegeltent, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson; (845) 758-7900, www.fishercenter.bard.edu.