See Highlights From the Photographers’ Gallery’s LOLCats Exhibition

Tonight London’s the Photographers’ Gallery will open “For the LOL of Cats: Felines, Photography and the Web,” a survey of some of the most iconic and innovative digital images and projects of and/or by cats that have fed the Internet’s insatiable obsession with cats. The exhibition includes famous cats like feline performance artist Maru (below) and cat-powered new media projects like Cooper the Photographer Cat (above).

The exhibition description opens, fittingly, with this quotation from Internet activist Ethan Zuckerman:

Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers. Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.

But some works in the show predate Web 2.0, like Glenda Moore‘s “ASCII Art Cat” (below).

The exhibition will grow throughout its run as the Photographers’ Gallery invites the community feline or human to add works.Whether or not it will expand to the size of the Infinite Cat Project (below) — a collaborative video project featuring 1,731 cats watching each other through cribbed video windows — remains to be seen. But if the Walker Art Center‘s wildly successful internet cat video festival is anything to go by, the Photographers’ Gallery may end up needing a bigger wall.

For the LOL of Cats: Felines, Photography and the Web” opens at the Photographers’ Gallery today and continues through January 6, 2013.

— Benjamin Sutton

(All images via the Photographers’ Gallery, courtesy the artists.)