The Walker Art Center’s Internet Cat Video Festival in 2012 kicked off a nationwide tour and a flurry of excitement from pet owners, cat enthusiasts, and cultural critics far and wide. Now, Coffee House Press is looking to bring together the various thoughts about cat videos and their impact on art and culture through a new book titled “Cat is Art Spelled Wrong.” In collaboration with the Walker Art Center, Coffee House Press marketing director Caroline Casey and publisher Chris Fischbach have started a Kickstarter campaign called Catstarter to fund the project.
Using Carl Wilson’s book “Let’s Talk About Love” as inspiration, the book (which is slated to be published September 2015) will collect the work of contemporary writers and critics who have written on the phenomena.
“Because you could say that cat videos are mindless and disposable and a distraction, but they’re also powerfully compelling in a way other animal videos, for instance, aren’t. And Chris and I love really smart laypersons writing about art, so we thought about who we’d want to read on the subject,” said Casey in a recent article on Cool Hunting about the project.
So far, they plan to include essays by creator of White Columns’s “Cats-in-Residence Program” Rhonda Lieberman, Atlantic.com deputy editor Alexis Madrigal, Hyperallergic senior editor Jillian Steinhauer, “Henri Le Chat Noir” filmmaker and Golden Kitty winner Will Braden, along with Sasha Archibald, Elena Passarello, Stephen Burt, Kevin Nguyen, and Joanne McNeil.
— Alanna Martinez (@lanna_martinez)