UMass Boston First Stop for Internet Cat Video Festival Tour

October 22, 2012

Colleen Locke


Creator of Walker Art Center Event to be At UMass Boston October 23

Cat videos are being taken from the computer screen to the big screen on Tuesday, October 23, as the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Harbor Gallery hosts the first stop of the Internet Cat Video Festival national tour.

Videos like “Kittens in Bowls,” “Cute Talking Cat,” and “The OMG Cat” will be shown at 7 p.m. on the Campus Center lawn. The festival is free and open to the public.

The Internet Cat Video Festival made headlines when the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis staged the event this August and ten thousand people showed up. Co-creator Scott Stulen worked with UMass Boston’s student-run Harbor Gallery to bring the event to Boston.

“After the success of the event at the Walker, we were interested in how the program would travel and translate to other communities and sites. We were looking for another site that was connected to an art gallery or museum, like the Harbor Gallery, and could present the event in the same spirit as a the Walker,” said Stulen, the director of and co-curator of the Walker Art Center’s Open Field Program.

“There is nothing like watching 10,000 people laugh in unison to kittens riding a vacuum,” Stulen said.

Kevin Benisvy, the director of the Harbor Gallery who is studying art history at UMass Boston, says this is a chance to turn an online and solitary social media experience into a social event.

“This event shows us that digital culture can be translated fluently into 'real world' group experiences. It's just that much better to see it happening at major cultural and educational institutions like the Walker Art Center and UMass Boston. It's saying that these places are relevant in this conversation about our electronic lives,” Benisvy said.

The 78 videos are organized into “categories” like comedy, drama, foreign, documentary, and musical. Other titles include “Kitten Freaks Himself Out,” “Tut The Barking Cat,” and “Nora The Piano Cat: The Sequel.”

Attendees are invited to bring their own blankets and foldable chairs, and to vote for their favorite cat video by using the Twitter hashtag #catvidfest.

As Benisvy puts it, “It is going to be a lot of fun.”

About the Harbor Gallery
The Harbor Gallery is the premier exhibition space on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Student-run for more than 30 years, the gallery has exhibited contemporary artists from around the world and has a strong tradition of supporting and promoting the work of local artists as well as students in the university community.

About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s nine colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit