From the pioneering feline photography of LOLcats to more contemporary practitioners such as cat scanning, cat breading and the Infinite Cat Project (a site that feature more than 1700 images of cats gazing at each other through computer screens) a significant proportion of our daily Internet business is taken up with looking at cute, funny and occasionally creepy pictures of moggies.
New Photographers’ Gallery exhibition For the LOL of Cats: Felines, Photography and the Web, examines these contemporary trends and puts them in the context of the long history of feline photography.
So alongside Internet-culled images of scanned cats, breaded cats and shamed cats, are shots from The Brighton Cats, an 1870s series by photographer Harry Pointer which depicts cats in different poses and humorous situations.
There are also pages from Thurston Hopkins’ London Cats Picture Post series, which gives the kitties human voices via their captions.
Meanwhile Helene Dams’ I can has history? piece attemps to map a Lolcat family tree, tracing online memes such as Longcat, Serious Cat, Happy Cat and Breaded Cats back to their origins.
Cat photo fans are also able to share images of cats on ‘The Wall’ on the Photographers’ Gallery’s website.
For the LOL of Cats: Felines, Photography and the Web is at the Photographers’ Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, London W1F until 16 January 2013.