For the LOL of cats

Photos of cats are, quite rightly, the glue that binds the internet together.

Cat Scan, 2008

Source: Schotb

Cat Scan, 2008

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.

Cat #1681, Lily

Source: Kathy Bengtson/infinitecat.com

Cat #1681, Lily

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.

Maru

Source: Mugumogu

Maru

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.

Cooper Cat

Source: Michael Cross

Cooper Cat

There are also pages from Thurston Hopkins’ London Cats Picture Post series, which gives the kitties human voices via their captions.

Photo by Cooper Cat

Source: Michael Cross

Photo by Cooper Cat

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.

Nancy Bean

Source: Christian Allen

Nancy Bean

Cat photo fans are also able to share images of cats on ‘The Wall’ on the Photographers’ Gallery’s website.

Photo by Nancy Bean

Source: Christian Allen

Photo by Nancy Bean

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.

Latest articles