Ben Coonley’s Installation for Domestic Cats

Cinematexas Short Film Festival, Austin, Texas
Sept. 14-23

“The installation invites cats to consider their split status as autonomous residents and decorative fixtures of the contemporary human domicile.  Humans… are given a window onto the way cats see themselves and the way humans consume non-object-based art.”   Coonley may be an ironist, but he’s telling the truth.

We gaped through the glass at three cats, who acted oblivious to our gaze and to the “Jingle Cats”-inspired psychedelia looping on two monitors.  Not just the funniest installation this human has ever seen, it annihilated Disney anthropomorphism with the tragic impossibility of interspecies communication; never has feline inscrutability been used to such gloriously, profoundly idiotic effect.  Were the cats laughing inside, or did they resent their forced participation?  We will never know.  And they have secret better things to do.

Lola Magazine, Fall 2001