Half Cat - A Copy In Motion
No other images are shared and circulated online as often as those of cats, the furry favorites of the internet. Half Cat (2020) refers to so-called LOLCat memes - a social practice in which cat pictures are shared millions of times on the internet. It is based on the digitally altered image of a cat with two legs and no ears walking down a street, which began circulating online in 2010.
Half Cat can be seen as a metaphor par excellence of the networked image - for copies of images that are constantly on the move and constantly manipulated. Like Hito Steyerl points out in her seminal essay In Defense of the Poor Image “the poor image is a copy in motion”.
What makes network images so relevant today is their ability to generate endless variations that circulate in different contexts. They are images that travel to you and me, that are meant to be used rather than looked at.
Wandering 3D Half Cat
For this project we will produce a 3D version of Half Cat, through scanning, and we’ll bring it into Spatial as an oversized animated installation. This time, the sculpture will move and wander around the venue. Its excessively large scale, though, will make its 3D shape merge with the surrounding architecture, intersecting with walls and ceilings, creating unexpected glitches.
The sculpture will be programmed in a way that by touching it visitors will receive their own 3D version of it, generated with a unique random color.
It will also give people the permission to be reused. It could be placed in different sites within Spatial or other metaverses. It could become a profile picture on a phone, be used to create a videogame character, a virtual pet, or it could just appear walking undisturbed in the background next time you are looking an enderman directly in its purple eyes in Minecraft.
Scaling up, scaling down
While the installation of the 3D work on Spacial is exaggeratedly large, the 1:1 taxidermy sculpture will indeed feel incredibly tiny in the OGR Duomo. Like Alice in Wonderland must master the properties of the mushroom to gain control over her fluctuating size, Half Cat fights the bodily frustrations that accompany shifts in resolution.
Half Cat - A copy in motion is a project on the tension between exhibition value and cult value, about digital dispersion and the importance of the commons in an increasingly corporate internet.