Kitty Decides trailer at Vasquez Rocks

An egg-shaped trailer painted bubblegum pink is parked in a desert framed by rocks jutting dramatically skyward. From inside, a woman in a skintight cat suit emerges and begins to dance to a percolating electronic beat that is punctuated by purrs and meows.

Los Angeles, CA -- Production is underway for KITTY DECIDES,  a web installation by media performance artist Amy Raasch. A treatise on cat behavior and the international obsession with the online feline, the music video/performance event premieres in fall 2014. Proceeds from the project will benefit animal rescue efforts.

"Many cats love being pet ... until that moment when they do not," says Raasch, whose multi-media performances often embrace animal themes. "That is when play gets serious. The song and video were inspired by that moment."

Artist Amy Raasch on set

Playwright, actress and musician Raasch's forthcoming Girls Get Cold is a mash-up of music, film and theatrical monologues that examine animal behavior in humans and vice versa. The project's debut video is to feature footage of cats that have already become Internet sensations:  a few of the familiars whose owners (or booking agents, in some cases) have been approached are Keyboard Cat, Grumpy Cat, Kitty vs. Robot and Maru, a cat from Japan who dives into boxes.

But Raasch is also in search of new talent, and solicits amateur video from pet owners who believe their cats belong on camera. "We want to make your cat famous" reads one ad.  [Those interested in participating are encouraged to email video and online links to kitty decides@gmail.com.]

Music was produced by songwriter David PoeKelly Jones, whose 80s-reminiscent viral video for the Foo Fighters' White Limo quickly garnered millions of views on YouTube, is directing the video. The project aims to leverage online viewers' love of cat videos for charity, including Stray Cat Alliance, NKLA and Santé d'Or.

Video shoot for the Kitty Decides band

With a rock band of seven-year-old "grrrls," a handful of extremely curious rescue kittens and the artist herself alternating between a Julie Newmar-inspired cat suit and childlike leopard-print pajamas, principal shooting for Kitty Decides commenced at Vasquez Rocks, the desert park near Los Angeles which provided a memorable backdrop for 1960s episodes of Star Trek. Cameras rolled on Raasch as she danced fervently in 100 degree sun.  "The right way that Kitty likes," she purrs into the lens.  "The wrong way, when kitty bites."

Nearby is a pink, air-conditioned Airstream trailer, in which a rescue cat named Tuna clicks on a remote control, appearing to watch videos on an orb-shaped vintage television. Images of cats soon give way to depictions of human behavior, some of them disturbing -- random public violence, civil rights riots and Abu Ghraib torture scenes flickered briefly on the screen.

"We watch cats. Cats watch us," muses Raasch, adjusting the ears of a yellow-spotted onesie. "What do we learn from our virtual pets?"


Email cat video or links to kitty decides@gmail.com


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