Obey Your Cute, Furry Masters: the Populism of Cat GIFs

Obey Your Cute, Furry Masters: the Populism of Cat GIFs

Have you ever wanted the complex nature of populist political strategies and their inherent danger to democracy explained to you via the medium of psychedelic cat GIFs? Yes, us too, so it’s lucky that FollowYour.Pet has come into existence.

Boris Eldagsen & Sabine Taeubner, two artists from Berlin, have identified “10 populist strategies and demagogic methods that have been recently employed in politics.” They’ve then identified the most popular web content (take a guess) and employed this as a method of seeding their explanation of these strategies out into the web at large, with the aim of drawing people back to their site in order to further popular understanding of these demagogic tools. Obey your cute, furry masters.

“Cats run the internet,” said the artists in an email. “They appeal to our emotions, short-circuit our brain and go directly into our unconscious conditioning. Just as populism does: It appeals to deep instincts to blow our minds.”

For cat GIFs and demagogic strategies in abundance, FollowYour.Pet

The Internet is a field of political influence and propaganda. For FOLLOWYOUR.PET, we have applied the aforementioned manipulations to web content that currently rates as the most popular: cute cat-GIFs. As modified ‘Trojan Cats’, this project feeds them back into the web, to explore how populists and demagogues unconsciously influence the public. Given you are here and have met one of our cat-GIFs, be poised to form your own opinion.

Writer and editor based in New York.