Nov. 14 2012 12:51 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Watch this confused kitten in the Internet Cat Video Festival.

1. LOL at that crazy cat!

Chances are good that you've caught Keyboard Cat's act on YouTube, whether it's the original video or the one with K.C. jamming with Hall & Oates on "You Make My Dreams." After all, the original's been viewed more than 27.5 million times. But you ain't even scratched the surface of Internet feline fun.

At its next Pop Thursdays event, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, Balboa Park's Museum of Photographic Arts will host the West Coast premiere of Walker Art Center's Internet Cat Video Festival. Some 10,000 videos were submitted, and the Walker folks edited the selections down to about 70 minutes of viral-video hilarity. Seattle filmmaker Will Braden, who created the People's Choice winner, "Henri, the Existential Cat," will be on hand.

"It's crazy how viral [these videos] can get and how people just enjoy them—or secretly enjoy them," says MoPA development associate Christina Shih. "You can go to YouTube and watch all the videos, but I can't even imagine what it's going to be like to sit with a couple hundred of your friends, just laughing together."

The video fest is the prime attraction at the event, dubbed Crowd Control because the theme is all about crowd-sourcing. Attendees can also view MoPA's current exhibitions, including Soapbox! The Audience Speaks, which is the result of visitors rating images from the museum's permanent collection and, in effect, assuming the role of curator. 

That's not all. Projected on the wall at the party will be the winners of The App Wars, a competition pitting Instagram and Hipstamatic photographers against one another. You can also blend your own variety of tea at a station sponsored by North Park's Coffee & Tea Collective. 

"We wanted to celebrate this idea and focus this Pop's theme around the idea of audience-generated content, collective collaboration and the idea of crowd-sourcing," Shih says. "Weíre handing the power over to the public that night." 

Rounding out the fun will be craft cocktails by Alchemy, street food by MIHO Gastrotruck spinoff Stand & Deliver and music by Wild Wild Wets, a CityBeat favorite.

2. The Arab perspective

Sure, there are plenty of film festivals in San Diego. There's the Asian fest, the Latino fest, FilmOut and the San Diego Film Festival, just to name a few. But the Arab voice has long been missing from these celebrations of cinema, and considering the global political climate, that's too bad. Film is a terrific medium to gain understanding of culture, which is why news of the first Arab Film Festival in San Diego is so welcome. Local organization Karama has teamed up with a touring fest to present two days of shorts and features, on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park. A list of films and showtimes can be found at

3. Spirit song

The pipa is an ancient Chinese four-stringed instrument shaped like a bulbous fruit and described as almost like a "rarely seen" endangered animal. Art of …lan, the innovative chamber-music organization, has found a Los Angeles-based musician, Jie Ma, who's been studying the pipa since age 5, to coax haunting melodies from the instrumentís wood in Ghost Opera at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. Composed by Tan Dun, who scored Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the piece smashes through space, time and tradition to update the 4,000-year-old shamanistic performance art known as "Guixi." The pipa will be joined by a strings ensemble, a glass bowl of water and breathing. Tickets are $25.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28