News Feed Item

Previously Unknown Warhol Works Discovered on Floppy Disks From 1985

Carnegie Mellon, Artist and Museums Collaborate To Rescue Early Digital Art Through "Forensic Retrocomputing"

PITTSBURGH, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A multi-institutional team of new-media artists, computer experts and museum archivists have discovered a dozen previously unknown artworks by Andy Warhol on aging floppy disks from 1985. Warhol earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University, then Carnegie Institute of Technology, in 1949.

This image, signed by Warhol, was retrieved from an Amiga disk by the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Computer Club, with assistance from CMU's Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.

The purely digital artworks, "trapped" for nearly 30 years on Amiga® floppy disks stored in the archives collection of The Andy Warhol Museum (AWM), were discovered and extracted by members of the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club, with assistance from the AWM's staff, CMU's Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (FRSCI), the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) and New York-based artist Cory Arcangel

Warhol's Amiga experiments were the products of a commission by Commodore International to demonstrate the graphic arts capabilities of the Amiga 1000 personal computer. Created by Warhol on prototype Amiga hardware in his unmistakable visual style, the recovered images reveal an early exploration of the visual potential of software imaging tools, and show new ways in which the pre-eminent American artist of the 20th century was years ahead of his time.

The impetus for the investigation came when Arcangel, a self-described "Warhol fanatic and lifelong computer nerd," learned about Warhol's Amiga experiments from a 1985 Commodore infomercial on YouTube. Acting on a hunch, and with the support of CMOA curator Tina Kukielski, Arcangel approached the AWM in December 2011 regarding the possibility of restoring the Amiga hardware in the museum's possession, and cataloging any files on its associated diskettes.

In April 2012, Arcangel contacted Golan Levin, a CMU art professor and director of the FRSCI, a laboratory that supports "atypical, anti-disciplinary and inter-institutional" arts research. Offering a grant to support the investigation through the STUDIO's Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier, Levin connected Arcangel with the CMU Computer Club, a student organization that had gained renown for its expertise in "retrocomputing," or the restoration of vintage computers.

CMU Computer Club members determined that even reading the data from the diskettes entailed significant risk to the contents, and would require unusual tools and methodologies. By February 2013, in collaboration with chief collections manager Amber Morgan and other AWM archivists, the club had completed a plan for handling the delicate disk media, and gathered at The Warhol Museum to see if any data could be extracted. The Computer Club set up a cart of exotic gear, while a video crew from the Hillman Photography Initiative, under the direction of Kukielski, followed their progress.

It was not known in advance whether any of Warhol's imagery existed on the floppy disks — nearly all of which were system and application diskettes onto which, the team later discovered, Warhol had saved his own data. Reviewing the disks' directory listings, the team's initial excitement on seeing promising file names like "campbells.pic" and "marilyn1.pic" quickly turned to dismay, when it emerged that the files were stored in a completely unknown file format, unrecognized by any utility. Soon afterward, however, the club's forensics experts had reverse-engineered the unfamiliar format, unveiling 28 never-before-seen digital images that were judged to be in Warhol's style by the AWM's experts. At least 11 of these images featured Warhol's signature.  

The images depict some of Warhol's best-known subjects — Campbell's® soup cans, Botticelli's "Venus" and self-portrait, for example — articulated through uniquely digital processes such as pattern flood fills, palletized color and copy-paste collage. "What's amazing is that by looking at these images, we can see how quickly Warhol seemed to intuit the essence of what it meant to express oneself, in what then was a brand-new medium: the digital," Arcangel said.

The team's efforts are documented in the Hillman Photography Initiative's new short film, "Trapped: Andy Warhol's Amiga Experiments," which will premiere at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 10, at Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh. The screening will be followed by a conversation with some of the team's key players, including artists Arcangel and Levin; Michael Dille, who just completed his Ph.D. in robotics at CMU, and Keith A. Bare of the CMU Computer Club; and outside guest Jon Ippolito, a professor of digital media curation at the University of Maine. The Trapped documentary will be available online at http://nowseethis.org on May 12.

A detailed report about the CMU Computer Club's retrocomputing work on the Warhol/Amiga image recovery project can be found here: http://studioforcreativeinquiry.org/public/warhol_amiga_report_v7.pdf

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.

Images approved for Publication:

The following stipulations for image reproduction are from Artists Rights Society (ARS), which manages copyright licensing for The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.:

Permission is hereby granted for distribution of the works listed below to members of the media for the sole purpose of news reports.

Permission is contingent upon the artwork not being cropped, detailed, overprinted or altered; the work being fully credited; and the inclusion of the appropriate copyright notice (listed below) adjacent to all reproductions.

Images appearing online in connection with news reports or reviews must have a low resolution no greater than 72 ppi, with a total image size no greater than 4.12 megapixels.

Any other uses (including, but not limited to, advertisements, web display, brochures, etc.) are subject to the review and approval of ARS and may be subject to licensing fees.

Persons or organizations seeking to reproduce the images accompanying this press release should contact both of the following persons for necessary permissions:

Greg Burchard  /  [email protected]  /  +1-412-237-8336
Senior Manager of Rights and Reproductions, The Andy Warhol Museum

Janet Hicks  /  [email protected]  /  +1-212-420-9160
Director of Permissions, Artists Rights Society (ARS)

List of Images:

Andy2, 1985
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Digital image, from disk 1998.3.2129.3.4
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Campbells, 1985
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Digital image, from disk 1998.3.2129.3.22
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Venus, 1985
Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Digital image, from disk 1998.3.2129.3.22
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.
© 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Financial support for the Warhol/Amiga data recovery project came from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier, an endowment to encourage innovative arts research by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University.

The Carnegie Museum of Art and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon receive state arts funding support through grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

General operating support for the Carnegie Mellon Computing Club comes from the CMU Student Activities Fee and the CMU School of Computer Science. General operating support for the Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Support for the Carnegie Museum of Art's Hillman Photography Initiative was provided by the William T. Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a distinctive, world-class research university that blends cutting-edge programs across many disciplines including business, computer science, the arts and sciences, engineering and public policy.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140424/78072
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020422/CMULOGO

SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...