Welcome!

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

Support:

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
Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Daniel Jones, CTO of EngineerBetter, will answer: How can we improve willpower and decrease technical debt? Is the present bias real? How can we turn it to our advantage? Can you increase a team’s effective IQ? How do DevOps & Product Teams increase empathy, and what impact does empath...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.