Sci-(Non)Fi: The End of Art and Warhol’s Amiga

April 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

BBC reports that a bunch of Andy Warhol’s work has finally been recovered from a 30 year old Commodore Amiga 1000.

Magnetic imaging tools were used to copy data on the disks so no damage was done to the original floppies. Examination of the copied data revealed several files that had titles such as “campbells.pic”, “flower.pic” and “marilyn1.pic” that were reminiscent of Warhol’s best-known works.

The recovery project was initially thwarted from viewing the actual images as the data was saved in an obscure format that modern Amiga emulators could not read.

Though you can’t help but applaud the efforts of Cory Arcangel and the Carnegie Mellon students who recovered these pieces, this incident is a real argument for working in analog formats.  Modern film stock is supposed to last 100 years, but I don’t even have the photographs I took with my last cell phone anymore.  Unless you’ve worked in film and TV for more than 15 years you won’t remember 1-inch video tapes, and those things were supposed to preserve our projects for forever.  Now we’ve got everything in “The Cloud,” which really just means we’re letting somebody else take care of the physical home of our work.

As the artist’s technology develops, more and more visual art is moving towards digital formats, and though there are a ton of things we can do digitally that we can’t with ink and paper,


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