Lost digital Warhols rediscovered on an old floppy disk from 1985

In 1985, computers were just beginning to take shape. They were something new, something that was then as futuristic as a robot butler is today. So, when Commodore International wanted to show off its brand new Amiga 1000 computer, it hired the most impressive public figure they could get their hands on: Andy Warhol.

During a public event, Andy Warhol was filmed creating art on the then-powerful Amiga. That art, along with a number of Warhol's later works on the PC, were actually saved at the time on floppy disks. Strangely, impressively even, these files were actually forgotten — left to gather dust just like the pictures you "keep meaning to print out" from your hard drive.

It was only when artist Cory Arcangel discovered a YouTube video depicting the Amiga's debut that the concept of the saved art's existence was brought back up. Sure enough, after some digging through the archives at Pittsburgh's Warhol Museum, the disks turned up. Of course, since these were floppy disks from a 1985 computer, Arcangel and his investigative team couldn't exactly shove them in a USB port to get at the images.

That's where Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Club came in. Already renowned for their interest in retro computing tech, the computer club delved into the problem of accessing the disks' data. Ultimately, a series of doodles, digital versions of existing Warhols, and art which incorporated images captured through the Amiga's camera were uncovered. Only a few of these have been released to the public thus farm. More will be featured in an upcoming documentary series called The Invisible Photograph which follows the recovery effort.

Warhol.org, via The Verge

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