Lost Warhol originals extracted from decaying Amiga floppies


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I was an Amiga 1000 owner! I did not remember this Warhol connection at all! This is awesome!

In 1985, Commodore International (makers of the once-famous Commodore 64 home computer) released the first model of the Amiga the Amiga 1000 as a move into more serious business and productivity computing. To show off the multimedia capabilities of the machine, Commodore hired Andy Warhol to appear at the launch and produce several artworks using the Amiga. Warhol’s presence was intended to convey the message that this was a highly sophisticated yet accessible machine that acted as a tool for creativity. He was provided with various pieces of pre-release hardware and software, eventually exploring digital photography, video capturing, animation editing, and audio composition. All of this had been done to limited extents earlier, but Warhol was an incredibly early adopter in this arena and may be the first major artist to explore many of these mediums of computer art. He almost certainly was the earliest (if not the only, given several pre-release statuses) possessor of some of this hardware and software and, given their steep later sale prices, possibly the only person to have such a collection. According to the contract with Commodore located by the museum in March 2012, Warhol was to own the rights to all such work created and any hardware provided, so these works and the machines themselves have, except for sporadic “rediscoveries” of small components, remained hidden and unpublished within Warhol archives.

This is the launch?

Debbie Harry and Andy Warhol at 3:50 in the second video.

Data was retrieved from the old floppies using a KryoFlux!


The video for the low-level floppy reader features some pretty awesome 8-bit chiptune action


The three-eyed Venus is largely the work of Avril Harrison, who did a bunch of the demo art found on copies of Deluxe Paint. Including that image, minus the third eye. I remember being amazed by it when I was a kid playing with my brand-new Amiga 1000. Note that it still carries her “A.H.” signature.

I mean this is Warhol, King of Appropriation we’re talking about here, so arguably it being on his discs suggests it is now a Warhol Original, but he didn’t bother signing it with his name.

Harrison also did a bunch of other painterly stuff - the splash screen of the 16-bit versions of “Prince of Persia” is her work, she was part of the Monkey Island team, and various other appearances in the games of that era. Here’s what I’m pretty sure is a partial gameography though I couldn’t fill in the blanks if my life depended on it.

Also this article is reminding me that I have a few discs in a closet that I saved all my c64 art on that I really should get around to trying to extract someday before they bit rot away.


I am a big fan of Warhol but I have to agree with you… the technical heroics are a lot more interesting than the art.

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If my name was Avril Harrison, I would certainly think twice about signing my work with A.H. as this signet also belonged to an austrian painter by the name of Hattler or Hutler… not sure if I can quite remember :wink:

My first computer was an Amiga (at that time is was just called the Amiga – they hadn’t come out with the 500 and 1000 designation yet), and the thing that pushed me over the edge to spend the money was the then-current issue of Amgia magazine, which prominently featured a picture of Warhol on the cover. The article featuring his artwork (and the article that featured what were at the time stunning pictures of Mandebrot fractals) were the motivation I needed.


I’m not sure if Himler owned an Amiga 1000.

In what sense are these “originals?”

I’m not sure why you have the “quotes” there… and I’d like to get that clarified before I respond.

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When taking about work created entirely digitally I don’t really know what you’d call ‘originals’ if an image, drawn directly in a paint program, taken from the actual floppy disk to which Andy Warhol directly saved his work isn’t :smiley:

That’s cool if it was actually his floppy. But still, data isn’t like things - unless you buy the RIAA argument that copying data somehow “steals” it from the previous owner, who nevertheless still has the thing that was “stolen.”

Oh, and the quotes are there because the word “originals” is in the headline - but maybe it shouldn’t be used naively with data.

I believe the term “originals” is being used in the “this is work created by him” sense here, not “these are the original copies” sense, which obviously makes no sense when talking about digital work.


but…but…the original floppy has Andy’s aura:)


Amiga is 16-bit, and more often than not anything in tracker music that sounds like chip is actually a tiny little looped sample

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: 🄹🅄🅂🅃 🅂🄰🅈🄸🄽 :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Adam Hughes doesn’t give a fuck.

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Man I loved Amigas. I had full run of the art teachers Amiga in high school. I have a ton of floppies that I need to some day sit down and try to pull data off of. I used to do early 3D animation on them. Had things worked out differently and I could have found schooling, I might have been one of those poor, forsaken nameless grunts doing tweens for Pixar or ILM.

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Wait. Are you talking about that scifi artist who wrote that crappy novel?

NB: I am NOT talking about Spinrad.

I still gnash my teeth that my Amiga subscription started with issue 2. AAAARGH!

Wonder if I still have that magazine laying in a box somewhere. That would be sweet to come across one day!