Sunday, January 2, 2011

Do Everything

Andy Warhol "painting" pop singer Debbie Harry
with his Commodore Amiga 1000 in 1985.

As the 20th-century began winding down, artist Andy Warhol's (1928-1987) art practice vociferously encompassed emerging media. His mantra: Do Everything. From 16 mm Bolexes (1960s) and Sony Portapaks (1970) to founding Interview magazine, shooting Polaroids with his Big Shot camera, tape recording every conversation, talking on the phone, shooting MTV videos, producing a cable TV interview show, staging multi-media light shows with Velvet Underground his practice eventually included the Commodore Amiga 1000 computer--just months before his death. Warhol exploited the speed, ease of use and newness with each successive technology. The social and collaborative quality of his art practice made his working methods miles away from the individual artist genius toiling alone in their artelier producing small easel paintings.  Bridget Berlin once said "He just wishes it was all easier" presaging Warhol's foray into digital technology by a couple decades. Warhol perceived his Amiga computers as a faster way to work and try out colors on his portraits. He stated in an interview with Amiga World magazine that the imagery the Amigas produced looked a lot like what he was doing with his silkscreens. He found using a mouse awkward and hoped for a pen tool for ease of use and a printer so he could make prints to send to the subjects of his portraits.