What Would Andy Warhol Do on the Internets?

by Art Fag City on April 14, 2009 · 26 comments Events

Art Fag City, Andy Warhol, Campbell's soup cans
Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans. 1962, Synthetic polymer paint on thirty-two canvases, Each canvas 20 x 16″ (50.8 x 40.6 cm). Image via: MoMA.org

Would Andy Warhol rule the Internets if he were alive today? Based on his celebrity status alone, most people would say yes, though it begs the more compelling question of what, exactly, he would be doing. I talked to a few friends on the subject, and together we came up with some guesses. The results below:

Andy Warhol and Add-Art’s Steve Lambert Face off!

Andy Warhol would not get along with Steve Lambert, the artist behind the Firefox extension that replaces ads with art. Were Warhol alive, I suggest he’d respond to Lambert’s add-on with his own extension.  His would selectively replace content with ads culled from a giant online database. The Internet needs more Campbell’s Soup Cans.

art fag city, paddy johnson, andy warhol
Andy Warhol, Self Portrait

Fake Andy Warhol

Warhol impersonators would be much more plentiful if the artist were alive — he might even be drowned  in versions of himself!   A friend of the artist would run his Twitter account, answering his followers questions with only yes or no responses, as he did in the sixties.  Micro-celebrity expert Rex Sorgatz would be stuck with the Twitter account he currently has under the artist’s name.

Editor’s note: There are currently seven Warhol accounts, including an inactive, (and protected!) Andy Warhol Museum feed.

YouTube Preview Image

Andy Warhol & Snoop Dogg BFF!!!!

Both iconoclasts in their own right, would Snoop and Warhol be partners in porn?  Snoop’s a little more heterosexual than Warhol, but I think they’d get along well.  Warhol could put many of his young hot hangers on to good use– a niche market likely to challenge Joanna’s Angels.  In the name of art, none of Warhol’s porn stars would get paid. The artist would be extremely wealthy.

The Andy Warhol Fan Page

Andy Warhol is *so* Web 2.0.   Warhol’s fansite would include embeddable Youtube videos, a live Twitter feed and links to numerous websites the artist maintained.  He wasn’t known for keeping the best records though, which would likely make running an editions website next to impossible.

The Andy Warhol Wikipedia Page????

If you think the Andy Warhol Wikipedia page is big now, imagine what it would be like if he were alive.  Britney Spears would have nothing on this artist!  His page would be frequently shut down due to vandalism.  Artists Nathaniel Stern and Scott Kidall would create a separate Wikipedia entry about how the page itself was art, but Wikipedians would shut it down.  Myartspace’s Brian Sherwin would follow up the project on his blog by posting an interview between the two of them.

Julia Allison, Art Fag City
Julia Allison’s contemplates the computer.  Sexually.

Microcelebrity as Artistic Inspiration

Naturally, Warhol would make prints and films with the biggest cewebrities.  The question is, would he make prints out of Julia Allison’s face or her tweets.

Andy Warhol, Art Fag City, homosexual
Image via: gettyimages

Warhol’s Database

Known as a compulsive collector, Andy Warhol would have his own extensive image database rivaling Getty Images.  It would be filled with pictures of shoes, cats, flowers, butterflies and homosexuals.

Facebook

Duh.  Warhol’s Facebook page would be full of pictures from the Factory, celebrities and himself.  Naturally, he would be tight with Madonna.  Links to Style.com and Vogue would litter his page.  Andy Warhol would be a fan of Apple Inc.

YouTube Preview Image

Youtube Mash-ups, Screentests, and Cheeseburgers

Warhol made music videos later in life employing animation.  Were he alive, he would be making mash-ups, creating Youtube Screentest channels and eating cheeseburgers.   The web community emerging out of, and contributing to, his creative output would build their own social networking tools to facilitate drug trafficking.

Foursquare

“Tell us where you are and we’ll tell your friends where to find you” sums up the functionality of this new social networking application.  Warhol would undoubtedly use the app to meet up with his peeps, though he’d have to compete with Art Fag City for the Foursquare title of  “Mayor” at the New Museum.  We’re Foursquare’s top visitor at that location.

Editor’s note: Thanks to Noah Fischer, Saul Chernick, Peter Zimmerman, Karen Archey, SS, and JB for their contributions.

  • http://www.thefanzine.com Casey Mckinney

    I wonder, you look at his diaries and of course he’d be a great blogger. But he was private about that as he was about his daily Mass routines until a behemoth tome was amassed (hey that kinda puns). The thing that made him – I think – such a commodity was the exclusivity, the thing you couldn’t get at, and the internet, to be a success there, it’s all about inclusiveness I guess, so I don’t know, Andy might just get passed over amidst the heap. You know who is ruling the internet though in a Warhol kind of way these days? Dennis Cooper. See his blog at http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com/ – and cheers Paddy, great post.

  • http://www.thefanzine.com Casey Mckinney

    I wonder, you look at his diaries and of course he’d be a great blogger. But he was private about that as he was about his daily Mass routines until a behemoth tome was amassed (hey that kinda puns). The thing that made him – I think – such a commodity was the exclusivity, the thing you couldn’t get at, and the internet, to be a success there, it’s all about inclusiveness I guess, so I don’t know, Andy might just get passed over amidst the heap. You know who is ruling the internet though in a Warhol kind of way these days? Dennis Cooper. See his blog at http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com/ – and cheers Paddy, great post.

  • http://www.tarmdesign.com Tim

    He would copy and paste other people’s entries and comments, but would use a different color for the typeface.

  • http://www.tarmdesign.com Tim

    He would copy and paste other people’s entries and comments, but would use a different color for the typeface.

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  • Joe Berube

    Blogging is really about sharing your individual understanding of the world with others who tend to agree with your view. I don’t think that really fits with the whole everyone eats the same can of campbells.

    Video games?

  • Joe Berube

    Blogging is really about sharing your individual understanding of the world with others who tend to agree with your view. I don’t think that really fits with the whole everyone eats the same can of campbells.

    Video games?

  • Brian Sherwin @ Myartspace Blo

    Warhol would maintain the YesNo Blog. He would review exhibits with a simple yes or no… with a couple of “uh huh”‘s thrown in for good measure. ;p

  • Brian Sherwin @ Myartspace Blog

    Warhol would maintain the YesNo Blog. He would review exhibits with a simple yes or no… with a couple of “uh huh”‘s thrown in for good measure. ;p

  • jeffrey ♥

    he would constantly repost edits of his previous posts at any given time, using only emoticons.

  • jeffrey ♥

    he would constantly repost edits of his previous posts at any given time, using only emoticons.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Two questions are raised here and you are addressing the second (I realize the post is tongue in cheek but for those who revere Andy as a God there is no humor):

    1. Would Warhol have become famous in the first place in the Internet era?

    2. How would Warhol have used the Net once he was famous?

    Question 2 would never be reached if the answer to 1 was “no.” His art was based on crafted objects (despite his pose of not doing anything) and his career depended on winning over a few key people (e.g., Henry Geldzahler at the Met). If those types of conditions still apply then he would do fine in the present era, if they are obsolete then possibly he would not have the skill set for wired fame (ability to build buzz and an audience online), being mainly a craftsman and an inside networker.

    A look at the career rise of any current artist described as “neo-Warholean” would be a good way of comparing past and present skill sets to answer question 1.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Two questions are raised here and you are addressing the second (I realize the post is tongue in cheek but for those who revere Andy as a God there is no humor):

    1. Would Warhol have become famous in the first place in the Internet era?

    2. How would Warhol have used the Net once he was famous?

    Question 2 would never be reached if the answer to 1 was “no.” His art was based on crafted objects (despite his pose of not doing anything) and his career depended on winning over a few key people (e.g., Henry Geldzahler at the Met). If those types of conditions still apply then he would do fine in the present era, if they are obsolete then possibly he would not have the skill set for wired fame (ability to build buzz and an audience online), being mainly a craftsman and an inside networker.

    A look at the career rise of any current artist described as “neo-Warholean” would be a good way of comparing past and present skill sets to answer question 1.

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  • Tab

    but hes dead

  • Tab

    but hes dead

  • http://www.robmyers.org Rob Myers

    I think Warhol would be appropriating internet imagery, silk screening it, then selling it. “Gold Goatse” would be the “The Deep” for the credit crunch. ;-)

    He’d blog about his art and artworld exploits, and Interview would go from being his personal blog to a HuffPo-style operation.

    Tom’s question of institutional patronage is an interesting one. Depending on which point in the development of the net we are assuming Warhol would start he’d either be able to ride the first wave of bemused institutional support for anything to do with the web or to network through influential art blogs.

    What *I’d* like to know is whether he’d embrace copyleft or whether he’d be a humourless DMCA-takedown merchant.

  • http://www.robmyers.org Rob Myers

    I think Warhol would be appropriating internet imagery, silk screening it, then selling it. “Gold Goatse” would be the “The Deep” for the credit crunch. ;-)

    He’d blog about his art and artworld exploits, and Interview would go from being his personal blog to a HuffPo-style operation.

    Tom’s question of institutional patronage is an interesting one. Depending on which point in the development of the net we are assuming Warhol would start he’d either be able to ride the first wave of bemused institutional support for anything to do with the web or to network through influential art blogs.

    What *I’d* like to know is whether he’d embrace copyleft or whether he’d be a humourless DMCA-takedown merchant.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    If he approached my influential art blog looking for support I’d tell him he needed to stop manipulating other people and just concentrate on his studio work.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    If he approached my influential art blog looking for support I’d tell him he needed to stop manipulating other people and just concentrate on his studio work.

  • James

    andywarhol.com would be like a cross between dlisted and ebay.

  • James

    andywarhol.com would be like a cross between dlisted and ebay.

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