Usually when we talk about “lost art,” it’s in regard to pieces from at least a hundred years ago, if not many centuries more. But digital technology is sort of funny—it’s fragile, and it’s actually quite easily lost.
For a fascinating example, take some pieces commissioned by the Commodore computer company in the early 80s to promote their new Amiga 1000. The artist of these pieces was Andy Warhol, and they’d been trapped on an obsolete storage medium for decades, only to be recently unearthed.
That storage medium was, funnily enough, floppy discs, which you might remember using yourself if you’re old enough. The pieces were made by Warhol using the Amiga 1000, and they range from a trippy self-portrait to a recreation of his famous Campbell’s Tomato Soup piece, and more. And we can see them now thanks to the effort of artist and Warhol fan Cory Arcangel, who tracked down the discs with the help of the The Andy Warhol Museum archive.
Andy Warhol’s newly rediscovered Amiga 1000 artworks will be the subject of an upcoming documentary, but you can see some of them (as well as the computer he used to make them) now in the gallery up top. And you can see video of Warhol’s Amiga 1000 debut, in which he uses the computer to make a portrait of Debbie Harry, below.