PONTIAC, MI.- In what many have dubbed the world's first multi-media presentation on July 23rd 1985 at the Lincoln Center in New York, the maverick art legend Andy Warhol stood on stage using a new computer to paint a portrait of pop star Debbie Harry in his own unique style. That night the world was introduced to something entirely new in computing: the Amiga. Prior to this computers were aimed at a relatively limited audience. The message was clear: for the first time, an affordable computer was powerful and flexible enough to be a true creative tool, and user friendly enough to be used by artists, not just technologists.
Andy Warhol was just the first of many creative people to find that the Amiga offered entirely new possibilities and new ways of working. With powerful audio and video capabilities as well as the best graphical display of the era, Amigas rapidly found a place in the hearts and studios of many artists, filmmakers and musicians, as well into the homes of millions of ordinary families. Amigas were used by Disney and Spielberg, in Babylon 5 and Star Trek. They were found in television studios around the world, used by Arthur C. Clarke to create images of Mars, and by NASA to track satellites. They made the basis for many of the first Virtual Reality systems and provided interactive displays in countless museums. They've been used to control laser displays, run theme park rides, and operate stage lighting systems in the West End and on Broadway.
In the following months after its launch, Warhol acquired a battery of Amigas and experimented using these computers with the same enthusiasm as any medium he ever approached.
Until its 2001 discovery, what had only been hinted at and rumored is that Warhol had actually created a short digital film on one such computer, probably the first such digital creation by any important artist. Titled YOU ARE THE ONE, the digital stills were discovered on a floppy disk among thousands in Warhols estate. Long believed lost, this short masterpiece (20 painted frames) was reconstructed by Arnie Friedhoff and his team at ITN on a retro-fitted Mac G5 and reunited with what is believed to be its original soundtrack (also discovered on another floppy disk marked in Warhols familiar scrawl soundtracks for imaginary movies, i.e., you are the one.
Now, after five years of painstaking archival reconstruction, YOU ARE THE ONE is being debuted for the first time anywhere at the Museum of New Art (MONA).
However, due to threatened legal action tied to estate disputes and to its pending seizure, the museum will only be allowed a one day screening of the film.
We are so excited at this once in a lifetime opportunity," remarked Mr Friedhoff, then added sadly: Yet after this single viewing, Im afraid the work will be lost again for at least another generation.