The Andy Warhol Museum is teaming up with EarthCam webcam network to celebrate Andy Warhol like never before, with a live video feed from the artist's gravesite to honor what would have been his 85th birthday on Tuesday.
The museum director, Eric Shiner, said the project is titled "Figment" because of a Warhol quote that said: "I always thought I'd like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I'd like it to say, 'Figment.'"
Andy Warhol died in New York City in February 1987 after gallbladder surgery and was buried in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is the pop artist's hometown.
The video went live on Monday night, streaming around-the-clock video of two key venues: the church where Warhol was baptized and the grave where he is buried, both in Pennsylvania. Shortly after dawn this morning Tuesday, "the live video showed a star-shaped silver balloon and two smaller black-and-white balloons swaying gently in the breeze, next to a headstone surrounded by flowers and some decorative grasses."
The webcam will broadcast footage from Warhol's grave 24 hours a day, always from the same spot and with no editing. In that way it recalls some of the artist's most famous films: Sleep, which depicts his friend in bed for more than five hours, or Empire, a continuous eight-hour shot of a New York skyscraper. Warhol died long before the advent of the web and social media, of course – yet while he would have adored those innovations, in some way he also foresaw them. Non-stop broadcast, endless conversation, fame for everyone and no one: these are the markers of our age, but they were originally Andy's idea.
Starting this evening, Tuesday August 6, at midnight, there will be continuous streaming video of both venues, which can be found at earthcam.com/warhol. The gravesite will be a live stream equipped with sound. The artist's nephew, Donald, and museum director Eric Shiner visited the gravesite at noon Pacific Time on Tuesday.
Shiner said the museum decided that the gravesite webcam "would be a really fantastic way to put Andy on the air 24/7 and plug in to our global audience.
"We believe that this will give Warhol the pleasure of knowing that he is still plugged in and turned on over 25 years after his death,"