“I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name” – Andy Warhol
To honour the anniversary of Warhol’s 85th birthday today, August 6, 2013, The Andy Warhol Museum, EarthCam and St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church have launched a collaborative project titled Figment, a live feed of Warhol’s gravesite. This live feed, viewable 24 hours a day, seven days a week worldwide is a fitting epitaph to one of the most important artists of the 20th century.
The project consists of multiple live webcams around Andy Warhol’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. The viewers will gain virtual access to visit Andy Warhol’s final resting place with live streaming video infrared and high-definition 16 images. Online visitors will be given a real life “pop art” experience with Warholian image effects and color pallets integrated into snapshots of the gravesite, each photo creating truly unique webcam art. The FigmentCam Live is equipped with a microphone that also allows viewers to hear the surroundings and visitors at the gravesite. “I think my uncle would have been jealous. He would have said, ‘I should have been at Marilyn’s gravesite filming everything’”, said Warhol’s nephew, Donald Warhola. “It pays homage to one of his most famous and controversial projects, the Death and Disaster series.
EarthCam is the perfect partner to combine art and technology, continuing to teach the world about my uncle and allow people to pay their virtual respects.” The Warhol’s Director, Eric Shiner, states, “Via innovative EarthCam technology, itself inspired by Warhol through his conversations on voyeurism with CEO & Founder Brian Cury, we are now able to welcome virtual visitors from around the world to visit Andy in his final resting place.” In addition to the FigmentCam, a webcam installed in the St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church, where Andy was baptized, will bring visitors cradle to grave. Complete with sound, this webcam offers unrestricted attendance to the daily liturgy at the church. As a child, Warhol and his family were members and attended weekly liturgies at the church, which is located in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. “Our parishioners are thrilled to be a part of this Andy Warhol history project,” said Reverend Tom Schaefer. “As an affiliate of the EarthCam webcam network, we are able to expose our church to more people worldwide and also participate in supporting the local community by donating to The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.” To honor Andy Warhol’s hometown of Pittsburgh, EarthCam is giving back through a donation to The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. The public can remember Andy by choosing to have a Campbell’s Soup can – a signature image from Andy’s career – or a bouquet of flowers delivered to his gravesite. With the live streaming webcam, people can then watch the delivery and see their can and/or flowers at the grave. “I met Andy at a dinner and we discussed the culture of fame and television. I believe he would have been intrigued with using a live webcam to make art,” said Brian Cury, CEO & Founder of EarthCam. “The public can influence this special pop art experience by sending flowers to Andy and watching live as they’re delivered to his gravesite.”
Warhol’s funeral took place on February 27, 1987, at Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittsburgh, PA. A memorial service took place in New York City on April 1st, 1987 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and followed by a reception attended by friends and colleagues from around the world.