Sunday, August 23, 2009

“In fifteen minutes, everyone will be famous.”

I thought it would be fitting to begin with Andy Warhol, not to say that I am a huge Warhol fanatic or anything. In fact, I cannot even stand the sight of most pop art, but Warhol did, however, do some fantastic “production” work with the Velvet Underground & Nico, & his avant-garde film career brought many other characters into the light of fame, from Edie Sedgwick to Joe Dallesandro.

At the time & even today, Warhol’s productions challenged & continue to challenge the modern film industry. For instance, the film Sleep monitors a man sleeping for six hours, & Blow Job is a thirty-five minute, continuous shot of a man’s face, whilst receiving oral sex from another man. I had the opportunity to see one of his films, Poor Little Rich Girl, starring Edie Sedgwick, during a screening at a local, volunteer-run art & music venue called the Eyedrum (a subtle plug before the place is shut down). The film consists of two reels portraying Sedgwick waking up & beginning her day. It was supposed to be part of a twenty-four hour series of Sedgwick, a sort of “Day in the Life of Edie Sedgwick,” but that project, however, was left incomplete. The entire first half of this film was shot out of focus due to a faulty camera lens, but Warhol included the footage in the final production anyway.

I’ve digressed slightly, but the real reason why I wanted to begin with Warhol is due to a quotation of his from the nineteen sixties. It is an especially fitting slogan for the modern world of blogging. He said, “In the future, everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame.” Of course Warhol, being Warhol, grew bored of being asked about that quotation and began changing it up some. For instance, he would say, “In the future, fifteen people will be famous,” or “In fifteen minutes, everyone will be famous.”

In an article written in 1991, Scottish musical artist & blogger, Monus, reinvented the quote to speak of the now-widening blogosphere. He wrote, “In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen people,” meaning with the use of the internet, anyone can write anything that can be seen by any number of people (just as I am doing now), & twenty some odd years later, Warhol’s prediction from the nineteen-sixties has become even more true than he, himself, could have possibly known. This is especially visible in the recent conflict in Iran, where, here in Atlanta, we hold candlelight vigils for those whose deaths in Iran were caught by cameras on a cellular phone & released to the world via Facebook or Twitter. It really just proves how fast information travels in the information age. One can only guess what Warhol would be doing these days…

As a vegan, I have posted the video below not to condone the consumption of meat, but I have included it merely so that one can see the vibrant personality that is Andy Warhol. Good day!