Press Release The Warhol Museum Announces Launch of EarthCam Project at Andy Warhol’s Grave Site
For immediate release
Monday, August 5, 2013
To honor the anniversary of Warhol’s birthday, August 6, The Andy Warhol Museum and EarthCam launch 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 via a special page on our website, www.warhol.org/figment, was inspired by an infamous Warhol quote, “…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’.”
Hundreds of devotees make the pilgrimage yearly to Warhol’s resting place. Often these visitors leave mementos at the site, including such popular culture items as Campbell’s Soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles.
The Warhol’s Director Eric Shiner states, “EarthCam’s technology itself was inspired by Warhol through his 1980’s conversations with EarthCam CEO Brian Cury. We are now able to welcome virtual visitors from around the world to visit Warhol in his final resting place, an incredibly special place in the suburbs of Pittsburgh that has become a living shrine to the Prince of Pop. 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.”
EarthCam is the global leader in delivering webcam content. EarthCam provides time-lapse live streaming video. This project’s high resolution camera provides a detailed view of Warhol’s gravesite and is EarthCam’s first gravesite subject. “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.
As a child, Warhol and his family were members of and attended weekly liturgies at St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church, which is located in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The church was established in 1910 by Rusyn immigrants from the Carpathian Mountains in present day Eastern Slovakia, the birth place of Warhol’s parents. As an adult, Warhol continued to regularly attend church at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in New York City.
Warhol is buried at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, which is owned and operated by St. John the Baptist Church in Pittsburgh – a sister parish of St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Warhol’s parents, Julia and Andrej, are also buried at the same cemetery directly behind their beloved son Andy. St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church’s live webcam is also viewable on the Figment project webpage.
The grave has been featured in many documentaries and art pieces and has become a focus point for artist Madelyn Roehrig’s ongoing art project Figments: Conversations with Andy, now in its fifth year. “Filling a need for people to talk with a famous artist they feel connected to through time and across cultures, the project documents people playing out their fantasy about their ‘best friend forever – Andy’ as they write notes, leave objects, or talk to the deceased Pop artist in videotaped segments that I capture at his grave,” states Roedhrig. In addition to those videos, Roehrig also photographs the grave and the many wigs, soup cans and other objects that adoring fans leave at the site.
The Figment project is presented in collaboration with EarthCam and St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church.
For more information about Figment, visit http://www.warhol.org/connect/figment/.
The Warhol receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
The Andy Warhol Museum
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.4 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.