The floppy disk is not a technology most of us particularly miss. Easy to trash, hard to recover from, annoyingly hard to archive, the floppy is archaic for a reason. But occasionally something important is stored on a floppy, like Andy Warhol screwing around on MS Paint.
Well, he screwed around on Amiga’s version of MS Paint, but the effect is the same. But how did these get lost in the first place? Essentially, according to The Andy Warhol Museum, because they didn’t realize what the disks were and they didn’t have the technology to get at them:
Warhol’s Amiga experiments were the result of a commission by Commodore International to demonstrate the computer’s graphic arts capabilities. One artwork resulted from the series, a portrait of Debbie Harry. This artwork is in The Warhol’s collection, but the other images on the disks had been inaccessible due to their obsolete format, since entering the collection in 1994.
Essentially, an artist remembered that, hey, Warhol plugged the Amiga, and started asking whatever happened to those images. Once they managed to find an Amiga drive, they turned up a bunch of sketches and ideas from Warhol. Mostly it’s what you’d expect: Soup cans, Marilyn Monroe, a self-portrait. But nonetheless, it’s an interesting little piece of art history, and a reminder to save, or at least properly archive, those floppies.