Warhol Screen Tests as Screen Saver

I recently came across the film 13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests on Netflix and was captivated by the simple beauty of what I consider to be living portraits (sort of like those moving pictures from the Harry Potter movies). From the distribution company:

Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests, beautiful and revealing portraits of hundreds of different individuals, from the famous to the anonymous, all visitors to his studio, the Factory. Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute film reels were then screened in slow motion, resulting in a fascinating collection of four-minute masterpieces that startle and entrance, mesmerizing in the purest sense of the word. – Plexifilm

I recommend you check check it out, either on Netflix or through some of the Youtube excerpts from the film. Here are a couple so you can see what I mean:

Immediately, I starting thinking about how cool it would be to turn these films into a video wall display of 13 panels, with each one looping continually. The movements would be minimal enough not to force focus, but would provide a fascinating and moving piece of art. Since I don’t really have the ability to make such a piece right now (I have neither the equipment nor the rights), I started thinking about how I could create this as a screensaver or moving desktop for my computer. For my first test, I simply downloaded one of the Youtube versions and created a screensaver using Quartz Composer I can then, using Wallsaver turn that into a desktop that runs constantly in the background. Currently I don’t have it running because my computer, a 2007 Macbook Pro, chugs away a bit too hard when processing video and to have video running constantly would be a bit to much for it. My next step is to see if I can use Quartz Composter to take multiple videos and create a screensaver that is made up of multiple panels running concurrently. If that works, then I will buy the dvd and get better copies of each segment and then, whenever I get a new computer (probably either this fall or next fall if I can hold out for another year) I will at least run it as a screensaver if not experiment with it as my desktop background (realistically, even small amounts of movement are going to be distracting running it as a desktop would use resources that I probably don’t need to even if the computer can handle it with ease – still, the idea is cool even if I don’t end up using it as my background setting on a regular basis).

On this day..