For this exhibition, Josh Michaels creates an elaborate homage to the original Empire, one of Andy Warhol's first durational films. Beginning with a 24-hour durational video, Michaels used that original footage to also create photographs, lenticular prints, multi-channel video installation and interactive video displays. Michaels approached this multi-media project as an investigation, asking: How might Andy Warhol have made Empire today?
Empire was one of the earliest in a series of underground films by Warhol that focused on a single subject for an extended period of time. To create it, Andy Warhol and Jonas Mekas spent six and a half hours filming the Empire State Building from the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building one summer night in 1964. These films were unconventional then, but they foreshadowed our current culture of always-on video made popular by the Internet and other readily available technologies. In 2014, Empire celebrated its 50th anniversary, which included screenings in New York and a special silver illumination of the Empire State Building.