The exhibit of Warhol's cinematic portraits and the silent, black and white "screen tests" he shot of everyone from Edie Sedgwick to Lou Reed in the mid-1960s ends on March 21, but MoMA's screen tests site will live on.
"We don't have any plans to sunset it just yet," David Hart, a media producer in MoMA's digital media department, says. "We're playing it by ear to see how the response is and to see if we keep getting submissions."
The screen tests site was created to give people a participatory role in the Warhol exhibit.
"We didn't want it to feel like an empty marketing ploy," Hart stresses. "We wanted to create a rich experience."
Participants are instructed to record themselves sitting motionless and silent in front of a solid white or black background in an environment that is darkened except for a light shining directly on the subject. The screen tests can then be submitted via Flickr.
Hart would have liked to have created functionality that would have allowed people to submit their screen tests directly to the site, but with only two-months to take it from conception to completion, there wasn't enough time to build the necessary back-end technology.
Hart ultimately settled on Flickr because of its 90-second video limit and a built-in community, which has a natural affinity for design and photography.
Stamen, a San Francisco-based design and technology studio, built the minimalist site that houses the screen tests.
"It's not oversaturated with a lot of buttons and functionality," Hart notes. "We were trying to keep it pure, and we had to keep resisting adding more things to it."
At its launch, MoMA seeded the screen tests site with video of in-house staffers - Hart included - and promoted the site within the museum, on MoMA.org and through Facebook and Twitter.
When the site went live, Hart recalls, "We were joking, 'How long is it going to be take before somebody uploads a cat or a dog screen test?' "
So how long did it take?
"We got a cat the second day," Hart shares.
The feline screen test was featured on the site. In fact, the feline-loving gatekeepers at MoMA who screen the submissions have yet to reject any of them.