15 minutes of fame

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15 minutes of fame, alternatively famous for 15 minutes, is short-lived, often ephemeral, media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression was coined from Andy Warhol, who said in 1968 that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." The phenomenon is often used in reference to figures in the entertainment industry or other areas of popular culture, such as reality TV and YouTube.


[edit] Origin

The expression is a paraphrase of a line in Warhol's exhibition catalog for an exhibit at the Moderna Museet, in Stockholm from February to March of 1968.[1] The catalog read, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."[2] In 1979 Warhol reiterated his claim, "...my prediction from the sixties finally came true: In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."[3] Becoming bored with continually being asked about this particular statement, Warhol attempted to confuse interviewers by changing the statement variously to "In the future 15 people will be famous" and "In 15 minutes everybody will be famous."[4][5]

[edit] Interpretation

Benjamin H.D. Buchloh suggests that the core tenet of Warhol's aesthetic, being "the systematic invalidation of the hierarchies of representational functions and techniques" of art, corresponds directly to the belief that the "hierarchy of subjects worthy to be represented will someday be abolished," hence anybody, and therefore "everybody," can be famous once that hierarchy dissipates, "in the future," and by logical extension of that, "in the future, everybody will be famous," and not merely those individuals worthy of fame.[6]

On the other hand, wide proliferation of the adapted idiom "my fifteen minutes"[7][8][9][10] and its entrance into common parlance have led to a slightly different application, having to do with both the ephemerality of fame in the information age and, more recently, the democratization of media outlets brought about by the advent of the internet.[11] In this formulation, Warhol's quote has been taken to mean: "At the present, because there are so many channels by which an individual might attain fame, albeit not enduring fame, virtually anyone can become famous for a brief period of time."

There is a third and even more remote interpretation of the term, as used by an individual who has been legitimately famous or skirted celebrity for a brief period of time, that period of time being his or her "fifteen minutes."[12] In the film Pulp Fiction, the character Mia Wallace refers to her appearance in a television pilot as her "fifteen minutes."[13]

John Langer suggests that 15 minutes of fame is an enduring concept because it permits everyday activities to become "great effects."[14] Tabloid journalism and the paparazzi have accelerated this trend, turning what may have before been isolated coverage, into continuing media coverage, even after the initial reason for media interest has passed.[14]

[edit] Derivative phrases

The age of reality television has seen the comment wryly updated as: "In the future, everyone will be obscure for 15 minutes."[15] The British artist Banksy has made a sculpture of a TV that has, written on its screen, "In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes."

A more recent adaptation of Warhol's quip, possibly prompted by the rise of online social networking, blogging, and similar online phenomena, is the claim that "In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people" or, in some renditions, "On the Web, everyone will be famous to fifteen people".[16] This quote, though attributed to David Weinberger, was said[16] to have originated with the Scottish artist Momus.[17]

[edit] See also

[edit] Derived terms

[edit] References

  1. ^ Ralph Keyes, The quote verifier: who said what, where, and when, Macmillan, 2006, ISBN 0-312-34004-4, page 288.
  2. ^ http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/fifteen-minutes-of-fame.html
  3. ^ Warhol photo exhibition, Stockholm, 1968: Kaplan, Justin, ed., Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 16th Ed., 1992 (Little, Brown & Co.), p. 758:17)
  4. ^ http://eu2006.tuuletin.fi/fileadmin/tiedostot/material/i2010-presentations/Mika_Mannermaa_Article.pdf[dead link]
  5. ^ Looking For Fame In All the Wrong Places, by Candace Murphy in the Chicago Tribune, Aug 25, 2006
  6. ^ Buchloh, Benjamin H.D. (2001-12-01). "Andy Warhol's One-Dimensional Art: 1956-1966". in Michelson, Annette. Andy Warhol. The MIT Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0262632423. 
  7. ^ Bragman, Howard (2005). Where's My Fifteen Minutes?: Get Your Company, Your Cause, or Yourself the Recognition You Deserve. Portfolio. ISBN 1591842360. 
  8. ^ Stockler, Bruce (2004). I Sleep at Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 124. ISBN 978-0312315290. 
  9. ^ Bryars, Betsy Cromer (1986). The Pinballs. Scholastic. p. 80. ISBN 978-0590407281. 
  10. ^ Mamatas, Nick (2003). 3000 MPH In Every Direction At Once: Stories and Essays. Wildside Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-1930997318. 
  11. ^ Frederick Levy, 15 Minutes of Fame: Becoming a Star in the YouTube Revolution, Penguin Group, 2008, ISBN 1-59257-765-2.
  12. ^ Jason, Sybil (2005). My Fifteen Minutes: An Autobiography of a Child Star of the Golden Era of Hollywood. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593930233. 
  13. ^ Tarantino, Quentin (1994). Pulp Fiction: a Quentin Tarantino screenplay. Mirimax. p. 44. ISBN 978-0786881048. 
  14. ^ a b John Langer, Tabloid television: popular journalism and the "other news", Routledge, 1998, ISBN 0-415-06636-0, page 51, 63, 73
  15. ^ Peltz, Jennifer (2004-03-01). "Aiken and Clarkson show off Idol mettle". http://chautauqua.yuku.com/topic/374. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  16. ^ a b Weinberger, David (2005-07-23). "Famous to fifteen people". Archived from the original on December 14, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061214124420/http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/004264.html. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  17. ^ Momus (1991). "POP STARS? NEIN DANKE! In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people...". Grimsby Fishmarket. http://imomus.com/index499.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 

[edit] External links

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