I really love what Johannes P Osterhoff does: his Google performance where he made his search requests public. That discomfort means to adjust your life to constant surveillance. It’s about being completely open about everything, and now there is a really interesting range in documentation of what he went through in this time. — Olia Lialina, EXBERLINER, Feb 2012

Earthly Bliss

johannes p osterhoff - Earthly Bliss

I found a dusty oil painting similar to the famous
Windows XP wallpaper on my parents’ attic.
The history of computer graphics has to be rewritten.

When I helped my father to tidy out the attic, a stack of old oil paintings fell into my hands. Unseen I took them home and only later I noticed the striking similarity of one painting with the iconic wallpaper of Windows XP.

This famous wallpaper is called “Bliss” and was shot at in Sonoma County, California, southeast of Sonoma Valley by photographer Charles O’Rear. At least Microsoft, Wikipedia and O’Rear say so.

But my finding made me think. What if this is only one part of the story? The painting looks age-old (at least older than Windows XP). Maybe there were several copies of the painting I found and maybe one of these landscapes laid grounds for the still ever-present icon of computer graphics.