Ever gaze at those rolling green hills or that island getaway on your Windows machine and wonder... "where is that?"
Ted points us to "Autumn and the plot against me," a journalist's effort to find the location of a serene yellow leaf-covered allee that adorns his computer screen. (A thumbs-up from me on this brief Vanity Fair piece.)
By coincidence, a work-project had me skimming Flickr. I bumped into an album by Hamad Darwish, a young and talented photographer who had only been at it for a few years when he was tapped by Microsoft to shoot the wallpaper screens for Windows Vista. Here is a Flickr album of the Vista rejects.
Toby emailed me a good-luck note re:the work project, with this photo:
I'll try to spare you the introspective bit about why I find anonymous artwork fascinating. But I do; I always have. Anonymous faceless art intrigues me - e.g., I don't like hotelroom art, but I like wondering who on earth comes up with such obscenely unoffensive stuff.
Looking back, when I was in high school, I used to stay up until midnight to watch the Lifetime channel, because at midnight, it switched into a nameless, almost surreal mode in which detailed, fine-print text from pharmaceutical inserts scrolled by on the screen while incomprehensibly bland and depersonalized new age music played in the background. Woah! It felt like it was beamed in from another planet! Who wrote this stuff? Who's sitting in the control room entering all that text about "myocardial infarction" and "syncope"?
Thinking back further, when I was more ignorant about how products are made, I was equally mesmerized by the little-noticed objects in our lives that hold the world together. Who makes the electrical outlets lining the walls near the floor in the local mall? Who makes the drain grates on the bathroom floor in the bookstore? Those stop signs that swing out from the side of schoolbuses.... where are those from?
J-Fav thinks it's creepy that I like such desolate stuff. Rather, she thinks it's desolate. I think it's the opposite. My mind just automatically falls into a psychoanalytical groove whenever I stop to consider any person-made artifact. It's like my graphic design professor used to tell us, "Absolutely everything you see is the result of a conscious design decision." Who was this person? How sympathetic was he or she to the user's needs (or the viewer's preferences? or the listener's opinion of what background noise is conducive to reading pharmaceutical data?).
I wonder if my aesthetic response to imaginary maps and aerial photographs is part of this psychology. Heck, even the design of you-are-here maps. And QSL cards.
Well, that was much more self-absorbed than I intended.