Desktop (Gravity Edition)

Desktop (Gravity Edition)

Desktop (Gravity Edition) by Jacob Nielsen
© Screenshot by Jacob Nielsen

Modification of Windows XP. Presentation format: Interactive rotating screen.


Was the digital space of the personal computer to realize the age-old dream of transcending logic and burdens of corporeal existence? Did it succeed? In Desktop (Gravity Edition) by Jacob Nielsen, gravity is back with a vengeance. Instead of remaining fixed on top of the green landscape and blue sky that make up the standard Windows desktop image, the icons of files and applications fall to the ground as you turn the screen, ending up in a messy pile. The appearance of software becomes dependent on hardware in an unexpected way, and the work opposes the narrative of order and rationalization that usually accompanies operating systems to introduce otherwise entropic processes known from the world of physical material. While the interactive aspect of the work is obviously playful, its ridicule of the weightlessness of the digital dream nevertheless reads as a critical vision of software culture. Were the promises of life on the screen just an illusion?


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