follow another path


“Bliss” graced the background of the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System, an image of a blue sky with sparse clouds spread throughout over a grassy hill. This image, though supposedly unedited, seems to convey a reality both greener and brighter than the average day – "It was chosen because it illustrates the experiences Microsoft strives to provide customers (freedom, possibility, calmness, warmth, etc.)" (9). On the modern internet, this type of scene is a rare sight in an industrialized and overdeveloped world, contributing to the idyllic and impossibly beautiful feeling of “Bliss,” who’s name tells the viewer how to feel and what this image represents, intrinsically linking this greener, brighter world to the Microsoft experience, and the portal to the internet.

Aesthetics of early personal computer software purported the idea of the Western wish for untouched land–this utopian vision erases the brutal means of industrialization that led to the mass production of computers as well as the inorganic materials that comprise electronics. “Bliss” is meant to create a nostalgia for what came before the internet–for the wilderness. Still, “Bliss” is meant to offer an improvement upon the outside world that is touched; “Bliss” offers an alternative.