Whatever happened to the desktop background?

The art of a solid background has faded into Web 1.0 oblivion. Forget Windows’ raindrops – meet the artist revamping your desktop

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Thalia Raftopoulou, desktop series, Dazed
"Zakchari"Photography by Thalia Raftopoulou

Whatever happened to the art of a good desktop background? Since the tech revolution, where everyone and anyone is able to snap their own imagery with the flash of an iPhone, desktop art has disappeared into a pre-web 2.0 void, replaced with low quality selfies and cat pictures. But, according to artist Thalia Raftopoulou desktop art is still very much alive and kicking – and she’s spearheading the revival. “I think the user’s relation to the machine has changed. They can now more easily decide to take over and personalise the digital element,” the Athens-born and based artist and DJ tells us. “Even though a desktop is a very private surface – that functions as the hallway to so many hours of working, connecting, and sharing at the same time – it can host different kinds of things, as the proper exhibition light box that it is.” Inspired by how things appear and move underwater, Raftopoulou has combined her love for the still life and technology, with the project taking on an abstract dream quality with deeper roots, literally. “Things underwater and the way they gain a certain glow on their surfaces were the trigger. I focused on actual roots in water in different vessels, and I had been thinking through the ideas of family, detachment – belonging, growing and feeling at home.” So, what’s on her desktop right now? “My wallpaper, 'Lentils in Purple'!” Get right clicking.

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