1302_3_Print Screen_Desktopbackgrounds


“Wallpapers of Windows XP  in 2001, printed in their original primary colours red, green and blue.

In 2001, Microsoft launched Windows XP : a new computer operating system. Although earlier operating systems already had a default folder with images that could be used as desktop wallpaper, Windows XP was the first to supply photographic wallpapers instead of plain colour patches or logos of Microsoft. Since then, these standard desktop images have become quite iconic. Now each new operating system has a default folder with its own photographic images. Remarkably, the themes of these images have never changed since Windows XP ; all photographic images have utopian pictures of plants, animals, sweeping landscapes or other still lifes that have nothing to do with anything digital.

It is now common to view images digitally, yet the wallpapers of Windows XP  have been the first internationally spread photographic images that were never meant to be printed, but made to watch on digital display. These ‘disembodied’ digital images in combination with their utopian subjects make the images more unreachable than ever before. Because of the fact that the pictures were intended to see digitally, printing these digital pictures would change the technical colour structure; a colour conversion occurs. Digital images are viewed in red, green and blue, while prints consist of the colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Print strips the images of the utopian and idyllic look they have about them on screen. The pictures viewed digitally have unrealistically and desirably bright colours, while the colour mixing of red, green and blue creates a series of almost poisonous images in print. Printing by the digital colour system turns the natural elements, still lifes and landscapes into a dystopia.”

Excerpt from the handout ‘Print Screen’.

Size: A5
Technique: risoprint 3/0 (red, green and blue)