Bliss (image)

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Coordinates: 38°14′57″N 122°24′36″W / 38.249163°N 122.410096°W / 38.249163; -122.410096

Bliss as seen in a typical Windows XP desktop.
The same location as of November 2006.

Bliss is the name of a BMP image produced from a photograph of a landscape in Sonoma County, California, southeast of Sonoma Valley near the site of the old Clover Stornetta Inc. Dairy and Babe's Burgers and Franks. [1] It is so named because it contains rolling green hills and a blue sky with stratocumulus and cirrus clouds. The image is used as the default computer wallpaper for the "Luna" theme, which is included with Microsoft Windows XP.

The photograph was taken by the professional photographer Charles O'Rear,[1] a resident of St. Helena, Napa County, for digital-design company HighTurn. O'Rear has also taken photographs for Bill Gates' private Seattle stock photography company Corbis and Napa Valley photographs for the May 1979 National Geographic Magazine article Napa, Valley of the Vine. Although O'Rear's focus was on photographing winemaking in the Napa Valley, the hill in Bliss didn't have grapevines when the photograph was being taken in the late 1990s. The photograph was taken aside the highway 12/121, and by a hand held view camera. The approximate location is 3028 Fremont Dr. (Sonoma Hwy.), Sonoma, CA.

O'Rear's photograph inspired Windows XP's US$ 200 million advertising campaign[2] Yes you can., by the San Francisco division of New York City advertising company McCann-Erickson.[3][4] The campaign was launched on TV on ABC during one of ABC Sports's Monday Night Football[5]. The TV commercials included Madonna's Ray of Light song, whose TV rights cost Microsoft about $14 million.[6]

In November 2006, artist collaboration Goldin+Senneby visited the site in Sonoma Valley where the Bliss image was taken, re-photographing the same view ten years later. Their work AfterMicrosoft [7] was first shown in the exhibition "Paris was Yesterday" at gallery La Vitrine in April 2007 [8] and has later been exhibited at Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo [9], and 300m3 in Gothenburg. [10]

In February 2007, in the collective exhibition Accrochage Vaud 2007 at Espace Arlaud in Lausanne, Sébastien Mettraux, a Swiss artist showed a photograph titled "Colline verdoyante", d'après Bill Gates, 2006, translated as "Bliss, after Bill Gates, 2006".[11] Mettraux, who lives and works near the Vallée de Joux, explained that it was taken in Les Esserts-de-Rives, Switzerland.

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