In recent years Valencia has been posting the so-called Campus Party. In this type of social-cultural gatherings, thousands of young adults—software developers, lovers of digital works and robots, hackers and defenders of free software, gamers and simulation fanatics, ciber-apostles and modding artists—come together to exchange archives, share their experiences and create a network of contacts. For these super-users—digital natives that make computer technology a way of life and who are often classified as a new urban tribe of geek—computers are much more than just a device for work, they are an extension of their identity. The computer screens, the image chosen for the background, the way the desktop is organized and decorated, the choice of screensaver, and other customized and tuned elements generate a clear indicator of the user’s personality. In Desktop Portraits Roc Herms has concentrated on recovering these screens that translate into a kind of digital portrait of the user, like avatars of so many online communication systems. And by drawing our attention to these new typological profiles, we can appreciate that beyond the psychological radiograph of a specific collective, they enable a greater understanding of ourselves.
Joan Fontcuberta, 2014.