Let this creepy potato be your desktop assistant


I just love Nathalie Lawhead's work. It's not only that she's one of my very favorites doing digital art that recalls old shareware and the early web, but her projects—like the Tetrageddon Games freeware arcade, or the jarring, comically-gruesome Froggy— seem to focus on one of that aesthetic era's most interesting contrasts.

What I mean is the loneliness: The jangly animations, bright colors and surreal, unexpected surprises of the early web's Wild West play space are even more interesting juxtaposed against the fact that as a user in that age I was basically seeking artificial life, or companionship. Lots of us were, and Lawhead's artwork does incredible stuff with that creation space.

With Electric Love Potato, Lawhead offers you an inappropriately large digital potato that throbs, looms and chirrups in the corner of your display for as long as you let it run. "Desktop assistants" once promised a sort of personal vitality to our workspaces—I remember summoning occasionally-animated characters from EVA to hang in a corner and blink at me. The Electric Love Potato has a sort of unsettling, unpredictable air, hovering over startling backgrounds and acting essentially strange:

Q: My potato is beginning to "creep me out". What can I do?
A: If your potato is causing you discomfort simply shake the window. You can do this by mousing over the potato, and grab the draggable bar (part of the window that appears).
This will jolt the potato causing it to re-think what it is doing.

If you enjoy the random and divine, Lawhead is included in our Offworld feature "The Divine Witches of Cyberspace", which explores the art of fortune-telling games and apps. If you nurture a special disgust toward desktop assistants, definitely learn about RadOS, and try to outwit its vile submarine sandwich-friend.