Electric Sheep is a free, open source screen saver run by thousands of people all over the world, a prime example of which graces the headqurters lobby of Google next to a fullsize replica of SpaceCraftOne.
The braincild of Scott Draves, Elecric Sheep can be installed on any ordinary PC or Mac. When these computers "sleep", the screen saver comes on and the computers communicate with each other by the internet to share the work of creating morphing abstract animations ("sheep" image above). The result is a collective "android dream", an homage to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. In Dick's SF novel, the Earth has been ruined. Few animals were able to survive, so robot animals are procured instead.
Anyone watching one of these computers may vote for their favorite animations using the keyboard. The more popular sheep live longer and reproduce according to a genetic algorithm with mutation and cross-over. Hence the flock evolves to please its global audience. You can also design your own sheep and submit them to the gene pool.
Scott Draves is also the creator of the Fractal Flame algorithm and the Bomb visual-musical instrument. His current project is Dreams in High Fidelity, a painting that evolves.
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