Computers Can Make Art- Even In Their Sleep

Do androids dream of electric sheep? With Electric Sheep, Scott Draves, a Google engineer, made an attempt to reproduce the essence of life in digital form. He created an open-source visual arts program with a genetic language that evolves. When the Electric Sheep program is installed, the images appear when the computer is in sleep mode, thus representing that computer’s dreams. Users are invited to open up the genetic code of each morphing abstract animation known as a “sheep”, alter it, and re-enter it into the gene pool by posting it back to the server. Then those new creations can “mate” with others making an all new “sheep”, so humans and computers are working together to create something greater than either one.


The purpose of the Electric Sheep project, according to Draves, is to “show people that computers can be that soft and beautiful and have that spark of life. That’s something we should accept and not fear.” Electric Sheep grew from Draves’ 1992 software called Flames which was the first open-source visual art, which was ported to many operating systems and incorporated into a lot of commercial graphics programs. Find out more about Electric Sheep on the software artist’s website and download the app on Google play. You can connect with Scott Draves, who holds a doctorate in computer science on Twitter and Google+.

The first image is sheep 20670 (See video of it here) from Karmalize Productions on Vimeo.

Sheep 2731 (See video of it here)

Sheep 45928 (See video of it here)

Sheep 12485 (See video of it here)

Sheep 21194 (See video of it here)

Sheep 55654 (See video of it here)

Sheep 47122 (See video of it here)

Sheep 33851 (See video of it here)

Sheep 2673 (See video of it here)

Sheep 19542 (See video of it here)

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