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Friday, October 07, 2005 - 08:25 PM

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Creative Stimulus"The free flow of code is an increasingly important social and artistic force." - Spot Draves, PhD. When computers "sleep", a screen saver comes on... Electric Sheep is a free and open source distributed screen-saver that harnesses idle computers with the purpose of evolving and morphing fractal animations known as "sheep". They are modeled in a 26- to 65-dimensional space and executed by the collective power of connected Unix machines.

consists of a small computer driving a large liquid crystal or plasma display. The computer creates a continuously morphing, non-repeating, abstract animation. Triple the resolution Electric Sheep!

ELECTRIC SHEEP investigates the role of experiencers in creating the experience.

• Siggraph 2006 (July 30 2006)
• The Evolution of Art (March 2-6 2006)
• Metamedia Cooperation II (Jan 20 2006)

• The Electric Sheep Screen-Saver: A Case Study in Aesthetic Evolution
Featured at the 2005 EvoMusArt :: Applications of Evolutionary Computing :: Lausanne, Switzerland
Featuring the latest in theoretical and applied research, the topics include recent genetic programming challenges, evolutionary and other meta-heuristic approaches for combinatorial optimization, evolutionary algorithms in the biosciences, in music and art domains, in image analysis and signal processing systems, in hardware optimisation and as applied to a range of industrial and financial optimisation problems.

• FutureSalon (June 18 2004 )
• Planetwork Conference (June 5-6 2004)

The Interpretation of Dreams
by Spot Draves //, 12/22/2003


By installing the software, you join a collective evolutionary dream of sleeping computers from all over the internet.

When your computer is idle, the screen saver (the client software) is activated and an animated fractal 'sheep' appears. Behind the scenes, the screen-saver contacts a server and joins the parallel computation of thousands of Internet computers in the generation of new sheep.
The result is a collective "android dream", a homage to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

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.


Scott Draves a.k.a. Spot is a visualist and programmer residing in San Francisco. He is the creator of the Fractal Flame algorithm, the Bomb visual-musical instrument, and the Electric Sheep distributed screen-saver. All of Draves' software artworks are released as open source and distributed for free on the internet. His award-winning work has appeared in Wired Magazine, the Prix Ars Electronica, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and on the dance-floor at the Sonar festival in Barcelona.

- PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University
-- metaprogramming for media processing

SPOTWORKS, a self-published DVD of abstract animation synchronized with electronic music.

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