Article – Jo Williams

“The electric things have their life too. Paltry as those lives are.”

Drawing inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s cult classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, ANDROID aims to explore the way that generations before us saw the future and how generations will experience the world to come. How technology is changing the way we see the world, we see the past, we see the future, how we see other people and how we see ourselves.

Set against a murky, futuristic Los Angeles, Blade Runner depicts a world where technology has become so advanced, humans are able to create androids that can replicate mankind. The film is set in 2019, just six years away from today.  And although the chances of us getting hover boards zooming past us in six years are slim; it wouldn’t be too farfetched to believe that sometime in the not too distant future, this could be a “reality”.  Our relationship with technology has become intrinsically linked. We are connected to technology wherever you look; whether it’s to our phone, our laptop, social media, the internet.  We rely on technology to communicate with our fellow humans and allow it to confine our thoughts to 144 characters.  We name our cars, we name our phones and they tell us when they’ve overheated, when they need recharging.

While some of the technology and the science in Blade Runner may now seem dated to today’s generation, a generation where technology changes daily; the film explores themes and ideas that are still important and incredibly relevant. Our relationship with technology, like in the film and the book, is odd, uncanny and sometimes unnerving and it’s this that ANDROID aims to examine. 

The artists featured in ANDROID have been asked to respond to the word “android”, a word that originates from the Greek words “andro”, meaning man, and “eido” meaning likeness. The artists’ work will examine such things as whether what we’re seeing is real, empathy, the unsettling sense of something being real-but-not-quite, isolation, the relationship between the organic and the synthetic and other reactions they’ve had when faced with the subject.

Jo Williams

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