Electric Sheep is a wonderful program from Scott Draves. What it is essentially is a program where computers communicate with each other all around the world and those communications create something called fractals. The fractals are called “sheep” and these creations are morphing animations that you can vote on and even create your own. Electric Sheep make for one of the most awesome screen savers you’ll ever see because each flock of sheep are different and the results are absolutely breathtaking. Once voted on, the more popular the sheep, the more you will see it live longer and reproduce other sheep. This is done by a genetic algorithm that includes cross over and mutation. It’s all complicated but the results are something unique and certainly a conversation starter.
Electric Sheep do take up a lot of room on your computer but it is totally worth it if you have the space. You also have to have a high bandwidth and always be connected to the Internet such as with a cable modem because in order to get new sheep, your computer has to communicate with others.
The concept was based on a story by Philip K. Dick called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. This inspired the entire creation and futuristic type of program.
The website has a user forum and a ton of information on what it is, how to download it and more about the creator. You can even purchase art from the software artist, Scott Draves. His work has been seen in museums and openings around the country. In fact, one of his pieces which is a moving paining is installed at the Google headquarters. He has won many awards and you can own a piece of this unique program by downloading Electric Sheep and running it on your computer. There are approximately half a million users of this program and the numbers keep growing daily.