About The Philip K. Dick Android Project:
A Note from Laura and Isa (June 24, 2005)
Some of you may have already heard by now that a robotic portrait of Philip K. Dick has been built to debut at this month's Wired Magazine's NextFest. (It may sound like something from a long-lost PKD manuscript, but it is reality.) The project combines robotics and Artificial Intelligence with traditional sculpture, to create a memorial that endeavors to celebrate his life and his work.
As an artistic expression, the team of artists, scientists, robotics experts, and literary scholars, chose PKD for this project because of their desire to push the envelope of social consciousness and debate around key issues that they care deeply about and that PKD introduced to them in his stories and novels, especially We Can Build You.
Because this is a piece of interpretive art, we do not believe that they required permission from the PKD Trust to go forward using his physical image. They did however consult with us at every stage in the process. After discussing the goals of the project, it became clear to us that their philosophical goals are in alignment with the issues our father cared deeply about and frequently explored in his writing: the concept of human as defined by compassion and empathy, and also the potential for inhuman use of technology for destructive purposes.
We anticipate that the robot may stir some controversy because it breaks ground using human form. In addition, we suspect that those who connect with and care for PKD may also have strong feelings about the use of his image. (But when did he not involve himself in controversy and debate?) Overall however, we consider the project to be artistically groundbreaking and innovative, as well as a powerful tribute to both him and his work.
We encourage you to visit the PKD Android Project site at www.PKDandroid.org if you care to learn more about it.
Learn more about the NextFest by visiting www.nextfest.net .
Click here for some photos of the Android in action.
All the best,
Laura & Isa