Celine, Eli and Oliver Downen

Will Our Children Dream of Electric Sheep?

Mixed Media
pencil and ink on craft paper
found artifacts

You mean old books? Stories written before space travel but about space travel. How could there have been stories about space travel before—the writers, Pris said, made it up.

― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I have two children who have taken over most aspects of my life. When I think about what society I would create, a quiet one is the only thing that comes to mind. In all honesty, I’m more curious about what kind of society my boys would create.

I asked them this question several times with not much interest in answering, too many distractions. The digital world, try as I might to limit it, finds its way into their lives: homework is done online, a computer grades their papers, 156 episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball are waiting to be watched, and of course favorite movies dubbed with bad lip reading.

So, we connected by disconnecting . . . We collected artifacts and created drawings, each one handed over with the explanation, “I bet you’ve never seen a house with . . .” And from this I built an “ideal” society.

By fetishizing the digital are we becoming less human, less humane? Will our children dream of electric sheep?