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Philip K. Dick on sex between humans and androids
09.10.2014
08:22 am

Topics:
Heroes
Literature

Tags:
Philip K. Dick
Blade Runner
philosophy


 
In 1981, Philip K. Dick discussed the ideas and themes behind his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in an interview with author Paul M. Sammon. Dick’s novel about a hired assassin (Rick Deckard) paid to eliminate escaped androids formed the basis for Ridley Scott’s classic science-fiction film Blade Runner. The story had its genesis in research for his novel The Man in the High Castle. Dick studied psychological studies on the mentality of the Germans who became Nazis and read how these Germans were often highly intelligent but emotionally “so defective that the word human could not properly be applied” to them.

This led Dick to a philosophical investigation into “the problem of differentiating the authentic human being from the reflex machine I call an android.” 

For me the word ‘android’ is a metaphor for people who are physiologically human but psychologically behaving in a non-human way.

This was a subject Dick discussed in a lecture on “The Android and the Human” in 1972:

...an android means, as I said, to allow oneself to become a means, or to be pounded down, manipulated, made into a means without one’s consent—the results are the same. But you cannot turn a human into an android if that human is going to break laws every chance he gets. Androidization requires obedience. And, most of all, predictability. It is precisely when a given person’s response to any given situation can be predicted with scientific accuracy that the gates are open for the wholesale production of the android life form.

 
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Philip K. Dick.
 
In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Dick developed the idea of “androidization” further when he considered what would happen in a war between humans and androids—would humans become more android-like if they won?

This emotional interplay between humans and androids was also examined in the relationship between Deckard and the android Rachael Rosen, which Dick discussed in “Notes on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (1968):

And this brings up the whole underlying subject: sexual relations between humans and androids. What is it like? What does it mean? Is it, for instance, like going to bed with a real woman? Or is it an awful, nightmarish, bad trip, where what is dead and inert seems alive and warm and capable of the most acute intimacy known to living creatures? Isn’t this, this sexual union between Rick Deckard and Rachael Rosen—isn’t it the summa of falsity and mechanical motions carried out minus any real feeling, as we understand the word? Feeling on each of their parts. Does in fact her mental—and physical—coldness numb the male, the human man, into an echo of it?

...[Deckard’s] relationship, by having intercourse with her, has melded him to—not an individual, human or android—but to a whole type or model, of which theoretically, there could be tens of thousands. To whom, then, has he really given his erotic libido?

...Here, I think, the crucial questions of What is reality? and What is illusion? come up strongly….The more Rick strives to force her to become a woman—or, more accurately, to play the role of a woman—the more he encounters the core of the unlife within her…his attempt to make love to her as a woman for him is defeated by the tireless core of her electronic being.

Dick postulates that the failure of their lovemaking “may be vital in his determination—and success—in destroying the last of these andys.”

In this interview, Dick discusses some of these key questions about what is reality? what is human?
 

 
Thomas M. Disch once said that his friend Philip K. Dick liked to play-up the image of the hard-done-to artist, struggling in the garret, living off ground-up horse meat (which supposedly led Dick to translate his name into “Horselover Fat”—Philip Greek for horse lover, Dick German for fat), but things were never really that bad. However, he agreed America gave short-shrift to speculative science-fiction writers, and was grateful for the adulation and serious critical appraisal both received in Europe.

In 1977, Philip K. Dick was interviewed for French television where he discussed the problems of being a speculative science-fiction writer in America, as well as many of the philosophical ideas behind his works.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
12-hour ambient music pieces from ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Alien,’ ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Wars’
08.13.2014
02:28 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Star Wars
Blade Runner
Alien
ambient
Dr. Who


 
Before the advent of recording media, a piece of music could be quite long without its duration meriting much notice, but when the mechanical limitations of the 7” 45rpm single codified the length of a song at about 3 1/2 minutes, the pop-listening western world really adapted its musical mindset to that standard, to the point where even a massive hit like “Hey Jude” drew anxious notice from radio for being 7 minutes long. And now there’s QuickHitz (“Twice the music, all the time”), a radio format that cuts off every song at the two-minute mark, which, if it catches on in a big way—and face it, have stranger things not caught on?—will surely result in loads of pop singles being produced at under two-minute lengths.

The Residents are prophetic yet again.

But in avant-garde classical and artrock circles, songs that seem crazy long by pop radio standards are a perfectly normal part of the listening experience. After all, what impact would Oneida’s infamous 14-minute, one note song “Sheets of Easter” have had if it were three minutes long? How about Television’s “Marquee Moon?” King Crimson’s “Starless?” Flaming Lips’ 24-hour song7 Skies H3?” And those examples are all well within the rock idiom—I haven’t even broached the New Age, noise, and ambient genres. So many of us have been acculturated to think of long pieces of music as “pretentious” or “indulgent,” products of anti-populist ivory tower navel gazers who are hostile to average listeners. Well you know what? Fuck your shitty attention span.

The Fayetteville, AR composer Cheesy Nirvosa has been making glitchy, drony compositions since the mid-oughts, and under the name “crysknife007,” he’s established a YouTube channel to disseminate conceptual pieces of lengths that could fairly be seen as downright punitive to many listeners. These are often the sorts of things that, in a LaMonte Youngish kinda way, can be more interesting to talk about than actually listen to, especially since many of these works are 12 hours in duration. “12 Hours of Pi Being Dialed on a Rotary Phone.” “Yoda Laughs for 12 Hours.” “PSY Says HANGOVER for 12 Hours.” “6 Tone Car Alarm for 12 Hours.” (I recommend city dwellers skip that last one, it’s waaaaaaaay too much like ordinary life.)

But while a few of these ideas come off as overly winking and even mildly irritating noise-artist stunts, some of them are absolutely lovely—specifically, pieces made from looped ambient sounds culled from science fiction movies. The general thrum of Ridley Scott’s dystopian future Los Angeles filtered through Rick Deckard’s apartment windows in Blade Runner? That absolutely holds up as drone music, as does the TARDIS sound effect from Doctor Who and various spaceship engine sounds from the Alien and Star Wars franchises. I endorse playing more than one of these at once, remixing them yourselves in your browser with the pause and volume controls, whatever. Knock yourself out. Maybe even, I dunno, listen to one of ‘em for 12 hours.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Hell yeah: Amazingly detailed ‘Blade Runner’ action figures
08.29.2013
11:24 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:
Blade Runner
Action Figures


 
Lord have mercy! These incredible 12” Blade Runner action figures are something else, aren’t they? Sculptor Scott Pettersen made these gorgeous pieces. Apparently each one takes take two to three months to make. I believe it, too! Just look at the detail in the clothes alone! My mind is simply blown!

“I work in wax when I sculpt and you can get a lot of detail in wax,” Pettersen says of the figures’ faces. “The finished heads are made out of resin — the kind I use is a clear, translucent color, so I cast it in a light color and then build onto that with different flesh tones. With all of them I use airbrush and there’s a lot of blending, a lot of thin, thin layers — I think on mass-produced figures all the paint is opaque and nothing is done with layers so it’s not as realistic.”

Read more about Pettersen’s Blade Runner action figures at Geek Exchange.
 

 

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Hot Lust in Space’: Fictional magazine covers from the newsstand scene in ‘Blade Runner’
03.07.2013
11:52 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Movies

Tags:
Blade Runner


 
What you’re looking at are the magazine covers that appeared in the background of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner during the newsstand scene.

The covers were created back in 1980 by production artist and illustrator, Tom Southwell.
 

 

 

 
Via WFMU on Twitter and Odios

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Original storyboards from ‘Blade Runner’
12.13.2012
10:40 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Blade Runner


Leon’s reflection in Holden’s eye (Tyrell Corp, interrogation room).
 
The website Ridleyville is run by an England-based gentleman who is a massive Blade Runner collector. He owns everything that’s featured on his site, including these wonderful storyboards from the film.

See more Blade Runner storyboards here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Watch the watercolor version of ‘Blade Runner’
06.19.2012
11:19 am

Topics:
Art
Movies

Tags:
Blade Runner
Watercolors


 
Swedish artist Anders Ramsell used 3285 watercolor paintings to create over 12 minutes of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner entirely of watercolors.

This is part one. I suppose more are on the way.
 

 
Via Kottke

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Nothing matches Blade Runner: Philip K. Dick gets excited about Ridley Scott’s film

ridley_scott_philip_k_dick
 
Philip K. Dick wrote an excited letter to Jeff Walker, at the Ladd Company, after watching a television preview of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the film version of his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

October 11, 1981

Mr. Jeff Walker,
The Ladd Company,
4000 Warner Boulevard,
Burbank,
Calif. 91522.

Dear Jeff,

I happened to see the Channel 7 TV program “Hooray For Hollywood” tonight with the segment on BLADE RUNNER. (Well, to be honest, I didn’t happen to see it; someone tipped me off that BLADE RUNNER was going to be a part of the show, and to be sure to watch.) Jeff, after looking—and especially after listening to Harrison Ford discuss the film—I came to the conclusion that this indeed is not science fiction; it is not fantasy; it is exactly what Harrison said: futurism. The impact of BLADE RUNNER is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people—and, I believe, on science fiction as a field. Since I have been writing and selling science fiction works for thirty years, this is a matter of some importance to me. In all candor I must say that our field has gradually and steadily been deteriorating for the last few years. Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches BLADE RUNNER. This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day “reality” pallid by comparison. What I am saying is that all of you collectively may have created a unique new form of graphic, artistic expression, never before seen. And, I think, BLADE RUNNER is going to revolutionize our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be.

Let me sum it up this way. Science fiction has slowly and ineluctably settled into a monotonous death: it has become inbred, derivative, stale. Suddenly you people have come in, some of the greatest talents currently in existence, and now we have a new life, a new start. As for my own role in the BLADE RUNNER project, I can only say that I did not know that a work of mine or a set of ideas of mine could be escalated into such stunning dimensions. My life and creative work are justified and completed by BLADE RUNNER. Thank you..and it is going to be one hell of a commercial success. It will prove invincible.

Cordially,

Philip K. Dick

The tragedy is PKD never saw the finished version of the classic science fiction film, as he died 5 months later, on March 2, 1982, just months before Blade Runner was given its cinematic release.
 
pkd_blade_runner_letter_1981
 
With thanks to Jai Bia
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Android Dreams’: Time-lapse video of Tokyo set to ‘Blade Runner’ soundtrack
10.25.2011
09:09 am

Topics:

Tags:
Japan
Blade Runner
Tokyo
Time-lapse


 
Director Samuel Cockedey says, “A tribute to Ridley Scott and Vangelis, whose work on Blade Runner has been a huge source of inspiration in my shooting time lapses.

Shot over a year in Tokyo with a Canon 5dmk2, mainly in the Shinjuku area.”

 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Blade Runner’ Convention Reel, 1982


 
From Vimeo user Future Noir:

One of the Blade Runner Convention Reels featuring interviews with Ridley Scott, Syd Mead and Douglas Trumbull about making Blade Runner universe. This 16 mm featurette, made by M. K. Productions in 1982, is specifically designed to circulate through the country’s various horror, fantasy and science fiction conventions.

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Blade Runner’ Polaroids
Blade Runner revisited

(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Blade Runner’ Polaroids
05.26.2011
01:21 pm

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Blade Runner
Sean Young


Sean Young posted some of her personal behind-the-scenes Polaroids from the set of Blade Runner. There are a lot more of these fun pics over at Sean’s website.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Sean Young’s Super-8 film diary from David Lynch’s ‘Dune’ (1983)


 
(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Blade Runner revisited
09.07.2010
04:27 pm

Topics:

Tags:
Blade Runner
Francoise Vautier

image
 
Blade Runner revisited by François Vautier. From the artist’s statement:

An experimental film in tribute to Ridley Scott’s legendary film “Blade Runner” (1982)
This film was made as a unique picture with a resolution of 60.000 x 60.000 pixels (3.6 gigapixels)
It was made with 167,819 frames from ‘Blade Runner’.

1>first step : the “picture” of the film
I extracted the 167,819 frames from ‘Blade Runner’ (final cut version,1h51mn52s19i)
then I assembled all these images to obtain one gigantic image of colossal dimensions : a square of approximately 60,000 pixels on one side alone, 3.5 gigapixels (3500 million pixels)

2> second step : an illusion
I placed a virtual camera above this big picture. So what you see is like an illusion, because contrary to appearances there is only one image. It is in fact the relative movement of the virtual camera flying over this massive image which creates the animated film, like a film in front of a projector.

 
Via Planet Paul

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Do Androids Dream of Electric Lawsuits?

image
 
Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of Philip K. Dick, who wrote Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which Blade Runner is based on (although the title itself comes from William S. Burroughs), is claiming Google is using names taken from her father’s work to brand its Nexus One telephones. She is threatening to sue Google for infringement of intellectual property rights. Something tells me there is going to be a nice payday in this for her. Google IS using names from her father’s work:

She has sent a letter to Google demanding that the online giant changes the name of its new phone, which was launched as a direct rival to the iPhone.

She said: ‘Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later.

‘In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father’s novel. People don’t get it. It’s the principle of it.

‘It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it. That’s a way to start.’

The new product is based on Google’s Android technology, launched two years ago as a way of gaining a share in the mobile phone market.

Family of sci fi author Philip K. Dick to sue Google over name of Nexus One phone (Daily Mail)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment