Dan about town

But where are the electric sheep?


Rights disputes have made it difficult to find a copy of any version of Blade Runner right now but if you happened to be at the Whitney on 8 January you could catch a full-screen viewing of Blade Runner—Autoencoded, a 2016 work by the artist and computer scientist Terence Broad in which he “taught”, in so many words, the sci-fi classic to an artificial intelligence. His piece is part of the show Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 (until 5 February), but is usually only played on a flatscreen near the bathrooms. In the museum’s theatre, the quality of the re-creation can truly be seen—it’s mainly just very blurry—with your brain filling in the gaps for the important scenes. During the part in which the hunted android Roy Batty, intensely played by Rutger Hauer, gouges out the eye of his designer, one man leaned over to his date. “Wait,” he whispered. “Should we be showing this movie to a robot?”