Do conservators dream of electric sheep? Replicas and replication - Tate Research Repository
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Do conservators dream of electric sheep? Replicas and replication



The paper crosses the boundaries between different genres, drawing on key material and emphasising the philosophical challenges around decision-making and values in relation to replication and replicas. In 1968, Philip K. Dick wrote the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which became the inspiration for the 1982 film Bladerunner. The book is set in Los Angeles in a post-apocalyptic future where mankind has left Earth, resulting in androids being created to develop new ‘off-world’ colonies. The book and film create a novel and interesting framework to discuss the subject of replicas and replication within contemporary conservation practice. Key themes are decay promoting replication, original versus replica, creating empathy in replication. The debate focuses on the case study of Naum Gabo's Construction in Space (Crystal) of 1937–39; which was the sculpture replicated in the most recent replication project at Tate, completed in July 2015.


This is a metadata only record.


  • Resource type

    Journal article

  • Institution
    • Tate

  • Journal title
    • Studies in Conservation

  • Volume
    • 61

  • Pagination
    • 109-113

  • Publisher
    • Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd

  • Place of publication
    • Abingdon

  • ISSN
    • 0039-3630

  • eISSN
    • 2047-0584

  • DOI