ROANOKE, VA.- In Remembrancer (2009), Alberto Gaitán comments on the malleability of memory, the inherent loss of information when events are transcribed, the limitations placed on us by our subjectivity, how much is lost when we surrender our information gathering to trusted agents, and how recorded history is affected by these phenomena.
For 29 years, Alberto Gaitán has been working with cross-media art as a composer/sound artist and computer programmer. In that time he has collaborated with an array of media and visual artists. For this exhibition, Gaitán will reprise Remembrancer, a unique, net-aware sculpture that observes and records data collected over the Internet and sensors within the gallery. Over the first six weeks of the exhibition, for 6 hours every day, three networked, robotic painters will deposit dollops of paint on three panels, creating unique paintings in the process. The amount of paint placed at a given moment will be controlled by a computer program that interprets the incoming data. Along with the daily development of these paintings, a field of sound will be similarly generated in response to the same data. The completed panels--displaying an accretion of overlapping monochrome fields of color--will be exhibited over the final two weeks of the exhibition.
"This piece is ultimately about loss," explains Gaitán. "Nobody has the capacity for total information awareness so we relinquish big chunks of our understanding to black boxes of knowledge whose provenance we don't fully understand. We make important decisions and base stacks of assumptions on these. Our memories are rife with inaccuracies, placed there by similar simplification processes that are part of how our minds work. Forgetting or ignoring becomes a significant aspect of remembering."