Remembrancer (2009) is the title of a new installation at the Taubman Museum of Art‘s Media Lab created by Alberto Gaitan. For the exhibition, the artist has created three robotic painters that are programed to apply paint to a surface according to information gathered using non-stop sources of Internet news feeds from around the globe. The machines are searching for the frequency of keywords within a short frame of reference to inform their application, offering more paint in correlation to how often the term appears. The machine’s apply the paint within the RGB (red, green, blue) palette, just as all computer, television, and mobile phones transfer visual information in this limited palette. The artist has stated about the work, “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.”
Gaitan is a composer and sound artist and also works as a programmer and system consultant. He has exhibited internationally and presented a similar version of Remembrancer in 2007 with the Curator’s Office in Washington DC. The artist is a core member of the international public art collective Art Attack and is a founding member of both NegEntrope and SLURrr post media ensembles.