Bit Memories, 2005


Installed at the Schmucker Gallery, Gettysburg College.

There is an electrical energy present whenever crowds are gathered. The atmosphere is “charged”. The molecules are vibrating in the empty space even after everyone has left. The only physical trace of what has gone on is the debris. Silence echoes where only a short time before there was the roar of a crowd. The absence is palpable.

Bit memories captures the moment between the event and its complete disappearance. Time is slowed down as we watch the images and the sounds break up and become indecipherable. In our brains memory is a series of electrical impulses that gradually break down into smaller and smaller fragments as we forget. This work captures the breakdown of memory.

The moment recorded here is the John Kerry rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on October 31, 2004. Only two days before the election, it was the last rally of the Kerry campaign and the atmosphere was electric. All of the bits suspended here were collected after everyone had left. The bits of confetti, leaves and torn flyers are swirling as they did in the final moments.


Bit Memories, 2005 description | video
© Catherine Widgery