nicole rademacher

Friday, December 14, 2007


Longing and Melancholy.

It is possible to make work about that. And it can work.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

by a friend

This was sent to me (via email) as a response to reading my thesis blog (I hope he/she doesn't mind that I am posting it):

my first memory is my mother changing my diaper on an antique green
vintage diaper changing thingy... it was in my room, in between two
windows and i actually remember having them changed there and loving the
colors in the room and the light. the wallpaper is still in the room
today and it is covered with little girls... a print. one girl is
swinging, one is standing under a gazebo, and another is playing a
viola. the colors are bright pink, yellow, white, and brown (this is
the early early 70's).

later on as a child i would stare at the wallpaper contstantly until i
could imagine the girls moving on the wall.

thought you may like that little story. memory is facinating isnt it?
something i find interesting about it is that a memory is what attaches
us to things in life. without a memory we do not feel the same way
about a place, object or a person. life is about experiences. our
lives are what we remember we experienced.

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Thesis Thoughts

Thesis: Memory is composed of real, imagined, and constructed realities. We construct these realities to form our own narratives.
A: What’s your first memory?
B: When I learned how to tie my shoes.
A: What do you remember from it?
B: Navy blue and red. I think my mother was there too. I felt very accomplished.
A: How old were you?
B: Four.
A: Is this your own memory?
B: What do you mean is it my own? Of course! It was my first memory.
A: I mean, did you form it yourself, or is it composited of things people told you, pictures, things you remember, and your imagination?
B: Well, I think it was just how I remember it.

There is no direct way to access your own memory, and the memories that you can access are never how they actually occurred. The setup of the randomized DVD format is to ‘emulate’ the memories and the process of retrieving them, a kind of daydream and retrieval. Sometimes the memories come full screen, some are smaller and appear as a fraction of the screen, sometimes they repeat. Words appear on the screen in between each video: play, mute, channel, stop, setup . . . They signal a relationship with the mechanics of video, of the DVD player. Initially the viewer forges relationships between the words and the video pieces. Soon the viewer realizes that the words simply refer to the remote control, therefore offering the viewer the illusion of control over their experience with the videos, the memories. Do the buttons on the remote control work? They seem to function, but upon closer inspection of the remote, the viewer realizes that there are no batteries. The control they experienced was an illusion.

Short-term versus long-term memory and subconscious. How are memories remembered? The constructed, manufactured, and real. Was it my memory or did I take it from someone else’s life? Did I see this intimacy between others on the street? Or had I experienced it myself? Memory fragments.

Friday, November 30, 2007

how my thesis has evolved

So it started with memory construction and family and roles that the individuals play and its role in identity construction. I have dropped the specificity of the roles and left that as something that is being explored more abstractly, an idea while I am shooting and editing, but not central in the theory. More interesting to me is how our memories/experiences with our families construct our personal narrative and therefore identity. Our long-term memories and short-term memories. The memories that are ours and the memories that we share because we saw others experience it, and/or longed for it.

How do we retrieve those memories? Can we retrieve them? Do we have control over that? How do they come to us? How do we construct those? What part does imagination play in the negotiation between real and desired? Do we dwell on them? Do we desire to dwell on them and cannot? How ephemeral are they? How temporal are they?


Friday, November 23, 2007

more video thoughts

what do you think about this one??

i'm not sure what it is yet . . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007


The exhibition at the Field Museum : Maps. was amazing! really got me thinking about maps, their function(s), what they reveal what they don't, scale and its importance, distortion and its role, depiction, point of view . . . there were maps from all over the world and through out history. it was interesting how all over the globe there were similar map-making approaches yet they are all very distinct.
what am i revealing vs. depicting in my traces of family vacations. what is the role of scale. how important is it that the scale shifts are revealed to the viewer and how strongly should they be revealed. what is the role of distortion and construction. what size (scale) should the maps be. are they folded/books or are they displayed as prints. are they large and broken down into several prints. ...

Video Birth

Almost the entire birth. up until the actual delivery, but her mother needed to sit down so i took her place holding her leg and watched Ceridwen Anne Thomas be born!
So all in all I think I got 3 or 4 hours of footage to go through.

Friday, November 2, 2007


labor then birth.
looks like i will be able to video the birth - or so says the assistants at the desk . . .

Thursday, November 1, 2007

more research and shooting

tueday was expecting mother and her mother day.
i think the most valuable from the day i spent with them will be the audio. there were references to the expening mother's childhood and her current husband and the workings of their relationship as a household team and how they are planning to manage the baby. the action was mostly, once again, making dinner.

wedensday i went to the video data bank: ximena cuevas, guillero gomez-pena, darrin martin, woman performance art . . . lots of ideas, thoughts, ways of looking, and shooting.

a lot of what i am getting from these interactions is understanding how the roles function. between brother-sister, mother-daughter, . . . field work, if you will.

today. thursday. food poisoning. i think that carrot and ginger soup from au bon pain downtown was the culprtit. the family should be home again tonight . . .

Monday, October 29, 2007

thoughts about shooting

today was the first day i went out and shot shot shot. with the total intention of shooting all day.
i got some nice shots from the train going down into the city from roger's park, some families in millenium park, some random children with their parents while we were waiting for the diversey bus, rosa y manny making dinner, and some dinner conversation.
rosa and manny (the mother and son) were a bit uncomfotable with the camera at first, but i do a bit of shooting then leave it running. that way i am getting more than they know, but also familiarizing them with having the camera going.
francisco (the dad) comes back on wednesday. i am hoping to get more then. especially because mindy (the daughter) is closer to her father . . .

on a different note, i got my alumni i.d. from saic, but i am not sure if i can use the lab. everyone that i know who still works there - wasn't there. maybe i will be downtown and try again tomorrow. i haven't figured out my game plan for tuesday, yet.
then again, i am not sure that i want to look at the footage before returning to alfred.
. . .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Artists to check out

  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
  • Patty Chang
  • Ken Feingold
  • Jack Goldstein
  • Peter Kubelka
  • Dan Graham
  • Pierre Huyghe
  • Taewon Jang
  • Roni Horn
  • T.R. Ericsson

One second videos and Chicago

So my flight was cancelled. I get in tomorrow instead of tonight. I have 2 digital still cameras, Andy's polaroid, a mini-dv camcorder and 15 new mini-dv tapes and almost 2 weeks. I'll be posting small pieces of footage hopefully daily.
The Reyes Family has agreed to allow me to video tape them during my week staying with them in Skokie.
This past weekend I started making VERY short videos.
none of them are finished yet, but they range between one second and 6 or maybe 12 seconds.
Maybe some of that footage will have to run on a loop.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

chicago trip

  • shoot voyeuristic family shots
  • shoot the mindy's (my surrogate sister) family
  • shoot birthing
  • shoot after birthing with evan and bridgett and fam
  • shoooooooooooooot

Monday, October 8, 2007

more artists

andy says:
  • the situationists 'derive'
  • luc ferrari
  • and what about ring modulators¿
barbara says:
  • the interventionists
  • the atlas group


joe's recommendations for people to look at:
  • sophie calle
  • christian boltanski
  • johanna drucker

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

new people and things to research

  • Hal Foster
  • James Clifford
  • Chris Rodrigues & Geoff Cox
mmmm art and anthropology . . .

Writings about my current/future work

In my studio practice, I draw upon methods of autobiographical story telling, personal narratives, and emotions evoked via these stories. I process the records of events and emotions through various digital and traditional media. I then articulate what I have generated through photography, text, and video. I do not classify myself as a video artist because my process requires that I work in many media simultaneously. Recently I am relying more on fieldwork and archival research as a means to gain material to produce bodies of work. Family structure, oral history, and identity shape my work. With my academic interests in anthropology and language, I plan to push the connection that contemporary art and these fields can encompass. Propelled by my recent experiences and discoveries, my work has taken on a deeper personal significance. I have been intermingling language and mixing up metaphors; I am searching for a new and distinct understanding of the concepts I juxtapose. With an ethereal and uniquely narrative quality, my video works offer allegorical imagery. My thesis show will encompass video portraits of emotions and roles that members of both of my nuclear families have held and currently hold. I am also generating books of constructed and imaginary family histories, using my own lineages as vehicles.

Friday, September 28, 2007

walmart friday night 6 - 7.30pm

  • mother talks on cell phone. tells, presumably father, that they will be home soon. daughter continues to look at more merchandise. she is happy with herself and her new pair of glasses. she trots off following her mother.
  • pregnant mother totes a cart behind her. son of 6 or 7 hangs on the front of the cart, swinging his body back and forth causing the cart to go crooked.
  • 2 brothers, 9 and 11, have just got new packs of gum. they try to open them. the older one dances while he is opening it. he saunters on ahead.
  • the 7 year old has a very indignant look on his face as he carries his toy away from the register. his father calls after him, 'Hey, Dylan,' rather quietly. if the son heard his father, he has ignored him and continues to walk farther away from the register and turns right towards the exit.
  • Even the four year old son has the same posture and walk of his father who must look older than he is with a son so young.
  • the 13 year old gangly granddaughter bought a small gift for her grandmother, who is accompanied her. the girl hands the plastic grocery bag off to her grandmother and says 'Here.' The grandmother accepts it with a small grin.
  • the middle-aged woman and her mother leave the store. the daughter is pushing the cart filled to the top. You can see how the middle-aged woman will look in 20 years. her face will mirror her mother's face now.
  • the four year old brother and six year old sister dance and play on the floor. clapping their hands. the brother looses his balance and falls, but catches himself with both hands flat on the floor. his sister ignores him and twirls around.
  • the older couple must look older than they are. her arm is locked in his, as if they were walking down the aisle again. they slowly waddle to the exit speaking softly to one another.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Por Fin (Finally)!!
I found the paper for the 'Milwaukee after coming to Milwaukee from California' prints online!
I don't know when the paper will be here, because the books are coming from Spain through DHL ground, but hopefully in a week or so. I want to Chine-Colé the prints I have now to test the process and see if that is what these prints need - perhaps there is a different way to display and mount them . . .

Monday, September 24, 2007


Beyond/In Western NY. went to that on friday - well the venues in buffalo.
there were two artists that really struck me - and for very different reasons.
Wilka Roig. she was at CEPA. here is a diptychs from the series Traced:

so works with identity. and i guess for her placing herself in the same pose, in the same room, at almost the same time identifies herself with her subject !?! just because she is in a similar pose in the same place and made her image black and white - does that really talk about identity? i feel like the whole thing is false. maybe that is what she is trying to show. but i doubt it. either way it doesn't feel like she is pushing it in the direction that she is working. my advisors keep talking to me about 'intentionality' and i feel that that is what she is lacking. even her choice of costume. it doesn't say anything. this could be an outfit that she has in her closet. what if she were to wear their clothes? that could be interesting. and really 'trace' them . . . well, the one thing is did was push me to think about how she is addressing identity. and i realized that in some of the photographs with women, i thought that they might have been related to her - when only a couple actually seemed to be by the choice of titles. so, i started thinking about identifying facial characteristics. that is something that most people use to identify one from another. no divulging more just yet. i need to make something first.
oooooh. and the other: Simone Mantellassi.
unfortunately i couldn't find any images of his work online. a pity. you should go to the albright-knox and check it out though. an installation of tons of frames drawings and writings. most rather cartoonish, each smart and witty. some just beautiful to look at. i'm not quite sure why i was so attracted to his work - no i take that back I AM SURE, but i can't quite verbalize it just yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Appropriation and such

I was thinking about hybridity and appropriation. how hybridity is really just appropriating from two or more sources. and overlaying them or superimposing them integrating them. what gets thrown away and what becomes a part of the new hybrid identity? and what is the value of what was thrown away? was it thrown away because it is only useful in its original form, before the hybrid existed or does it/can it become a part of a different hybrid and what are the criteria for that?
i guess it is just survival of the fittest, right?
i want to believe that there is some choosing happening. that i, myself, as a hybrid and actively choosing what i want to identify with. how i self identify. how i create and mold my own identity.
i could choose to not identify as a hybrid and just be a normal person. not focus on being adopted and the new family i have (meaning both of them together as one, as mine).
i mean, everyone is a hybrid or multiple or plural.
ok, more reading.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Synthetic Artifacts

Thesis Statement:
Using my personal hybrid identity (as adoptee and Mexican American) and the residual effects of memory and re-memory, I will investigate identity within the constructs of family structure and family history. Creating fragments and compiling existing fragments, which contribute to self identity, I will explore the negotiation of identity and imagined identity and its place in the family narrative, the real, imagined, and constructed family narrative.


  • Claude Leví-Strauss
  • Napolean Chagnon
  • Performing Hybridity, May Joseph ed.
  • Dan Kwong - performances at Highway
  • Residue . Memory/Re-memory . Palimpsest . Fragment . Constructed . Imagined . Reclamation