nicole rademacher

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Launch it! Cologne OFF IV - Here we are!

Happy Video! - Merry Christmas !!
15 December 2008

VideoChannel - video project environments
is happy to launch online just in time before Christmas 2008
"Here We Are! - the 4th festival edition of
CologneOFF - Cologne Online Film Festival
presenting until now the largest festival program
featuring 142 selected short films and videos.

CologneOFF is a new mobile type of film and video festival ,
taking place simultaneously online and
in physical space in cooperation with partner festivals.

This year, the world premiere took already place in October at Museum of Contemporary Art MACZUL
in Maracaibo/Venezuela, in the framework of the annual digital art festival, the German premiere
in the framework of 24 Hours of Nuremberg Film Festival im November 2008

"Here We Are!" - is offerering the visitors the entire heavenly festival program in three sections online
1. -->OFF - the offical festival program inclusing 35 Films
2. -->LAB - the laboratory for 80 films under different thematical aspects
--> (de)materialization LAB
--> memory LAB
--> identitymix LAB
--> (de)(re)socialization LAB
--> re-performance LAB
--> re-naturation LAB
3. -->MOTHER - a special program of 27 films on the theme of "mother"
For each section an individual PDF catalogue is dowbloadable from the festival site.
Enter the festival via -->
The launch of CologneOFF IV represents also the occasion for publishing
50 interviews on VIP - VideoChannel Interviews Project
with authors participating in CologneOFF IV, intending to give the visitors
interesting background information about video art creating.
Further, VideoChannel is starting a new tool,
i.e. VAD - Video Art Database -
in order to manage the comprehensive collection of hundreds of videos
included in the project platforms of [NewMediaArtProjectNetwork]:||cologne -
in this way all videos can be accessed in future also individually.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cologne OFF Launch Monday!

Two videos of mine: (d)espere [2006] and Walk with me [2007] are being screened in the fourth edition of the Cologne OFF Festival.

(d)espere is a part of the LAB section and Walk with me is a part of the Mother section. This Monday will be the online launch (yipeeeeee), while the world premier was in Venezuela in October.

Here is a list of the other artists participating in the festival. Stay tuned - Monday I will post the link.

Hasta el lunes ...


toss; trash; throw away; dispose of; abandon; cast; cast off; chase; clear; discard; dismiss; dispense with; ditch; drop; dump; eject; eliminate; evict; extrude; free oneself of; get rid of; jettison; junk; lose; refuse; reject; rid oneself of; scrap; shake off; shed; shuck; slip; throw off; throw out; turn down; unburden; get rid of; abandon; relinquish; shed; do away with; dump

I think this is the opposite of collecting. Hmmmm first, you have to collect what you want to dump.

What is the residue of abandonment?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Messes of Life Mixed Up with Systems of Messes

One mess of things to take and another of things to leave behind. Packing up a life into a couple of suitcases just isn't possible. I guess that is why we have family members - to store what doesn't fit.
Why am I keeping all of that crap? Why am I still collecting crap?

This leads me to think about something I heard recently that collecting and individuality aren't as interesting as system and principle. So collecting is synonymous with individuality? Is that true? I had always thought of collecting as about groups, but each component of a collection is individual. Usually people say that the individual components make up a whole. Can the individual components stand on their own?
You ask that question often as an artist, especially if you work with dipyichs/triptychs, or anything that may be a series. Can those pieces stand on their own? And do they need to? If they stand on their own, does it make the whole piece redundant?

But back to this whole more interesting thing. System and principle are more interesting than collection and individual. The principle for your system of collection; you collect individual things.


I tried to write a story about this. I do mean "tried". The concept of deconstructing collection and system seemed so abstract as to not lend itself to narrative. Now this seems odd. Narrative exists in everything, even non-narrative (I can touch on that in a later post).
Here is an except: I didn't think that any of them were particularly interesting. The seemed pretty boring; a few were gray-ish, some were brown-ish; some were large-ish, some were small-ish. From what I could tell he may as well have collected them moments before our encounter.
I plan to finish that story one day. A narrative must exist somewhere. Even if it is only a non-narrative.


This begs the question: what is my system of collection? is it still valid? WHAT NEEDS TO BE THROWN OUT?

The order of DisOrder

Monday, December 1, 2008

Online Interview for Cologne OFF

VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

published the 4th series of interviews with new videoartists

David Jakubovic (USA),
Miri Nishri (Israel), Irina Novarese (Italy)
Nicole Rademacher (USA), Arthur Reynolds (USA)
Daniel Rodrigo (Spain), Pekka Ruuska (FI),
Mark Ramsel Salvatus (Philippines)
Antti Savela (Sweden), Daniel Slattnes (Norway,
Sumit Roy (India), Daniel Tesy (Hungary)

During the following weeks until the official online launch of
CologneOFF - Cologne Online Film Festival
4th edition - "Here We Are!" - on 11 December 2008 -
each week another couple of new interviews will be posted.

See you next week!

VideoChannel - video project environments
corporate part of
the experimental platform for art and new media
from Cologne/Germany


I think writing on the computer, as my sole form of writing, makes me feel like everything is final.

It seems that what I type is not personal and is published for the world to see. It is/will be. That is the nature of the blog, but somehow when I write on paper it seems more personal.
Why is that?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ana v digi v ana v digi v

There is a revelation that occurs the first time you pull your film out of the development tank and look at it in the light - even if there is nothing on it. A transformation occurred that you made happen. If nothing came out, or your exposure was off, there is no apple (or control) + z, no undo button, no revert to saved, no save in increments, no back up. You must figure out where you went wrong and redo it, hoping that you did indeed figure out where you went wrong. (ok, sometimes it could be a faulty camera) Yet, you will not know for sure until you pull the newly developed, dripping in photo-flo, film out of the developing tank again. Similarly, you are the sole person/thing responsible for it. You can only loose it if you physically misplace the film. No crash, no accidental delete, no system freeze in the middle. You are responsible and there is no one and nothing else to blame.

The revelation doesn't occur on the computer, where if you don't like the filter you just applied, you can undo. This is fine for those of us who have experienced the revelation, at least once. But those who have never experienced it have been deprived of a significant event, a feeling of satisfaction and positive reinforcement from oneself. Those of us who have been privy to the revelation perhaps imagine a small one each time we learn new tools or discover new methods in our current digital practice.

If all I knew was apple+z, would I be as fulfilled with working in the intangible? How did I ever give up control over my work to a finicky computer that is perhaps subject to frequent crashes and irreversible deletions?

. . .

A lil less thoughtful ...

The excitement
As the days get shorter my anticipation g r o w s

yes, again literally - for both you and me
Soon the climate will change

Life will seem back on track, but when was my life knot

Tied up
In knots
Goals may be clear

Or perhaps just as hay zee butt bottom derière quite contraire

Clear that each end begins a new knew what I was missing miss

ing Eye In Geezzzzzzzz


It's time.

Tie me.

Untie me.

Un Knot.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Written language is an artifice.

I have recently been listening to a class. There are 36 lectures in the whole thing (I downloaded it as an audiobook); I started this past Saturday, and I am already on Lecture 19. I told a friend that it is a class I have always wanted to take, but I was too busy being an "artiste" when I was in school (both/all times). Needless to say, I am a bit obsessed.

It is titled The Story of Human Language and it is taught by John McWhorter. He is one of my new heroes. It is probably much healthier to have him as a hero than some of my other current heroes because (a) he is alive, (b) I don't agree with everything that he says, and (c) he has demystified some things - which in turn has taken some ignorant theories of mine and shown that they have already been disproved. I downloaded the lecture series from The Teaching Company. I am in love with them too.

Back to the class. At the end of lecture eighteen he says that "written language is an artifice." Immediately I remembered it as "written language is a fallacy." In fact, I did not realize that he said "artifice" until I started writing this post. Artifice, fallacy. Fallacy, artifice. Contrived, deceptive. Skillful, false. Subtle deception, a false notion. The more I think about the words, the more I find them to be similar, which, of course, agrees with the fact that I perceived him to say one and not the other. Yet, when I initially thought about those two words I found them to be quite distinct in meaning. Not that they have become the same word, but their meanings seem to be growing closer (and closer).

Through this class ideas/theories I had about language, dialects, time, culture, immigration ... have been debunked. All of these theories were fallacies. I now realize just how stunted my education is. Here I am with an MFA, yet what do I truly know and what can I do with that? No, I am not feeling sorry for myself - quite the opposite, actually. I am trying to rationally and objectively look at my education (both formal and informal) and analyze the gaps. As Dr. McWhorter talks about high languages and low languages, dialects and standards, I have begun to simply look at my language learning experiences (and language teaching experiences). All three languages that I speak I learned in three very different manners and use them and very different ways. My "highness" and "lowness" (and my comfort with speaking/writing/reading in the way that I do) of these languages oscillates greatly. Is that good or bad is neither here nor there. The difference is what is significantly important. Yet, I am not sure why (but that doesn't matter). To look at it is important. To think about how you communicate and how you perceive your communication is important. To understand the means of your communication is important.

Written language is a fallacy. It is an artifice. It is completely contrived. Everything that you write is contrived and self-conscious. Most of my "artistic" life I have been urged, by my professors and therefore by myself, to not be self-conscious, yet I don't recall ever wondering (a) why am I self-conscious or (b) why is being self-conscious bad -i.e what is taking away from or how is it corrupting?

Why am I self-conscious? Well, obviously, we are self-conscious whenever we put something on the page because that is not an instinctual or intuitive act [this being one of the reasons why I think that working intuitively is ever so important, but of course you must step back after the fact to look objectively]. You actually think before you form the words with a pen or type them on a keyboard. Blogging and email make writing a bit more intuitive because we, as a society, are much more forgiving (and lazy) with spelling and grammatical errors that we read (write) in emails, im chats, and blogs. But, all in all, the word is not your thought. As an aside, I know that there are many arguments about how we think. One theory states that we think in what is called "mentalese", therefore any (recognizable) language that we use is secondary and requires yet another layer. Thus, writing is even another layer farther removed from the actual, pure thought. So, too is making: sculpting, drawing, painting, constructing ... This said - how could one NOT be self-conscious? Is it possible to truly work intuitively? Can you actually work un-self-consciously? Is working self-consciously an artifice? Who or what is it tricking? Is the trickery OK? Sometimes trickery is OK, right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


While traditionally I am not a political person, I feel that the results of the election require a comment, especially after reading a note a friend of mine posted on Facebook:

How come you supported Obama?

I'm not trying to start a fight. I'm just curious. I've already had a few people drop me from their friend's list because of different political beliefs, and I've been called a racist several times because I don't support Obama.

I am SURE that someone out there can do better than that. So could someone please tell me on what issues they side with Obama? I ask because I cannot find a single issue that anyone would rationally say, "yes, I agree with him and I believe that is the best course of action for our nation".

Or does it really just boil down to one of the following:
-yes, we can
-a vote for Obama is a vote against Bush

Please, give me hope that we voted him into office for reasons other than those.

This was my response (which didn't fit on one comment space, so I had to post two!):

They may have dropped you because of how you are making your comments, rather than your support of McCain.

I, too, am a registered independent, and I voted for someone who I believe can actually change our country back to what we grew up believing it was. I have felt completely estranged from American politics and America for years (hence my constant living abroad). In the past few days I have received emails from non-US friends of mine encouraging me to vote for Obama and also congratulating me after Tuesday night. I think that the world's perspective of our country and us as Americans is important; it is quite amazing how much an effect our president has on other countries and on how they view us - whether or not you feel that is a valid relationship, that is a relationship that the world makes. This election and hence the results are about so much more than just who we want in office for the next four years. I don't necessarily support all of what Obama supports, nor do I think that he will be able to complete all of the promises that he has made, but I believe in him. I believe that he (and, let's be honest, his team) will be able to help us through this financial crisis, find a way for us to pull out of Iraq successfully and peacefully, and find our place in the world not as a THE world power, but a power among many, which is our place.

I hope that makes sense to you. I am sorry that your heart has broken and that someone who you supported so whole-heartedly didn't win. But, I hope that you can come to terms and realize how historical these results are - not just because he is our first black president. He had so many supporters from all walks of life, all races, all ages ... yeah, sure some of the people who voted for him voted blindly for change or an African-American, but some people who voted for McCain made similar decisions. Many people who voted for the first time because they have felt disenfranchised with the political system and voted for Obama now feel that their vote truly can make a difference. This is important to the future of our country. A country where the people (all the people) matter is the country that I thought I grew up in, but as I became an adult I did not see it that way.

P.S. i would never drop you from my fb friends, in fact even though some things you have written infuriate me, it is wonderful to hear your opinions because they would absolutely NEVER occur to me.

This event is not about race, but about opportunity and the since defunct American Dream. There is a new energy in the American people. Even though I don't like to repeat rhetoric (especially political rhetoric), but it is about hope. A hope that was lost when JFK was killed. A hope that died when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. A hope that some Americans never even knew they had.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


New Atlanta art blog, Burn Away, reviewed Le Flash and the One Minute/One Night videos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Minute/One Night

In Atlanta, this past Friday (24 Oct), it was rainy. People in the Castleberry neighborhood for the monthly fourth Friday gallery walk were dressed in ponchos and clutching umbrellas. It wasn't rained out, but the people were a bit soggy under the conditions.

My video (d)espere was a part of a screening curated by Carolyn Carr and Michael Gibson of Garage Projects. In the whole production, there were 28 videos. Projected in the Garage Projects space, there were four:

The video calls only stated limitation was that each work was to be 1 minute long. And the randomness out of this loose restriction resulted in a natural communality in content, context and style. The artist being presented here all share everyday mundane affairs by way of waiting, watching and being watched.

* Nelson Hallonquist
* Tonia Hughes and Lisa McGuire
* Nicole Rademacher
* Ziad Naccache

In between

Ha! You thought I took another trip to the mountains or someplace semi-remote, didn't you?

Corporate America has its perks: little pieces of nature in the office park.

As summer draws to a close (I'm sure for some of you it has already ended, but here in the south, summer lingers), I am enjoying the brisk weather and soaking up the vitamin D.

Two years of bleak, gray winter days (nine months out of the year) forces a person to truly appreciate streaks of sun through leaves, if only in the middle of manufactured nature walks in the middle of an office park near the Charlotte Douglas Airport.

Autumn is here, upon us fully. The wind is sharp, punctuated with bites of chill, reminding me that colder weather is to come. The sun rises later and sets earlier, abbreviating my days more than they already are with the variable schedule that I keep and my inconsistent hours: rising when I wake and falling when my eyes close.

Soon I will wake in full darkness and finish work in full darkness. I will only breath the outside air in between my steps from my home to my car; I will insert a breath with each step from car to place of work. The air will chill my insides. I will shiver as I enter the tropical climate of the building.

I will shiver as I enter a summer on a corresponding side of the globe.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Words That I Question

  • feasible
  • construct (verb)
  • trappings
  • standard


Why is it that even though I am most definitely an image-maker, while designing my website I seem to only be using text? And I am severely drawn to text?

In fact, in a recent online interview (I'll post a link, when it is up), I cited literature as my biggest influence. Authors (and poets) are always such great storytellers.

I strive to be a storyteller like them. Perhaps I am really a writer stuck in a visual artist....

j'ai oublié

  • I forgot to mention that I forgot to bring the box for Mindy with me when I went to the post office.

My day started at 2am

  • set alarm for 6am instead of 8am, by accident
  • woke up at 6am
  • hit snooze
  • hit snooze again
  • reset alarm for 8am
  • hit snooze
  • hit snooze
  • lay in bed thinking about what I should wear to work
  • stretched, pretending that I was doing something productive
  • got out of bed
  • had a coffee
  • got my bag(s) ready
  • called to make a dentist appointment
  • cordless phone battery died right after the system at the dentist's office went down
  • called back with cell phone
  • as I was leaving the house my cell phone battery died before I could finish making the appointment
  • got prints made for the docu DVD
  • mailed the DVDs
  • drove (the long way, by accident) to the gym
  • realized that the clock in the car was not slow - I had 18 more minutes than I had thought
  • parked at work
  • realized that I had left the parking tag in the other car
  • got a temporary that I had to walk back and put in the car
  • tried to get into the faculty offices
  • realized that my badge doesn't work because last week I had forgotten my badge and they made me a new one (each faculty member can only have one working badge)
  • dropped off the badge to get re-initialized
  • put the temporary parking tag in my car
  • got my re-initialized badge
  • taught class
  • picked up book that came in through Inter Library Loan
  • ready for sleep

Friday, October 24, 2008

This importance of communication

I received an email about an exhibition in Shanghai. The exhibition looked super interesting. There was a link to the artist's blog. I clicked on it.

I assumed, because the email came to me in English (this wasn't SPAM, I am on two mailing lists for organizations in China) that the blog would be too - well that was what I realized after I went to the blog. All Chinese (and why should it be any different?). No English translation.

Native English speakers are spoiled. Our native tongue has currently evolved to be the lengua franca in the Western world. Every gallery or festival or organization website that I go to, in North America or Europe, is either in English or has an English translation available. The English translations aren't necessarily there for the anglophones - oh no! Don't kid yourself. In northern and eastern Europe, in particular, there are a plethora of English, as a foreign language, speakers - and many speak it quite well. English is fairly easy to learn - to communicate on a base level. So, English has become the default language.

Being back in the States, I have started to take the ability to understand everything around me for granted. To be quite honest, at first I found it annoying. While waiting in line at the grocery store, I don't truly want to listen to the fight between a mother and daughter about being able to purchase something. I am not sure if, while abroad, I actually tuned it out, but when it is in English - it is significantly harder. Also what lends a hand to the ability to "tune out", when living abroad there are always moments (sometimes whole days) when your ability to understand or communicate effectively breaks down, has a lapse. I suspect that those moments keep you on your toes. You know they are coming. No matter how fluent you are, there is always a time when you are lost. (Hell, sometimes that even happens to me in English.) Knowing that may happen keeps you alert and learning, soaking up all the information around you.

Here I am lazy. It is all my fault that I am lazy. I have gotten comfortable with being lazy and have therefore gotten even more lazy. I'm sure not everyone shares this experience. Some are probably able to stay on their toes without the push. I am not. The lack of challenge makes me complacent.

So, seeing this communication, which communicated nothing to me (I'm talking about the blog in Chinese, again), woke me up. I regained that sense of wonder that I love to have. I thought, "I want to understand that" - not just the writing, but about the text: it's structure and roots. How did these marks evolve to mean what they mean? How did that system become the elaborate syntactical arrangement that it is? How did that become universal throughout lands? And how did people figure out how to translate these codes so that the marks then become meaningful to every person? What relationship, if any, do these marks, which we classify as letter forms or characters, have to the non-verbal communication that humans and animals make with one another? What networks are created? What structures are erected? How do marks interpret sound? Why do we feel the urge to "record" sounds, events, thoughts, things ... ? How can sounds that are actually drastically different be perceived as the same? Is body language clearer?

I seem to be in a phase of questions, but not of trying to solve any of them.

I suppose I should sleep on it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Streaming Festival

Walk with me is a part of the Streaming Festival which is "streaming" online from now until October 26 at 00.00 hours GMT. My video is a part of the In the loop program. It says: No need for an end when you can loop and start all over!

I thought that was fantastic! You may need to download a program in order to view the videos. Click on the image to your left to go to the program page. What the whole program or separate videos. Check it out!!

Student Work

As faculty we decided that the first projects of the quarter should be related to the election. Hopefully this will insure that all of our students are somewhat educated on the candidates (at least for president).

For my Digital Type class, I gave them freedom to choose their candidates and told them to make a campaign poster using only type (yes there is one above that used an object) in black and white (and shades of gray). Here are some of their designs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One more question.

  • Why are roaches coming in my house and crawling on my leg while I am on the couch working - in October?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Questions from an insomniac - they don't need to be answered, just asked.

  • How do you teach students to use the computer to develop process not just product?
  • How does creating work on the computer create residue?
  • Does digital residue exist?
  • Why is it considered old school to use a sketch book?
  • Can a blog replace a sketch book?
  • Can a machine be a tool instead of a means to an end?
  • Why is the first place I look for information the internet?
  • Is that a good thing?
  • Can students learn how to think by drawing lines with the Wacom tablet?
  • Why does it seem that students know less and less about history, even contemporary history?
  • When did soley making become the curriculum?
  • How did reading become passé?
  • How is it that the more I try to find other methods of thinking I find that I still seem to fall back on the same method?
  • How do you know when an original idea is radical and when it is original?
  • What's the difference?
  • Is being focused all the time truly a good trait?
  • How many different generations of the same thing must I do before I realize that it is complete?
  • Damn, it is never complete, is it?
  • When will I stop imagining roaches randomly and nonchalantly walking across my floor?
  • How did the classics become the classics?
  • Can I nominate books for that distinction?
  • Why do I find myself consistently and constantly inspired by people/artists that inspired me long ago?
  • Why do I feel like everyone should be as inspired by them?
to be continued...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

until 2008


tap slide tap slide tap slide tap tap tap ssssssssssssslide tap tap tap sssssssssssssslowly tap tap tap ssssssssssssssssmoooooooooooothly tap slide ssssssssssssssssssssslide tap tap tap ssssssssssssssssssssssslowly smoooooooooooooooooothly slide tap slide tap slide tap slide stop taptaptap.

I think I need to work a little harder on it.

Monday, October 13, 2008


It is not a secret that I do not like driving. In fact, I am scared of driving. First I just didn't like driving. Then about a year and a half ago I got into a small car accident, but it was rather traumatizing for me.

Since then I have been trying to ween myself back into driving - and to driving long distances. I figure while I am here in Charlotte, North Carolina, where driving is a necessity, I should just grin and bear it.

Yesterday, I drove to Atlanta (a four hour drive) and back. No, I didn't just drive down for fun. For an upcoming exhibition/screening, there was a meeting. So I drove.

I left at about 8:15 am, who knew that I could actually get up that early on a Sunday? I met some friends for lunch and then headed to the meeting. On my way back I got stuck at about a stand still for an hour - a pick-up truck was overturned. The commotion took up 4 of the five northbound lanes. No, that didn't really frazzle me. I was just glad I hadn't left earlier.

I get frazzled when I can't see, or feel as though I can't see; this usually happens at night or in the rain - or worse: in the rain at night. I feel as though there isn't enough light and I can't see the twists and turns of the road in front of me - even the slight bends. Therefore I follow people - even if I have to speed, because I am too scared to be on the highway panicking that I can't see where I am going with cars whizzing by me. I think I had at least 5 mini-panic attacks after dark.

So the point of this post is that I took pictures (during the daytime), while I was driving, to get my mind off of it. I know that sounds like a significantly ridiculous strategy: take pictures while driving so that you don't panic - but it seemed to work well, even if it doesn't sound that safe.

I took some simply non-exciting, non-pretty images. I tried to get the sunset in the mirrors as I drove east. This was more about the act than the result. I was just using my point and shoot, so it isn't like I (a) had a lot of control or (b) had to do more than press a button. It was challenging though.

I don't recommend that people take pictures while driving. I certainly don't recommend that you do it at night (I might have if I could have changed the flash mode to "off" while I was driving, that made me nervous).

Friday, October 10, 2008


Students are pretty amazing.

Sometimes (a lot of times recently), I like to be rather foreboding about college students today. I can be rather cynical about how many lack the ability to think critically. I don't necessarily blame them or their former teachers, but somehow I am still coarse in my words towards them. There is no one to blame really. Well, no one in particular. It is a failing of our whole education system.

Recently I was told by a friend of mine that a very reputable university tells their faculty that they cannot give anything below a B- to their students. Why? Because students at that particular institution DO NOT earn lower than a B-. Hmmmmmmm. [You may be wondering where that information comes from: her mother was a professor there for a few years. Then she became fed up with the spoon-feeding and coddling, that she had to leave.]

I don't want to name the institution because I don't think it matters. All that matters is that it is an institution that is prestigious in academia. This is indicative of how our education system is failing our students.

Really, though. That wasn't what I wanted to post. I wanted to post about how wonderful and insightful students can be. I wanted to say that even when you assume that students will not listen and not be interested - they surprise you.

I have to be honest. I was dreading this quarter starting. I was expecting the worst. Maybe by the term's end that prophecy will be fulfilled (cross you fingers that I am wrong), but this first week has been the exact opposite of what I expected. Perhaps a lot of that is my own attitude when I walk into the classroom. Even though I was anticipating lazy and indolent students whose only thought was to be out of the classroom, I walked in and engaged them in an excited manner. I hid my dread through chipper and energetic talks. I was pleasantly surprised each class with engaged and thoughtful students.

I am looking forward to next week and seeing what creative and wonderful projects my students turn in!

Nothing new

I give up. Well, at least while I am in this living situation. I will make no more art. I will only finish the documentary for my friends, my website, and my bio dad's website. I will read and write and think, but I will not make anything. I will not consciously work on a project. I may do some "documenting", but I will not look at what they may or may not become.

That's a two month hiatus from actively making art. This may sound drastic, but I think it will be for the better. I still feel like I need to clear my head.

But dammit, I do still have to make a few corrections to my thesis before I mail it to the library at school. Ooops.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's about time

Lots of things going on.

I may have reported before that the video (d)espere was accepted to the Cologne IV OFF festival. It will be screened in the Lab section under the category "(de)(re)socialization LAB". I like the "(de)(re)". I like the socialization part too, but the "(de)(re)" particularly because my title uses the parentheses in a similar fashion.
In addition, the video Walk with me was accepted to the "Mother" category of the same festival! And the most exciting part of that is I just received an email stating (I'll just copy and past):
CologneOFF - Cologne Online Film Festival is happy to announce the world premiere of 4th festival edition
CologneOFF IV "Here We Are!
Museum of Contemporary Art (MACZUL) Maracaibo/Venezuela
in the framework of the annual "Salon de Arte Digital" - 1-8 October 2008
The official online launch is postponed to December 2008.
So, needless to say I am pretty stoked!

Another exciting acceptance - for (d)espere, is that it will be screened in Atlanta Oct 24 as part of the ONE MINUTE / ONE NIGHT exhibition @ Garage Projects in the Castleberry Arts District!! Since I am only four hours from Atlanta (aka Hot-lanta), I am hoping that I will be able to make it to the exhibition.

And lastly, my website. Here on the blog you are getting a visual idea of my new website design. I am still working out a lot of kinks, and I hope to then have the blog published on my site. This means that you will have to update your google reader subscriptions and change your bookmarks (ha), but really, you WILL have to change the paths of your subscriptions, or know that if you type in this web address it will eventually take you to the new address, but you will have to click 'yes' that you accept that you are going to a non-blogger published site blahblahblah.

That's it! Nothing painfully thoughtful today. I am working on a short documentary for some friends, and trying to figure out some stuff with Qwertyuiop (see earlier post), and of course working out the kinks on my website. Maybe I will be thoughtful later this evening...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How does creativity occur?

I believe that creativity derives out of boredom. I could defend my 'thesis' but I think you will all agree.
Let's all strive to be bored in the next 24 hours.

p.s. that is not to say that boredom only derives out of one circumstance.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Why am I so angry and bitter?
Are you angry and bitter?

Silence, Thinking, Residue or lackthereof

First and foremost, words cannot accurately express how amazing the last 3 days were. I barely talked to a soul. I took long walks up and down steep hills every day. I made friends with a neighbor dog. I stared into space often and for absorbidant amounts of time. (P.S. absorbidant doesn't seem to exist in the online dictionaries. I wanted to check my spelling but was met with suggestions of absorbant and absurd and the like) Now this staring into space is what brings me to the theme of this post.

Was staring into space (or at the wall) for massive amounts of time wasting time? One of my architecture professors (Marc Blizard) once said, well at least I remember it as being him, that whenever we are thinking we must produce residue. That we are not thinking if we do not have some kind of evidence to prove it or document it. That always stuck with me. While I think part of his motivation to say that to naïve second year architecture students was to get us to make something while we were 'thinking' so laboriously, I also believe that he was right in a lot of ways - especially in order to document our thinking. Even if you are doodling or making small paper sculptures, if there is some wonderful epiphany that happens during this action you can go back to it. You can find that train of thought. Where if you are lying in bed trying desperately to fall asleep (which I was just doing not too long ago), there is no way to trace back to the thought the next day. Many people say that it is because you fell asleep right after the great epiphany, but I simply don't agree. When you have that moment you know that you must get up and write it down or do what it was that you thought of - so you ARE lucid and have not yet fallen prey to the Sandman (or Freddy Kreuger, if you so choose).

On the other hand, you really must purge yourself, every once in a while (more for the neurotic ones), of irrational and anxious thoughts. You must go through the day, the week, the year, a relationship until your mind can rest from those ridiculous thoughts. You must play out every way possible that the conversation with your mother will go when you tell her that you cannot do dinner next Friday. And you must think about every potential thought that you can, that might be worth a few minutes before you can tackle more substantial problems - or perhaps before you can enjoy the peaceful sound of silence.

So there you go. I made no record of my thoughts. I had purging thoughts and I had thoughtful thoughts, but I believe that the important ones, that for the time being I may have lost, will come back to me - or perhaps they already have. Perhaps just the mere fact that I was allowed the time to come to those conclusions have changed a lot of what is running through my head right now. Ok, now I am just babbling and attempting to discuss things I have absolutely no authority over.

That was that. I had a lot of time to myself these past few days. Maybe that has put me in this 'pensive' mood, but all in all I am much more relaxed and much clearer about things. I have a better understanding of the pieces I am currently working on and the ones that I just "finished".

I am ready for an exciting fall.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Ok. Taken from Lebbeus Woods's blog about dead words:


While this word is bandied about in architecture [ I insert ART, DESIGN, ANYTHING - REALLY], its meaning is all but dead. There is little architecture, or design, that truly experiments, that is, plays with the unknown. The single defining characteristic of an experiment is that no one knows at the outset how it will turn out. The experimenter is looking for something, has a hypothesis to prove, but has no idea if the experiment will verify the hypothesis, or prove it wrong, or result in something entirely unexpected. Experiments are risky. Architecture is today, and generally has been, averse to this kind of risk.

Woe is me, the melancholic artist...

I think this idea that the experimental is dead about sums up my views recently - or maybe always. I am always the malcontent..... should I work on that???

Oh, the trials and tribulations of an artist and art educator

Today was the last day of the quarter, so to speak. I took on a mid-quarter class. So, technically I still have 3 more class of that (tomorrow and next Friday and Saturday), but otherwise my first quarter is over. A relief, in a way. I was totally thrown into this whole thing. Not knowing what I was teaching, until basically I was teaching it (which I now find out is generally common practice in academia). And additionally, teaching in the applied arts which, yes I know isn't that much different, but really, how it is taught is quite different - especially for someone who has always been on the fine arts side of the arts fence. The majority of the final projects this week went really well, but unfortunately one was not. So, this will be my first failing grade ever. I know that this is common, but the first is always the hardest. A friend of mine said, "They have to learn at some point that they only get out of it what they put into it." She is completely right. So my skin gets tougher. I am ok tearing a student apart (fine, not completely ok), but the whole grading thing makes my stomach turn.

The logistics of grading art are quite simple, really. Awesome is an A, Good is a B, Satisfactory is a C, Uh.... No is a D, and Completely Not is an F. I guess I never saw the value in grading, but that is completely idealistic of me. Many students, especially now aren't motivated and simply aren't interested in education, much less THEIR education. Oh, if it only were a perfect world every student would take initiative and responsibility for his/her own education. Ah, to dream.

As is to be expected, once a teacher, you understand your own teachers better, and in addition you have much more respect for them and feel ashamed of your own past actions (or maybe you were a perfect student...). As a teacher you then see yourself and peers (from long ago) in the actions of your students and reflect, "Oh times haven't changed only the methods of education." Students are always the same, but how we behave as teachers changes. Much of that is directed through technology, but more often than not (No, I do not have a degree in education) our teaching methods are influenced by how we were educated - whether that is a rebelling of the methods teachers imposed upon us or an admiration and imitation of their methods. That is where I struggle. Some methods were atrocious, but seemed to work. While others don't seem to have helped me in my studies, but made my experience less painful. That is journey, right?

And that is where I am at. I am about to embark on almost three days of solitude. I am about to stare at the wall, a tree, the grass, the sky, the lake... and think and mull over this past quarter, but truly over these past two years of graduate school, which I just finished, and all the time before that.

I will breathe.

Last night as I was about to go to bed, I thought I would read. It was almost 10pm and way to early to go to bed, but there wasn't much else I felt like doing, granted I wasn't exactly tired. I lain down and got out a book. Then, it occurred to me: I think, I will think. Thursdays (for the time being) are quite lazy for me. I spent the day watching some TV, reading news online, reading a bit of a book, writing emails, searching for festivals.... you know, normal stuff. What I realized is that I spent the whole day dodging thinking. So, I stared at the wall for a while. Then, I closed my eyes. Then, I stared at the wall. Eventually, I fell asleep - without any rush. What I did was clear my brain of unnecessary, irrational, anxious thoughts about life and the world. Then I think there may have been a moment when I had a few deep thoughts, just for myself, then I dozed.

I am sure that many people do that nightly, but somehow I have forgotten about that.

I am looking forward to a few days of unpacking my brain, of organizing some thoughts, and of being.

See you next week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alfred International

Yep, that's right - the show is up in Beijing (thank you Joe Lewis, Mark Hursty, Michael Fujita, and Fei Jun)!!! And it looks fantastic! They say that the opening was really successful.
Enjoy the photos!!

If you look closely at the one above, you can see An Infinite Ordered Set of Events on the screen behind the students signing the guest book.

Friday, September 5, 2008

More from a different time.

Ah yes, Barcelona and my first time there (2001-2002). I really made a lot of work during my 'project immersion'. I'm not sure if all of it is exhibition worthy, but it is definitely indicative of my process.

Below is a scan of a page from my sketch book (which I just found while cleaning out a hard drive) while working on Place. I assume that the writing is just a story (actually a snippet of one, I used to like to write snippets of nonexistent stories - ok, I still do.) that was swarming around in my head. The photo is from the booth at the Ramblas entrance to the Drassanes Station on the green line in Barcelona. I would go in the booth with layers and layers of clothing, put money in the slots and dress and undress while the photos shot.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A movie review

Goodness, I just didn't know what to do with this critique. I looked and looked online for a real review of Vicky Cristina Barcelona - and I just couldn't find one. Why do I seem to be the only one who thinks this movie is just, well, contrived, trite, and predictable ???

Firstly, we have the main character, Vicky, who is getting her Master's in Catalan Identity, but doesn't speak Catalan - or even Spanish? Next, there is Javier Bardem playing the 'Latin Lover' who is, of course, an artist. His character is from Asturias, but Vicky calls him a 'Catalan painter' and he doesn't correct her !! (GASP) Why didn't Penelope or Javier bother to tell Woody Allen about the complexity of Catalan Identity and Spanish Identity and all of the intricacies and bloodshed that has gone on for centuries and continues today amongst all of the autonomous regions of Spain. Granted, in recent years (in light of the bombings in Madrid) ETA has been more 'meaningful' (if I can use that word to talk about bombings) in their attacks, and the Catalans are more diplomatic about how they are searching for their independence. But no matter how you spin it, we as Americans are unaware of the influence that these events and feelings have on their Identity as a countries and as many nations. And the blatant disregard for this just encourages our ignorance as a country!

Ha! That's what it is - we as Americans. So, did Woody Allen do it deliberately or is he oblivious to it as well ? Could Javier and Penelope not be bothered to explain some basic issues with the script? Let's not put all the blame on the actors. There were a lot of other Spaniards involved in the making of this movie. Were their eyes blinded by euro signs that would be coming in at the box office?

Generally Americans are ignorant to the complexities of ethnicities and nations within an entire country. Much of this is because this is pretty much nonexistent for us. Unless we can experience it first hand when we are abroad, we probably are completely unaware of these happenings. The complexities of ethnicity that exist in America are not particular to a region. Racism exists in a myriad of ways across several races in every part of the country. And the idea of many nations in one? Hmmm, that is really difficult for us to comprehend. Perhaps fifty years or a hundred ago it would have been easier, but now that families move across the country (sometimes a few times in a lifetime), many people don't feel a patriotism for their region. We are taught about how to manifest our patriotic nature for our country, the United States of America. It is difficult (at least for me it is) to comprehend that the culture in New England could be so profoundly different that they would want to be their own nation within the US, much less their own country. The issue of language is something else that is completely foreign. Even though we have no official language, most people speak English as their first language with Spanish in a not too distant second. Behind English and Spanish I bet we could find Mandarin, Polish, French, Portuguese, Arabic... And none of these seem to be particular to a region albeit you will find more Spanish speakers in Miami and L.A. than in Kansas City and Fargo, but you will still find many Spanish speakers farther north in Chicago, Denver, and New York.

Back to the topic at hand: the film. Penelope plays the same predictable character that you expect to see her in in American films: beautiful and irrational. Scarlett is cast as the beautiful, idealistic, and wide-eyed American. I already discussed Javier's character, but I do not think that his character is specific to him as much as it is specific to the 'Latin Lover' character. Javier is hot in the film world right now, so he was cast.

The plot was pretty simple: Affluent American tourists go to Spain for a two month holiday. They meet a hot famous painter who seduces them. One of the Americans is engaged and therefore has a moral dilemma. The erratic ex-wife of the Spaniard shows up (because she attempted to kill herself * as a side note, I would like to express my disdain at this time for the type-casting of the artists: erratic, indulgent, impulsive ...). Eventually the erratic ex-wife, the idealistic American, and the painter all end up in bed together. Until the idealistic and impulsive (artist) American decides that that is not what she wants. Basically the story is over after that. They tie up some loose ends, but everyone goes back to their lives before any of this ever happened.

I wish I would have waited to download a bootlegged copy from the internet. I would have saved nine dollars, gas, and the time it takes to drive to the one theater in Charlotte that was actually playing the new Woody Allen movie.

Is this really what even the 'artsy' films are coming to? I am thoroughly disappointed and (perhaps) hopelessly looking for good - no decent - film.

A lil bit o solace

This weekend is/was Labor Day weekend, here in the States. I never pay much attention to Labor Day, probably because I can never figure out when it is until it is upon us. So, once again it came as a surprise. All of these open call deadlines due on September 1, and I put them off until Monday September 1. Now, here I am with burned DVDs, filled out application forms, addressed envelopes, and I can't send them. Well, that will teach me!

Friday I got a text message from an old friend, who happens to have grown up near where my parents have a cottage. She was in her hometown and was wondering if I, too was in North Kakolak. Seeing as my parents were already at their cabin, I said that I would drive up on Saturday afternoon and we could catch up on Sunday.

That was my original reason for going up to the mountains. Generally I try to stay away from their cottage for a couple reasons: I hate driving and after living in the middle of nowhere for two years, 'the middle of nowhere' has lost its luster.

Sunday morning at about 9am, this was the fifth time I had woken up since I first set off on my mission to sleep at midnight the night before. I was sleeping on the couch in the living room. My parents had invited two couples with whom they are great friends, which left me without a bedroom or a bed. I don't really mind sleeping on the couch, to be honest. So, on my own I woke up a few times. I was also woken at 5:30am when 'the men' awoke to go fishing; Walleye was in their sights. Therefore, at 9 when I awoke for the 5th time, the women were sleeping and the men were fishing. I got up, even though I have never been known as a morning person, and got myself a cup of coffee. I then slid outside to the swing with my book.

Instead of reading I just sat. The cottage my parents have is very rustic, but still nestled in a subdivision, by no means it is truly in the middle of nowhere. I watched the neighbor mow his lawn and show his son how to find twigs for the fire they would have later that night. I listened to a neighbor lady on the phone with, seemingly, her daughter. Most importantly, I thought. I was reminded of all the mornings I would awake in Barcelona in 2001 and 2002, without a thing to do. I remembered how amazing that was (well, until I truly had absolutely nothing to do and bored and depressed.). During that time I would do a lot of thinking and writing (hence the 'escritos' that you can find dabbled on my blog). This Sunday morning, I just let all of the thoughts flow over me. I lingered with some, and others I let just pass on by.

It has been so long since I have been allowed the luxury of thinking for the sake of thinking. It was been a long time since I have allowed myself this luxury, since I have taken the time to do this. It was inspiration, if only fleeting. Perhaps 30 minutes later my mother had risen and came out to wish me a 'good morning.' I greeted her and asked if there was still coffee left. She said she had put another pot on (I had apparently taken the last cup from pot my father had brewed 4 hours earlier that morning.).

With the memory of these fleeting moments on Sunday and so many of these that I experienced six years prior, I have decided that allowing myself time to think is important to my well-being as a human and an artist. It gives me time to process research and work. It gives me time to process events and ideas. Simply, it just plain gives me time.

The quarter ends in a few weeks. I am going to take almost an entire week and go up to their 'haven', as my mom calls it. I am going to spend the weekend with them (because they go up almost every weekend), and then because I won't have classes to teach I will stay through the week. I will take my own private artist's retreat, some much needed time to organize my thoughts.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Experimental Documentary? What is that?

(p.s. I like the little-ness of the video)

So while working on my thesis I was reading the book Experimental Ethnography (see prior post). Through reading this and thinking about the series of videos I was working on and my research, I decided that these videos are 'experimental documentaries.' What the hell does that mean?

I am fascinated by people watching (and who isn't, really?). Just sitting on a street corner, holding the camera steady, you can find so many stories in one. The one above just appeared. If you pay attention there are a few others, you have to piece them together though, because they aren't the focus of the video. The narrative unfolded itself in front of me, in front of the camera. Take a second and sit on a city bus bench. Just sit there. For five minutes and you might glimpse someone else's life. For thirty and you may see a scenario. Longer and you could be privy to whole events developing in front of you. Maybe they won't seem significant your characters at that moment in their lives, but you as the outsider can sense the event's significance. Wait and be patient. Let the story unfold on its own. Those fleeting gestures that we so nonchalantly express become characters in the narrative as well.

Above is a busy street corner in Buenos Aires. The subjects are seemingly unaware of the story that we, the viewers are following. They are consumed with their lives, consumed with the waiting for someone to arrive. As the awaited person nears the subjects, the little girl (she must be four) exits the frame - just as bouncy as she entered it. The woman meets with the father and the little one follows her into the frame only to leave just as quickly. Almost as soon as the woman enters the frame, the father extends his hand to hold the child's. He holds it in the air, suspended. It freezes in the same distance away from his hip, even as he moves and changes his position. The hand keeps its distance, awaiting the girl's hand. Yet, the child has exited the frame. The adults are ready to cross the street, but still, the little girl has not yet returned to the frame. Finally, as we hear a car revving up to gear, after stopping for the red light, she girl enters our view, but as the father's hand extends to meet the child's, she walks away, towards the moving traffic. His hand struggles and fights with her arm to link with her hand. He finally succeeds and they successfully cross the street.

Who knew that all of that would unfold in front of me while I waited for my friend to take money out of the ATM? How did I get so lucky as to see that beautiful episode? To see the struggle the girl is having with trying to declare her independence, with wanting to do something on her own. Something as simple as crossing the street. She is completely unaware of the danger she could be in because she is completely unaware of what is going on around her. Funny, how we choose to be aware of certain things. How we choose to perceive certain things. Sometimes we don't consciously choose, but we still choose - what is important to us and our current situation.

So, sit on a bus bench. Don't sit in the park - too many trees. You can sit in the park after you have sat on a few bus benches. You have to acclimate to the type of seeing that you are going to do. To the type of seeing you are going to experience. Watch what goes on around you. I like to watch the untold stories of the gestures, like the hand struggling to take the other or the cough that is never covered by the small hand of the little girl.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

escritos 5

The game is every time I physically (yes, physically, because these writings were typed on an old typewriter) moved to the next line, I would jump to a new story. Sometimes in the middle of the story, sometimes in the middle of a sentence, a thought.

Half dog, half cat, but really a horse in disguise or was it more like / When I wake up the first thing I do is brush my teeth. I hate the / Everyone gathered to hear him speak. We all thought that he was the / Mornings and afternoons don't really exist, there is only the night. / If I were a carpenter my job would be easy, but I am not. I am a / types of bands. What the differences are I am really not too sure. / told me. Which way is out? I asked. This time he didn't answer me. / She danced like a drunken chicken, if you have ever seen a drunk chicken / been thinking, maybe we should take a break. I mean it has been awfully / his hands were warm and comfortable. My worries disappeared soon there / We were already late and I didn't want to be bothered with picking up / I felt tired and dehydrated. I lain down on the couch to think for / minutes flew by. Soon an hour had passed, then two. My concept of / were we? No one knew and no one wanted to ask. For to ask would be / We were granted entrance only to be met with bigger and larger barriers. / The lights were a little unnerving, but we danced anyway. The club / drinks were coming fast. There was this urgency in every movement that / but no one could get it right was it good to take it with or better if / and if that were true then we shouldn't continue. Really if you think / purposeful action, and action that has value for you and for the people / around you. A feeling of proof. That is what is asked of you, to prove yourself to the world, to you, especially to you.# Can you do this? I thought about the question put before me. I thought a long time, but there was no answer. There were no thoughts that accompanied it. It was if my mind were truly blank. There are always times when you think you mind has gone blank, but have you ever thought of absolutely nothing before? Is this really possible? Can there be absolutely no thought. A stream of consciousness without a thought, without an idea of what there is.There is nothing and nothing is the thought

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Hair Cut

After today I have decided that my hair grows toooooooooo fast to get it cut every 3 months like the women's magazine say. I need to go back in 6 weeks!!! SO MUCH LIFE AND SHAPE!
Conclusion? Very Happy! Thanks Daniel at Planet 21 in the Arboretum!

What are we to do?

I've been having a conversation with myself, as well as friends and colleagues about the commodification of art. I am completely ambivalent about this. One minute I agree and try to figure out how my work can fit into this box and the next I don't care at all and just want to continue to make moving work. This conversation has been exacerbated by my current teaching position. I like to call the school the Devry of art schools. From a fine art perspective this sounds like I don't think highly of the school. And by fine art standards I don't, but it isn't a fine art school (and every day I have to remind myself of this). It is an applied art school that doesn't have time to mess with or teach theory. Their agenda consists of generating students that can produce the work that the capitalist commercial society wants. The only 'thoughts' that the creative person can have is how to make it look 'cooler'. Obviously I don't agree with this, and honestly, I don't think one needs to agree with this philosophy in order to teach in this environment, but I do. This type of total disregard to values that I hold dear is taxing on my mind and heart. I come home from work completely frustrated. I call my friends from architecture school (the genesis of my completely idealistic view of the world and art) for advice. I recently received an email from a former advisor about the changes in fine art education as well as applied art education (prompted by my email describing my utter frustration). What am I trying to say with all of this? Basically that I just read an article in the New York Times that prompts me to say - I am not alone (not that I ever thought I was - well at least not with this feeling). The article is titled: An Architect Unshackled by Limits of the Real World and talks about the work of Lebbeus Woods. I remember in architecture school that Lebbeus Woods was giving a lecture down in Charlotte, NC (I was at Virginia Tech), and there was a big big commotion about who was going to drive down there, could we miss class, where were people going to stay or were they going to drive back... Being a first year I didn't know who he was, but I made a point to find out. Of course he wasn't that big of a deal because all the other architecture gods that I was introduced to had similar theories about designing. As described in the article, most of those architects have made it big (i.e. Rem Koolhaus) and are making money and designing for a myriad of clients. Woods on the other hand is designing abstract buildings, sites, environments, where the idea of it seems to be more important that whether or not it can be built. The theory and the design are paramount. The article offers a reason on why his contemporaries, and the world of architecture, have shifted their ideals: ... 'High end architecture became a valuable commodity. ... The pressure to smooth over anything in a design that might be perceived as threatening has only increased in recent years, as a lot of architecture has begun to look like a sophisticated form of marketing. Architects who once defined themselves as rebels are now designing luxury residential towers for the super-rich.' Upon reading this I realized why I am so frustrated and unhappy with the current state of everything. We are soft. Society is soft. It doesn't want to ruffle feathers, it only wants to make money or make things pretty. Everything is about big business. Then I have to ask myself - well, then, what does being a professional artist mean? Professional. This implies business. What is business without commodity and marketing (This being asked by a child of a capitalist and materialist society that thinks that it has taken over the world and can do whatever she sees fit in order to propel her own gain.) I don't know what professional means. Yesterday I thought I did (seriously, yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend). Now? Who the hell knows? And a bigger question is why am I compelled to label it?


Last week (well, not the past week, but the week before), I got busy in the kitchen. Friends had a cook-out (NOTE: in the south the term 'barbecue' is reserved for when there is a pig present or very minimum some bbq sauce. In the north this would probably be called a 'pig roast' or something, but wouldn't necessarily be pulled pork. In the south you can only use the terms 'cook-out' or 'grill out' to talk about an event that consists of grilling and doesn't include pulled pork and bbq sauce.) and we were asked to bring a side. I elected to make my (now famous) Japanese Guacamole. Unfortunately I am not as culinarily inclined as my younger brother, so I did not make this up. I get most of my AMAZING recipes from one book in particular: Nueva Salsa by Rafael Palomino and Arlen Gargagliano. My older brother gave me the book as a present years ago. The best present he has ever given me! Ok, so here is how it breaks down:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled pitted, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small red onion (or 1/4 of a large one), diced
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 cup of canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi powder blended with water, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar - if you buy the book buy a lot of this stuff!
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of minced fresh cilantro - my favorite ingredient ever!
In a large bowl (it says ceramic or glass, use what you got, unless you want to make it look real perty), combine the avocados, onions, and the lime juice. Then add everything else EXCEPT the cilantro and toss. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro just before serving.
I'll have to post a picture next time I make it. I think I was too excited about eating it to take the time to snap one off.

Then there are the dishes you make while procrastinating. I have been procrastinating way more than usual. I think my attitude towards this job breeds and feeds the procrastination. So, while procrastinating grading a project, I decided to make chicken curry from scratch. This is the recipe I got from the internet, BUT I had to substitute a few of these ingredients (read below for details).

Indian Curry Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 inch cube of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cut-up, skinned chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom pods (green if you can find them)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice


* Mix the tomato sauce, yogurt and water and set aside.
* Blend the garlic, ginger and water until smooth. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil Remove the chicken from skillet and lower heat.
* Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and hot pepper flakes. Stir for 30 seconds.
* Add the garlic and ginger paste and the turmeric.
* Stir for 1 minute. Add tomato mixture, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Stir.
* Add chicken, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning chicken a few times. Serve with plain rice.

Now cardamom pods are hard to find in Charlotte, NC and expensive at that. So I looked up some of the traits of cardamom and substituted it with honey - 2 or 3 teaspoons. The pepper flakes, well, I have a ton of rocoto paste, so I substituted the one teaspoon of the flakes for a teaspoon of the paste. The cinnamon stick, I improvised with ground cinnamon. And the tomato sauce (because my dad has celiac disease), I had to make from scratch. I just diced about a fourth of a beef steak tomato.

Once I made it (without the chicken, though. I wanted to add it later), I realized that there was no way that was going to mix with enough food for four people. I took out a tomato from the fridge (smaller the original of the one I used before because the fourth was a left-over from a prior cooking event), diced it up, and measured the sauce. I had about 9 tablespoons and thererfore I had to TRIPLE the recipe. Needless to say, we all had a lot of curry for the rest of the week.

The recipe is pretty spicy, so if you have a sensitive stomach or aren't keen on spicy food, eat it with a dollop of yogurt.
I mixed in a whole chicken, zucchini, small eggplant, and potatoes.
And, yes, I guess I will have to shoot off a picture next time I 'whip' this up.

*Be warned this is very time consuming, hence it went very well with my plan to procrastinate. If you are in a rush, DO NOT ATTEMPT.

Monday, August 11, 2008

You Are a Perpetual Tourist

It began with a bang! They even made me a cake!! Yipeeeeee! The response was really wonderful. There was a steady flow of people at the reception. And what was truly great was that people watched the videos, and really sat down to watch them. The show was simply organized. Kellie Buck helped me plan, and Sarah Daniel was a lifesaver helping me set up and troubleshoot a lot of problems.

I thought it would be great to use the same system of hanging that Dallas, Elizabeth and I did at the Thesis Exhibition in April. So I went to Home Depot to look for these small nails - brads they are called. Being a woman (in Home Depot), I was immediately attended to (I actually enjoyed it). Chris (I believe his name was) helped me look for this 'tool'. "It looks like a screwdriver, the ones where you can change out the head, but the bulb on the handle is larger and made of wood." Yeah, so Chris didn't have much to go on. Eventually we found something that might work. A Gun. A multitasking gun, really : staples and brads. But that was a piece of crap. You could only load one brad at a time and then it was inconsistent when it would shoot it or just, not. Needless to say it took us a really long time Wednesday morning setting up - argh. Thursday morning was time for the video room. Kellie's idea of putting the tables on top of one another was AWESOME!!! Sarah and I put our backs into it and lifted them up! Yea!!! Got some fabric over them and no one was the wiser.

All in all I had 13 digital prints (video stills from the series of sixty-two), the video loop, and the Longing and Distance books. Below is the installation and some details of the stills that were printed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


[Yes I wrote it like that because I received a bunch of spam comments right after I posted it when I wrote it normal. Hmmmmmmm]
Wordpress is supposed to be AMAZING! SO EASY TO USE! Well, I thought I would install it and see if I could move my blog to my website. I consider myself to be pretty savvy, despite the fact that I don't really do any web design anymore. If nothing else, I am real good at following directions from a manual or readme file. So I install it. I set up a new database on my server, blah blah blah. When I go to actually install the database and USE it, I continually get the message in the image below. ARGH. I do some research (not too much luckily) and find out that the problem is Leopard. What the? Come on - NOW!?! STILL!?! Really this is too much. It turns out that MySQL still hasn't updated what they need to to work with Leopard. I realized that it was just too much crap to deal with just to 'test' it. I can wait - until they clear this all up. Of course by then I will have probably updated my OS to the next best thing.... Whatever. I am just bummed.


So, my friend always makes this great beet and feta cheese recipe. I made it for my parents once. Also, maybe even in the same week or something, I made another beet recipe. This one had carrots and topped fresh greens. My mom mixed them up and tried to make it the other day. Somehow the beets didn't get cooked and she completely forgot about the Balsamic Vinegar. I emailed my friend to get the 'real' recipe. This is what I received:

i always just threw together roasted
beets, goat cheese, fresth basil and beet greens, toasted walnuts,
olive oil and balsamic vinegar in proportions that seemed good to me.

I guess that won't help my mom much.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Aïda Ruilova

As written in my post below, this woman makes some short videos (which is súper exciting!!). Her website is a little difficult to navigate, but if you mess around enough, you can figure out how to actually watch the videos.

The shorties are pretty nice. She has taken a small group of sounds (or phrases) and had the actors repeat them in different manners. Simultaneously employing jolting jump-cuts as her editing method. This all makes for some uncomfortable videos - in a good way. The sounds and image edits are both very purposeful, which establishes a disturbing atmosphere. Luckily none of the videos are longer than a minute, thus this uneasiness ends quickly. Ironically, you will want to watch the videos again. I don't know about more than twice or thrice, but definitely twice.

I did some research on Ruilova and these works. Her inspiration comes from early vampire movies and 70's horror flicks. That seems appropriate.

Now. What is she doing? The videos have gotten longer as she tackles new projects (the short videos are almost 10 years old!), but they are still on the short side. She is young, was in the Whitney Biennial in 2004, and is continuing to show and make interesting work - yea for good art !!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

She makes short videos

Aïda Ruilova.
Back in 1999 she made some very short videos.
My review to follow, but in the meantime - check out the site (see if you can find the videos....)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

You Are a Perpetual Tourist

Finally, we have finalized everything!! Yipeeee! My next exhibition is You are a perpetual tourist. The reception is at the E.H. Fine Arts Center, Friday August 8, 6 - 9pm. I will be sure to blog the opening.

P.S. my internet connection is going to be better starting tomorrow. I will be able to blog a bit more often - hopefully I will have something interesting to report. ciao

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


It started as a flip book. I asked several people
who have another native tongue to ask the
question, 'Where are you from?" in their native
language. Focusing only on their mouths, I video
taped the phrases. I am interested in the movements
of their mouths and the relationship to the
phonetics/pronunciation. I thought I would make
the flip books as travel phrase books. This mutated.
With the flip books in hand, I went out to the street
asking people to TRY to pronounce the phrases.
They flipped the book a few times and genuinely
tried to pronounce solely based on the mouth
movements they saw in the book.
I recorded these attempts.

While compiling another flip book, I decided to make
an animation. And having fun with AfterEffects,
I stumbled the above animation (Chinese-Mandarin).
I am now animating the others: Danish, Greek,
Korean, Norwegian, Polish, and Spanish.

Monday, June 30, 2008


movements, subtle, fleeting - motions of physical limbs
ephemeral thoughts
short, fleeting - video
small words, sounds, utterances

what other types of gestures are there? how does that translate into my personal research?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Books Are Here!!

The books are here! The books are here! The books are here! Part one of two is done and printed/published! I ended up using Apex Book Manufacturing out of Georgia. They were fabulous. It is a short-run publisher. Many more options than lulu and much cheaper - though I would still suggest getting proofs done through lulu first. I am currently in the process of gluing in the envelopes for the DVDs - 3 of these sets will be sent to RED03(my petita gallery in Barcelona) to be sold there, others will be left at the library and given to my thesis committee, of course my family gets copies - and the rest are for sale -with or without the DVD. They will be available at the show in Charlotte. Yipeeee!

The show in Charlotte. I am so glad that I will be there next week so that I can FINALLY FINALIZE where the show will be and how it will be hung. As I mentioned before I am printing digital prints here, at Alfred. All of them are 15 x 20 inches. Ideally I will be able to install the video and have prints up. At my MFA exhibition I had the single projection, but with the space possibilities that I will have at Queens, I would like to reconfigure the set-up and make the show a multi-channel installation - choreographing the videos to work as a team of three projections.

Thanks to Rama Road Elementary School, where my mother works, I will have access to projectors, speakers, and DVD players - otherwise I might have to max-out another credit card - argh! The opportunity to separate the videos and choreograph them is súper exciting! Even though I would have had a single-channel installation at my MFA Exhibition either way, it is still rather invigorating to think of how I can WOW the visitors at my opening.

The choices for space are between the Max L. Jackson Gallery in the Watkins building (which is the art building) and the E.H. Little Fine Arts Center where the auditorium and the music recitals are held. The Fine Arts Center sounds like it will be a grand space, but without seeing either of these it is really hard. Hence, I can't wait until Monday!

Other than the show, I am still trying to print and bind the Qwertyuiop books before I leave. Looks like I may have time tonight, or else perhaps tomorrow.

New projects?¿ I am still looking for a Cortázar story to use. I found this amazing Max Aub play: ¿Qué has hecho hoy para ganar la guerra? (What have you done to win the war?) Obviously it takes place during the Spanish civil war in the 30s, but I don't see why it wouldn't be appropriate today. I would need to find the original and change it to reflect the times. Then I wouldn't need authorization from the translator. I would probably still need permission from the Max Aub Foundation. I wonder how much that might cost? Of course this would be a full-fledged narrative, more like día than the current work I am doing right now - that is unless.... hmmm. I will have to get back to you with that idea. I think I need to go shoot some photos and come up with my storyboard.