nicole rademacher

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.