nicole rademacher

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.