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Now that is a parking job…
|| 2/19/2011 || 11:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph of a car parked so close to another car they are kissing

I was walking home earlier and spotted this awesome parking job. I can’t believe someone would actually leave their car parked like that.



My Testimony on the Renaming Parts of Pennsylvania Ave and the Gateway Signs of the District of Columbia
|| 1/13/2011 || 11:16 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Skip to the 49 minute mark

TESTIMONY OF NIKOLAS R. SCHILLER
ON
THE POTENTIAL RENAMING OF THE 1300 & 1400 BLOCKS OF PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE & THE INCLUSION OF STATEHOOD LANGUAGE ON THE DISTRICT’S GATEWAY SIGNS

Committee on Housing & Workforce Development, John A. Wilson Building, January 13, 2011


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15th Street on YouTube || North Meets South || A Game of Locational Awareness [part 2]
|| 12/3/2009 || 2:50 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

click image above to view

On August 5th, 2008 I made the first version of this mashup, East Meets West and with the newly created contraflow bicycle lane on 15th Street NWDC, I decided to make the second version, North Meets South.

The two videos were taken from one continuous video recording that I conducted while riding on my bicycle from U Street & 15th Street to Massachusetts Ave & 15th Street and back. At home I split the videos into North & South and used the crosswalks as the starting & ending points. The object of this video mashup is to find the exact time when the two recordings pass each other on opposite sides of the street.


A few notes:

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Photographs from Park(ing) Day DC 2009
|| 9/21/2009 || 11:05 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photograph from Parking Day DC 2009

Last Friday I attended the first celebration of Park(ing) Day in Washington, DC. Originally conceived & celebrated in 2005 by the artist/activism group ReBar in San Francisco, the concept behind Park(ing) Day is quite simple: reclaim urban space normally taken by cars by taking over different parking spaces for the day and turning them into temporary parks.

Organized by the contributors of the blogs ReadysetDC & F1RSTNR, the original concept for last week’s inaugural Park(ing) Day DC involved four locations around Washington, DC, but at the last minute the DC Department of Transportation threw up some large impediments that made the day’s planned celebration nearly impossible to execute. According to one of the organizers, among the various obstacles that DCDOT came up with was that they wanted the organizers to have large concrete jersey barriers to prevent cars from plowing through the temporary park (really?!).

After hearing about this issue, I mentioned the old direct action maxim: it’s easy to beg for forgiveness, then to beg for permission. As in, if the organizers would have just gone ahead and setup their temporary park(ing) spots and let the police and DCDOT deal with the matter in real-time, they could have ‘begged for forgiveness’ and made a scene in the process. The other way around, being lawful citizens that is, involves going to the DCDOT asking for permission (aka permits) and if the authority isn’t too keen on the concept (which it appears they weren’t) they can make it impossible to undertake.

Thus result was more of a Park(ing) Lot Day than a Park(ing) Day, but that didn’t stop the fun that was had by all the participants. The day’s savior was the owner of the local business Garden District, who currently owns a vacant lot at the corner of 14th & S streets, and allowed the Park(ing) Day organizers to set up there. The organizers drove out to Virginia and picked up 1,500 pounds of sod and laid it down over the asphalt and created their own temporary urban park, which ended up being much larger than a parking space would have been! They also sourced some plants, furniture, books, 3D chalk, christmas lights, and even a badminton set; all of which made the lot more of a corner park for people to hang out at.

Photograph from Parking Day DC 2009

I arrived around 3pm and hung out with everyone, took a few photos (above & below) and even made a couple new friends. Around 5:30pm I left and went to a friend’s house to get equipment for the show at the Black Cat later in the evening. And after setting up for the show, I went back to the Park(ing) [Lot] and helped them cleanup park. In all, I had a great time. Next year, however, I am aiming for having a park in the central business district. Check the other photographs I took:

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YouTube Video: Last Weekend in 25 Video Clips
|| 8/5/2009 || 12:39 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

I made this YouTube video yesterday evening after I downloaded all the photos and video I took from last weekend’s excursion to the to the Shenandoah mountains. The 25 video clips are played in sequential order, starting with me getting into my friend’s vegetable oil-powered Mercedes Benz, driving out of Washington, DC, driving through the country, seeing a spider eat a moth, lights projected on trees, a spider with eggs crawling through the grass, chasing a butterfly among lilies (probably my favorite scene), insects devouring a large dragonfly, a few clips of the band Stripmall Ballads performing, caterpillar at night, lightrope on a rock, an American Goldfinch bathing in a creek in the middle of the road, and driving back home.

All in all, I had a great time. I just wish I still wasn’t tired from hiking up and down the length of the property!



YouTube Video of my first Barack Obama sighting in Washington, DC
|| 1/9/2009 || 11:16 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video of my first Barack Obama sighting in Washington, DC || ||

At approximately 8:30pm on Friday, January 9th, 2009, I was approaching the corner of E Street and 8th Street NW, Washington, DC and noticed that people were waiting on the corner & a police woman was blocking traffic. When reached the corner I heard a murmur from a woman nearby saying that it was president-elect Barack Obama who was about to drive by. Right after she said this, I pulled out my camera and recorded president-elect Barack Obama’s motorcade driving west on E street.

I expect to see this motorcade more often in the coming weeks & months.



YouTube video of the “Reclaim the Streets” demonstration [Summer 2001]
|| 11/21/2008 || 5:42 pm || Comments Off on YouTube video of the “Reclaim the Streets” demonstration [Summer 2001] || ||


Music: More bit and Pieces by Coldcut

From Wikipedia:

Reclaim the Streets Reclaim the Streets (RTS) is a collective with a shared ideal of community ownership of public spaces. Participants characterize the collective as a resistance movement opposed to the dominance of corporate forces in globalisation, and to the car as the dominant mode of transport.

Since I was being all nostalgic with the Indymedia entry the other day, I decided to post this YouTube video that my friend Robin made. It was filmed in the summer of 2001 and shows the freedoms that protesters enjoyed in Washington, DC before 9/11. While I was out of town in Saint Louis when this took demonstration place, its interesting to see what Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan looked like seven years ago.



Video of “Dub Prices” by Hutchy
|| 9/19/2008 || 11:30 pm || Comments Off on Video of “Dub Prices” by Hutchy || ||

Last month I posted Hutchy’s video of “Gas Prices” and today he released the video of the Gas Prices’ B side called “Dub Prices.” The dub sound consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is created by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass frequencies or ‘riddim’, adding extensive echo and reverb effects, and dubbing occasional snippets of lyrics from the original version. In regards to “Dub Prices,” the chorus can still be heard throughout the song, but the vocals have been removed in place of a more “dubbed out” sound. The video takes some of the funnier parts of the first video (like “I <3 Dub”) and mixes it up for one cute video. I especially like the visual reverb effect that the director uses near the end.


Related Music Entries:

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Video of “Gas Prices” by Hutchy
|| 8/4/2008 || 10:37 am || Comments Off on Video of “Gas Prices” by Hutchy || ||

Two weeks ago I ran into Hutchy outside of Wonderland Ballroom here in DC. I was there for the monthly Funk DC party. Hutchy gave me the CD and said “This iz da fresh shit mon,” which I laughed at because anytime someone gives you their CD it’s always the freshest in their head. I put it my pocket for the rest of the night and left it on my dresser until last Saturday afternoon. I popped it in my CD player and actually enjoyed the track. I think I liked it so much because this reggae tune takes on a few contemporary issues that are important to people; namely gas prices, corporate control, and the mortgage crisis.

This morning I got word via my RSS from Brian Liu that ToolboxDC, a creative firm owned & operated by a couple of my friends, had made a video of the tune (below). It was directed by my friend Robin, who I’ve mentioned here before and it features some bicycle riding, scenes from around Washington, DC, and a bunch of cameos from my friends- including one of the DJs who I saw the night Hutchy gave me the cd!


For more information on Hutchy, check out his record label Ruffcut Records or his MySpace page.



Artomatic 2008 Opening Night
|| 5/10/2008 || 12:25 pm || Comments Off on Artomatic 2008 Opening Night || ||

Alfonso & Farrah @ my Artomatic exhibit space
Photo by Alex from There Were Ten Tigers

After working rather hard the last two weeks on getting my Artomatic space ready and operational, I was pleased that the evening went by quickly & smoothly. When I left the building at around 1:00am, the doorman had clicked just under 5,000 people and I’d say I spoke to at least 50 people (about 1% of the total) while manning my little corner space. Since my spot is in an out-of-the-way location (like how this website used to be), I received less foot traffic (aka eyes/visits) than the central spaces and my neighbor wasn’t around to show up and turn on her exhibit’s lights. Neither of those issues really bothered me as much as being harped on about not having promotional materials.

The aim was to save paper and to challenge people into thinking & remembering. Specifically, if they cannot remember my name amongst a thousand other artists, would they remember my art? Well the easy answer, or at least the one that presented itself, was that people prefer to have a token of remembrance and are disappointed when one is not offered. It’s not like the Artomatic floor map in their hands says nothing, rather, it says my name quite clearly: Nikolas R. Schiller. I even own it as a domain name: www.Nikolas R Schiller.com, so the visitors had some generic token, but it clearly was not good enough; it needed to be personalized, beyond the passive note that they could have left in the RECORD book.

Today I am going to drop off some Tacky Flyers that I printed in for North, South, East, Westminster in September of 2006. They’ve been collecting dust in my basement because I got them for free when I ordered the NSEWestminster flyers, and have always thought they were unprofessional and ugly. To subvert that issue, I am going to place a sign above the flyers noting that they are, in fact, Tacky Flyers.

In some ways by identifying them as such, it calls out anyone else who chooses to use those flyers for promoting their business or event. As noted above, they were just collecting dust in my basement and I didn’t have any intended use for them except to use as scrap materials in some future art project. And in the whole “saving paper visit website” context, the use of these flyers *is* recycling. While the 27.5 year-old Nikolas would not have made the same flyer that the 25.75 year-old Nikolas made, I am able to now offer a token of my own personal remembrance– even if it’s in the form of a Tacky Flyer.

Aside from the promotional material requests, I had a really fun time meeting and chatting with people. I have not even attempted to look through the other artwork in the building, but plan on doing a floor-by-floor analysis in the not-so-distant future. It would be interesting to make an interactive map of the entire building, but I don’t think I have the time to do it.

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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