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My Artomatic 2008 Top 100 by Floor
|| 5/24/2008 || 2:06 pm || 7 Comments Rendered || ||

At around 1pm on Friday, May 23rd, 2008, I began walking through the entire Artomatic venue floor by floor with the intent of making a top 5 artist listing for each floor. After walking one quarter of the way through my first floor I decided to expand listing to the top 10 of each floor, and after doing some quick math, I decided to round up and give each of the 9 floors a top 11.

First & foremost this listing is not perfect nor am I trying to pass judgment with respect to other artists talents or styles. Any person who decides to make a Top 100 will have a completely different listing based on their own personal tastes. A few of my own personal friends are not listed here because while I like their art, its not something that I would really like to have hanging on my walls. Also some people got left out because their floor had too much other fine artwork to choose from. The method I used to construct this listing is not based on any exact science or talent threshold, but simply, I asked myself if would I pay money to have this in my house? Does this fit the aesthetics that I prefer to have displayed in my house? And with the proper supplies, can I reproduce the artwork on display? Is there some intrinsic aspect of the artwork that makes it stand out?

I tend to visually deconstruct all artwork, animations, video segments, infographics, and maps etc. that are presented to me. I have an active imagination that begins this visual interpretation process the moment I gaze upon something. Most of what I saw at Artomatic did not require much thought to decipher and generally speaking, it’s why I am not interested in a lot of contemporary art in general. Artomatic, however, provides an excellent glimpse into the Washington, DC area’s arts scene.

Surprisingly many artists do not have their own websites or did not take the time to adequately fill out their on-line Artomatic artist profile where they could link from. I did not take the lack of personal website into consideration for inclusion in the listing below. Maybe the next listing should be based strictly on Artomatic artist’s websites? In the listing below I link to the artist’s website or Artomatic artist catalog page and include the cryptic location of the artist’s exhibit space.

The following is a comprehensive listing of my favorite 100 visual artists out of the 1,000+ artists participating in Artomatic 2008:

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A sampling of Artomatic 2008 YouTube Videos
|| 5/20/2008 || 6:25 pm || Comments Off on A sampling of Artomatic 2008 YouTube Videos || ||

I am not posting all of them, but this set shows about 75% of what has been put on-line. I’m going to do another post later this month when I find more videos.


Jolene Goes Artsy: Ricardo Penuela Pava : Artomatic 2008

Jolene Goes Artsy: Gregory Ferrand: Artomatic 2008

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Tag Galaxy [featuring Artomatic 2008 photos]
|| 5/19/2008 || 11:20 pm || Comments Off on Tag Galaxy [featuring Artomatic 2008 photos] || ||

tag galaxy showing Artomatic photographs from Flickr

Tag Galaxy is an interactive viewing environment for Flickr photographs. While I am not a big fan of hosting my artwork on Flickr, I find some of the derivative applications intriguing. I like how this viewing environment has a limit on the number of photographs being displayed, but I don’t really like the lack of zooming in to the photographs. Its more of a thumbnail earth than a galaxy, but it’s fun to use. The image above shows a small sampling of the Artomatic 2008 photographs that have been uploaded to Flickr since the exhibit opened. [via]



Swampoodle Quilt #3
|| 5/14/2008 || 6:12 pm || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt #3 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Swampoodle Quilt #3

Using this portion of Swampoodle Quilt #2, I constructed this derivative Diamond Quilt Projection map of the area around the Artomatic 2008 venue in the Swampoodle neighborhood in Washington, DC.

After making this map I conceived an alternative procedural route to constructing future derivative maps. Those of you that have read this blog for awhile know that I do sequential maps, where you can literally see the visual process of what part of the previous map was used to construct the next map. However, this recursive process shows all the intermediate maps, when sometimes I just want to get to the final map. So the idea is to make smaller maps, like 12,000 x 12,000 (square not 3:2) and sample these maps first and not publish the intermediate maps. For example, I make a map of a new location and after processing that map, I sample it and render another map, sample that map, and render that map as the final map of the geography. The difference here is that I would not publish the intermediate maps as [City] Quilt #2, #3, etc. but just the final map. I’m going to try that next.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Swampoodle Quilt #2
|| 5/13/2008 || 4:43 pm || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt #2 || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Swampoodle Quilt #2

Using this portion of Swampoodle Quilt, I constructed this derivative Dodecagon Quilt Projection map of the area around the Artomatic 2008 venue in the Swampoodle neighborhood in Washington, DC. Up next is second derivative map that samples a portion of this map.

View the Google Map of the Swampoodle neighborhood in Ward 6 of Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the details:

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Exhibit Fly-Through in Reverse Slow-Motion @ Artomatic 2008
|| 5/12/2008 || 12:25 pm || Comments Off on Exhibit Fly-Through in Reverse Slow-Motion @ Artomatic 2008 || ||

Last night I took a 42 second fly-through of my Artomatic 2008 exhibit that I recorded on Friday afternoon and stretched & reversed the footage into a 3 minute and 30 second abstract animation. The video starts at the RECORD book, then pans & zooms into Freedom Plaza on Federal Triangle Quilt #4, pans across Nova et Accvratissima Totivs Terravm Oribis Tabvla [2008], zooms up close to Charlotte Spheres, and pans back over to Nova et Accvratissima Totivs Terravm Oribis Tabvla [2008] and ends.

Audio is from two tracks on disc one of Cold Krush Cuts by DJ Food & Coldcut (Ninja Tune 1997). It features a sermon I believe to be from Rev. Billy Graham about the Bug’s eye view versus the God’s eye view.

::::::::::Text of the sermon::::::::::

People who fly have a different view of the world than those who spend their lives on the ground. A very wise man once wrote a poem while he was flying, and he called this poem “The God’s Eye View,” and he said that this view was entirely different than the view he always had on the ground, which he called “The Bug’s Eye View.”

Out there, somewhere, in the air we fly through, exists an old Persian legend much like this poem about a bug who spent his entire life in the world’s most beautifully designed Persian rug. All the bug ever saw in his lifetime were his problems. They stood up all around him. He couldn’t see over the top of them, and he had to fight his way through these tufts of wool in the rug to find the crumbs that people had spilled on the rug. And the tragedy of the story of the bug in the rug was this: that he lived and he died in the world’s most beautifully designed rug, but he never once knew that he spent his life inside something which had a pattern. Even if he, this bug, had even once gotten above the rug so that he could have seen all of it, he would have discovered something – that the very things he called his problems were a part of the pattern.

Have you ever felt like that bug in the rug? That you are so surrounded by your problems that you can’t see any pattern to the world in which you live? Have you heard anybody say lately that the world is a total mess? That, my friends, is the Bug’s Eye View, and seeing only a little of the world, me might be inclined to think that this is true.

A better quality version of the video is viewable on Facebook.


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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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the Artomatic Artist Catalog [PWND] – with updates
|| 5/8/2008 || 6:10 pm || Comments Off on the Artomatic Artist Catalog [PWND] – with updates || ||

Artomatic's artist catalog alaphabet hack

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What the Artomatic 2008 venue looked like in March of 2005
|| 5/6/2008 || 4:34 pm || Comments Off on What the Artomatic 2008 venue looked like in March of 2005 || ||

My next map will feature the area around the 2008 Artomatic venue. On Google Maps, which currently shows the geography in April of 2002, the location is still a parking lot. Since the venue is located within the 12 mile perimeter of passive censorship on Google Maps you don’t see the construction or completion of the office building.



The Base Map Installation @ Artomatic
|| 5/5/2008 || 1:15 pm || Comments Off on The Base Map Installation @ Artomatic || ||

About a month ago when I was planning out my Artomatic exhibit I came up with the idea to do a time-lapse video as a means to promote & showcase my upcoming exhibit. My friend Brian Liu made a similar styled video and I thought it would be fun to make one that shows both the location of the exhibit and teases viewers into seeing the actual exhibit.

The process involved in making the video was rather straightforward. Back in mid-April I went through my collection of printed maps and picked out a few that I didn’t care for. Then I went to my nearby CVS and purchased about 6 more DC, Maryland, and Virginia maps. I cleared out my dining room and laid out all the maps to see if they would cover the 12′ x 8′ space that I am alloted at Artomatic and once I realized that I had enough maps I began to cut them into roughly 1′ x 2′ sections. After that I went to the hardware store and purchased some wheatpaste and a paint brush. Finally, I contacted my friend Robin who’s done similar videos before and bounced the idea off of him. He thought it was a decent concept and after a few minor delays on Friday, April 25th, 2008 we went to the Artomatic space and recorded the entire installation from start to finish. About a week later I got the raw video from him, last night I edited it in Final Cut Pro, and today I uploaded it to YouTube.

I chose to use the tune “The Dub and the Restless” by Sonic Boom because it’s been a favorite of mine for ages and I felt it captured the essence of the time-lapse video quite well. I have contacted the musician and hopefully he’ll continue to let me use the video without issue.

Tomorrow I am going to the Artomatic space and will be doing some touch-up work to the wall because after my last visit to the site I noticed some of the map’s have become unstuck and I need to make sure they are securely fixed to the wall. Later this week I will be going to the space and putting up my maps over “the base map.” I’ll probably need to get some extra lighting in place and after that it should be ready for Friday’s opening! I have a couple other ideas for the exhibit, but they’ll be shared here when the time comes.

If you are in the Washington, DC area this Friday, please stop by and say hello!


Looks like someone from NOMA gave the Artomatic organizers one crappy raster graphic to use— notice the pixilation on their logo!

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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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  • thank you,
    come again!