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[Found Maps] License Plate Maps of DC & Maryland at Artomatic 2009
|| 7/23/2009 || 9:15 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

On the last day of Artomatic 2009 I decided to traverse all 9 floors and come up with a Top 100 similar to the one I made last year. While I haven’t posted my Top 100 of Artomatic 2009 yet and frankly I am still debating on whether I’ll go through the task of coding it all, I did, however, find some maps by Ian Bird that I wasn’t expecting.

While there are already other people who make License Plate Maps, I like the nuanced detail of his maps (above). Unlike the other license plate map artists, I sincerely doubt they have made a map that cartographically shows each of the eight wards of Washington, DC as well as each county in the state of Maryland. No matter what, Ian Bird is definitely going into the Top 100 (if I ever post it).


Related Found Maps:

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My Brash poem from Artomatic 2009
|| 6/18/2009 || 10:34 pm || Comments Off on My Brash poem from Artomatic 2009 || ||

Inverted scan of the poem

Brash is a poet that goes around Artomatic and leaves each participating artist a poem taped on to their exhibit wall. This week I noticed that my poem had been taped up to my exhibit space, so I decided to take it home, scan it, and post it here on-line like I did with last year’s poem. However, unlike last year, where Brash wrote about my entire exhibit, this year Brash wrote specifically about my Israel / Palestine 1993 map. From my understanding, Brash will probably write a poem for EVERY artist (thats over a thousand poems!) at Artomatic 2009. Brash, if you are reading this, thank you! I sincerely enjoy your creative spirit!


Related Artomatic Entries:

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YouTube Video: “A Fly on the Wall at Artomatic”
|| 6/15/2009 || 4:36 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Video: “A Fly on the Wall at Artomatic” || ||

On Saturday June 13th, 2009, I attended the Artomatic “Meet The Artist Night.” As an experiment, I decided to place my digital camera on my exhibit wall. This time-lapse video documents what it would be like to be a fly on the wall at my Artomatic 2009 exhibit.

About midway through the video, I remove the camera from the wall and a friend takes a photo of me with a couple friends and then I place the camera back on the wall for the remainder of the filming.


Music used in the video is Azul (Gianma’s Drum and Bass Remix) by Natalia Clavier from her El Arbol EP (2008).



You can also view a somewhat better quality version of the video on Facebook.



I am mentioned in today’s Washington Post article “Artomatic ’09: Survival Tips From an Expert”
|| 6/5/2009 || 12:51 pm || Comments Off on I am mentioned in today’s Washington Post article “Artomatic ’09: Survival Tips From an Expert” || ||

In today’s Weekend section of the Washington Post there is an article titled Artomatic ’09: Survival Tips From an Expert*. In the article staff writer Michael O’Sullivan follows around Phillip Barlow, one of the DC area’s biggest art collectors, and asks him questions about how to go about exploring the 9 floors of art at Artomatic.

Near the end of the article Michael O’Sullivan writes:

Okay, spill it: So who does the collector like? Barlow wouldn’t give a Top 10 list or even a favorite floor. But he did express interest in — or lingered longingly in front of — the work of several artists. Here’s a partial list of his favorites:

Floor 9: Jessica Van Brakle.

Floor 8: Jared Davis, Nikolas R. Schiller.

Floor 7: Jeremy Arn.

Floor 6: Jen Dixon.

Floor 5: Mark Jude, Meinir Wyn Jones, Stephen Reveley, Michael Enn Sirvet, Steve Strawn.

Floor 2: Drew Graham, Kate McGovern.

Still, Barlow cautions against using his taste alone as a guide, adding that the secret to Artomatic’s success is volume, volume, volume. “There’s just so much stuff here that I can practically guarantee that something’s going to be new or interesting,” he says. “To someone.”

Read the entire article here. I plan on stopping by Artomatic this evening around 7pm. Maybe I will see you there?


* This article’s title in the print edition is different from the on-line edition. The print edition is titled Artomatic ’09: Survival Tips From an Expert while the on-line edition is titled Annual Artomatic Show Exhibits the Works of More Than 1,000 Artists.


Related Artomatic Entries:

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My Artomatic 2009 Opening Night Exhibit Dissected on Flickr
|| 6/3/2009 || 7:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

For my second official upload to Flickr, I continued last year’s practice, and uploaded a photo I took of my Artomatic 2009 exhibit on opening night. By adding notes over every part of the display photograph on Flickr, you can click on the embedded links and view the respective content on my website. If you are unable to make it to this year’s exhibition, I hope this dissection satiates your curiosity.



A Navy Yard Perspective
|| 5/30/2009 || 1:43 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 9,000 X 6,000 :
A Navy Yard Perspective by Nikolas R. Schiller

While on blogging hiatus, I made this map on May 12th, but didn’t post it. I don’t really have any rationale for not posting it except that I wanted to take a month off from blogging to see where my daily visitor threshold was; as in finding how many people visited my website without daily blogging. So in order to ascertain the data, I purposely withheld this entry.

Following up last year’s Artomatic maps, which also featured the area prior to development, I decided to try something a little different. When making this map I spent a lot of time working with the field of view parameters to create the depth of perspective. In the foreground (the lower half) you have a somewhat close-up view of the area around the Navy Yard Metro station in Southeast, Washington, DC and in the upper half you have a larger field of view that appears to stretch out to infinite. The aerial photography was taken in the spring of 2005 before the stadium and subsequent nearby development had been completed. Even if you look at the current Google Maps of the area, the construction of this year’s Artomatic venue had not even began.


View the Google Map of the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, which features newer imagery

: detail of the Navy Yard Metro prior to construction :

View the rest of the map details:

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My maps on display at Artomatic 2009
|| 5/29/2009 || 3:10 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Click on the maps to view their respective blog entries


A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

This antique map mashup is over 400 years in the making. It features the Library of Congress‘ copy of Willem Janszoon Blaeu’s Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula, which was published in Amsterdam in 1606. I removed the original Mercator-inspired map from the center and kept the highly decorative border similar to my other antique map mashups. The border contains allegorical drawings of the seven known planets, the four elements, the four seasons, and the seven wonders of the ancient world (copied from Dutch painter Maarten van Heemskerck [1498-1574]). This border was used on hundreds of subsequent maps for the next 50+ years by Blaeu and his son on a variety of maps. Interestingly, Washington, DC has a few modern replicas of the seven ancient wonders, but I’ll let you figure out which ones they are! (Anyone want to guess which two I can see from my rooftop?!?) The name of the map is a play on words based on the 18th century naming convention “A New and Accurate Map..” The central portion of the map features modified aerial photography (an arabesque) from the USGS (taken in the spring of 2005) of the circularly-shaped Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall in Washington, DC.


Israel / Palestine 1993

This map is derived from a scanned map of Israel & Palestine from the “Atlas of the Middle East,” which was published in January 1993 by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and obtained from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. At the time of it’s creation I was working at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab studies and my coworker’s vacation to Lebanon had to be cancelled due to an Israeli military incursion. I chose the map because of the way the occupied Palestinian territories were shaded on the map. The CIA chose to use rather ugly black diagonal lines to say “status still undetermined” and when I modified the map something interesting happened. The stripes became the points on a hexagram or Star of David, a recognized symbol of the Jewish state of Israel. To further express my feelings toward the continued occupation & military incursion, I added the iconic image of Palestinian defiance, a cartoon character by Naji Al-Ali named Handala to the lower corner of the map. Until his assassination in 1987, Ali used this character throughout his body of work as means to convey his displeasure toward the way the issue has been handled. The aim of this map is spark dialog so that peace may prevail.


Superdome Quilt – 1st Derivative #2

The day after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sent airplanes equipped with cameras to the gulf region to assess the damage. A few days later they released these high-resolution aerial photographs of New Orleans to the public and I downloaded the two tracts that contained the flooded area around the severely damaged Superdome. Shortly thereafter I made a couple maps based on this imagery and then tried out my new procedure of recursive sampling (a quasi-fractal) to make a highly detailed tessellation of the area. As you can see in the map, the blue hues are due to flooding of the streets and the little yellow blips around the map are what is left of the roof of the Superdome. A genuine question can be asked, if I were to obtain the imagery of the Superdome today, what would it look like? This map captured a moment in time that affected the lives of millions and I can only wonder what will happen when the next category 5 hurricane hits the next urban area. Sadly, the question is not if, but when….


I am located on the 8th floor of Artomatic 2009. Hope to see you!



My Brash Poem from Artomatic 2008
|| 6/5/2008 || 5:32 pm || Comments Off on My Brash Poem from Artomatic 2008 || ||

Inverted scan of the poem

Brash is a poet that goes around Artomatic and leaves each artist a poem. Last week I noticed that my poem had been taped up to my exhibit space, so I decided to take it home, scan it, and post it here on-line. Word is that Brash will probably have a poem made for EVERY artist (thats a thousand poems!) at Artomatic 2008. Brash, if you are reading this, thank you!

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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:

+ MORE



24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King
|| 5/22/2008 || 12:28 pm || Comments Off on 24 on 14th – One Long Day on 14th by Graeme King || ||

On April 19th, 2008 I met Graeme King near the Black Cat nightclub after he had just started his 24 hours on 14th Street project. His goal was to take pictures of people for 24 hours and exhibit the photographs at his Artomatic exhibit space.

I had just finished the VJ setup upstairs in the main room of the Black Cat and was about to head home to change clothes before the evening. Although I didn’t blog about it at the time, that evening I VJed alongside DJ Rekha from New York City. DJ Rehka is a London-born musician who DJs her own blend of contemporary bhangra hip-hop fusion and has been credited with pioneering bhangra music in North America. Her first album, DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, was released in October 2007 on Koch Records, fuses the South Asian genre of bhangra music with international hip-hop and drum beats. It was quite a lot of fun! Click here to download an MP3 from her CD.

Graeme’s photograph of me is unique because he caught me wearing an article of clothing that has been blogged about and even written about in the Washington Post. Look at the sidebar photograph to see another view of the shirt (the photograph was taken nearly one year earlier). Although you can only see the top of the graphic in Graeme’s photograph, it features the close-up detail from Ball of Destruction, which is a map I created in September of 2005 that features a woman textured by aerial photography of the area around White House holding a globe of Hurricane Katrina with a devastated New Orleans in the background.

For the show I wore a shirt that I had recently ordered from France that says “Jeux de mains, Jeux de vilains” which is definitely not something that says Bhangra, but I didn’t know I’d be VJing when I was getting ready for the night. The phrase literally translates to “Hand Games, Evil Hands,” but the proverb has multiple different meanings. From what I understand, the phrase was first was coined during the French Revolution by rich nobles who played Jeu de paume (the precursor to tennis) with rackets & gloves while the poor (the villains according to the nobility) played with their bare hands. Now it’s a traditional proverb adults use when children are playing too rough. It also has a sexual connotation, but I’ll let you figure that out yourself.

Enough about the clothing, check out Graeme’s time-lapse video of his Artomatic installation. His exhibit space is on the south end of the 6th floor. The picture of me above is featured about 27 seconds into the video:





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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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