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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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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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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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SloMo the Statehood Snail visits Swampoodle
|| 5/9/2008 || 1:13 pm || Comments Off on SloMo the Statehood Snail visits Swampoodle || ||

SloMo the Statehood Snail hanging out at the corner of 1st & M Street NE in Washington, DC

On Tuesday evening after I had finished putting the last coat of wheat paste on to my base map installation at Artomatic, I decided to venture outdoors and place one of my favorite cartopomorphic creatures on to a couple lampposts outside of the venue.

The idea was to see if anyone would recognize the SloMo the Statehood Snail when they visited my exhibit space. He’s placed about six times on the base map and on three lampposts outside of the venue.

Artomatic opens tonight and I look forward to seeing if anyone recognizes him when they visit my exhibit space. My null hypothesis is that visitors will not notice the lil bugger.

SloMo the Statehood Snail outside of the Metro exit on M Street

SloMo the Statehood Snail in a Swampuddle!

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Swampoodle Quilt
|| 5/7/2008 || 6:42 am || Comments Off on Swampoodle Quilt || ||

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

I chose this site because it’s where Artomatic is at!

Swampoodle is an old name used to describe a small section of the H Street neighborhood in Northeast Washington, DC. The area was first settled in the 1850s by immigrants fleeing the Irish potato famine. A geographic approximation of its borders would be K Street to the north, G Street to the south, 1st Street NW to the west, and 2nd Street NE to the east. Through the center of it, just east of North Capitol Street, ran the principal branch of Tiber Creek, creating the low swampy ground from which the area took its name.

A few years ago developers created the North of Massachusetts Avenue Business Improvement District, or NOMA and have tried to rebrand the neighborhood to something different.

When making the map I concluded that at the time of the aerial photography’s acquisition, it was still called Swampoodle and not NOMA. The same goes for Google Maps, which shows an even older glimpse (from spring 2002) of the changing neighborhood.

Personally, I think the name Swampoodle gives the area character in name. In contemporary identity, the area is mostly a bunch of warehouses and parking lots that are about to be developed, so I look forward to seeing a Swampoodle map in 10 years. It will look drastically different and I just hope its not called some focus group-approved abbreviation of a geographic region.

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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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!