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A Ziploc Bag of Leftovers Overlooked
|| 8/9/2008 || 6:48 pm || Comments Off on A Ziploc Bag of Leftovers Overlooked || ||

The video above shows Thursday night’s dinner in a gallon Ziploc® bag with the text “You are here” left outside of the “Quart Bag” group art exhibit at the Civilian Art Projects. It was supposed to compliment my piece as locationally humorous street art. I only wish I would have taken more quality video to put this together, but I overlooked that technicality myself. Woops.

Check the photos from Friday night here, here, and here.



Photos from last night’s “Quart Bag” exhibition @ the Civilian Art Projects
|| || 12:42 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||


Unidentified woman looking at my piece “Without You I am Lost,”
next to Brook Halvorson’s “Stool Sample – Jeff Koons” and René Treviño’s “Cupcakes for gay Iranians

Inspired by the many things you can do with a quart bag, Civilian Art Projects and friends have invited 100 DC area artists to participate in a community art exhibition called Quart Bag. The exhibition provides an imaginative opportunity for artists to use thirty-two ounces of space within a plastic quart size bag. All works of art will be sold for $100 or less, providing an opportunity for all people to walk home with a piece of art that is FAA approved.

Below are some of the photographs I took last night at the opening reception for Quart Bag at the Civilian Art Projects. There were over 100 different pieces in the show and I managed to photograph about 1/3 of them.




Photograph of exhibition attendees


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Tonight: Quart Bag & a selection of screen grabs featuring my bag
|| 8/8/2008 || 12:36 pm || Comments Off on Tonight: Quart Bag & a selection of screen grabs featuring my bag || ||



The Quart Bag group art show that I wrote about the other day is happening tonight. If you are in the DC area, I hope you come & check it out.



The Vicissitude of the Seasons Explained
|| 8/7/2008 || 1:59 pm || Comments Off on The Vicissitude of the Seasons Explained || ||

The other day I posted the Analemma featured on Bowles 1780 Map of the World. Today I am posting another ancillary chart from the map that I thought was interesting. It is called the Vicissitude of the Seasons and it explains the nature of the seasons in a given year. Vicissitude means “a state of being changeable or in flux; the rise and decline of a phenomenon,” and the transcribed chart below is the explains how the Earth slowly goes from Summer to Spring. I’ve been thinking a lot about the seasons lately and I have been working on a new map to address their change over time.

In this Diagram S represent the Sun, A XII BXII the Earth as moving round the Sun in the plane of the Ecliptic, according to the Order of the Signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. P is the North Pole, C the Arctic Circle, T the Tropic of Cancer, E the Equator, AXIIB the enlightened half of the Earth, where it is Day. BXIIA the darkened half where it is Night and BCA is the boundary of light & darkness. The Earth’s position with respect to the Sun is here shewn at the beginning of Ecliptic and here tis plain that the Earth moves through the Signs Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces (which is from the 21st of March till the 23 of September) the North Pole P is constantly enlightened, and the Northern Places have their days longer than their Nights. But as the Earth proceeds through Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo (which is from the 23rd of September till the 21st of March, the North Pole is constantly in the Dark and the Northern places have their Nights longer their Days.

Thus, supposing the Circle, L to be parallel of Latitude of London, we perceive that a greater part of it is in the Light than in the Dark from the 21st of March to the 23rd of September and the contrary from the 23rd of September till the 21st of March. On these two days it is just half in the light and half in the dark which shews the Days and Nights to be equally long. On the 21st of June it is most of all in the light, which shews that its days are then at the longest and on the 21st of December it is least of all in the light which shews its days are then at the shortest. The like to be understood of any other place situated in the Northern Hemisphere whilst the reverse happens to those in the Southern. But at each Pole there is only one Day and one Night in the whole Year. N.B. In whatever part of the Ecliptic the Earth is in, as seen from the Sun, the Sun is then the opposite part thereof as seen from the Earth.


I think I might use the graphic on the cover of next year’s calendars. Its very similar to the zodiac in Battista Agnese‘s Portolan atlas from 1544 that I used on last year’s calendars.



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The Mad Decent Block Party Video
|| || 10:10 am || Comments Off on The Mad Decent Block Party Video || ||

On the very same weekend in June when the Washington, DC police setup checkpoints in the Trinidad neighborhood, the record label Mad Decent was having their first block party in Philadelphia. I had heard about it on-line, but decided not to take the train up to Philly (regret!). A couple days later I saw the pictures from the event and couldn’t help but be impressed. There is nothing more special than seeing a community come together and have a good time. While the DC police were stripping a neighborhood of its soul, another neighborhood 3 hours away was showing how much soul it really had. Last night the latest Mad Decent Video Podcast was released (below) and really captures the essence of the block party. I hope to attend next year.




To stay up to date with Mad Decent, I highly recommend subscribing to Mad Decent World Wide Radio Podcasts via iTunes and/or their blog. There are always fresh mixes posted and the occasional flier for an upcoming event.

If you are interested in watching more of the Mad Decent Video Podcasts, below are the three previous releases. They are roughly edited (on purpose) and mashed up with quite a bit of cultural ephemera & general randomness. You can also download the videos in MP4 format here if you aren’t using iTunes.



Check the rest:

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Al Franken draws a pretty good map of the United States; then sells it for $200
|| 8/6/2008 || 3:07 pm || Comments Off on Al Franken draws a pretty good map of the United States; then sells it for $200 || ||



Al Franken is running for Senate in Minnesota as a democrat against incumbent Norm Coleman. You can probably request a custom map from his campaign website.



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The Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe Continues To Press The US Goverment on Full Congressional Representation for D.C. Residents
|| || 2:11 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||

Last night the graphic above was forward to me by my friend and fellow activist, Timothy Cooper of World Rights, an NGO that works to promote and protect human rights under principles of international law.

I have worked with Timothy on many different human rights demonstrations in the past involving the OSCE. He was quoted in David Montgomery’s article about me as saying “Nikolas looks better in a Colonial outfit and a tricorner hat than practically anyone I know.” Timothy Cooper is also one heck of a piano player, but what I respect him for most is his ongoing work on behalf of the disenfranchised residents of America’s capital city.

As one of the few activists who have succeeded in placing the international spotlight on Washington, DC’s lack of voting representation, this press release below shows that he’s been continuing the fight. In the Needs Assessment Mission Report[pdf] published by Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights there is a specific paragraph that I don’t think would have been included without his diligence. It references the 2006 OSCE Declaration that we helped lobby for; both on land and water.

W O R L D R I G H T S
Human Rights Advocacy Worldwide

For Immediate Release

Date: August 4, 2008
Contact: Timothy Cooper
Tel: 202.361.0989

ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) PRESSES UNITED STATES ON GRANTING D.C. RESIDENTS FULL CONGRESSIONAL VOTING RIGHTS

Washington, DC—In a “Needs Assessment Mission Report [pdf]” issued by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on July 28, 2008, the OSCE concluded that “[w]hile the United States of America has a long-standing tradition of democratic elections, several issues raised in previous OSCE/ODIHR reports, and those highlighted by OSCE/ODIHR NAM interlocutors, merit further attention.” Among those issues raised in previous OSCE reports is the continuing denial of full congressional representation to the nearly 600,000 residents of Washington, D.C. In its last election observation report issued in 2006, the OSCE called on the U.S. government to grant D.C. residents full congressional voting rights. The United States is obligated to guarantee full representation in Congress to the residents of the District of Columbia under the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document, to which it is party.

The new report’s Executive Summary notes that “only citizens of states are entitled to vote for congressional representation with full voting rights, leaving approximately 600,000 US citizens in Washington DC alone without full representation in Congress….”

The latest report’s findings also state that “[a]ccording to the Constitution, United States citizens who are not citizens of one of the 50 states are not able to vote for members of Congress who have full voting rights in Congress. It is estimated that up to 600,000 citizens in Washington DC alone, without including citizens in US territories, are subject to US laws including taxation and permitted to vote in the presidential election, but cannot fully exercise their voting rights for Congressional representation.”

Worldrights lobbied the OSCE/ODIHR for many years to draw its attention to the willful disenfranchisement of D.C. residents by Congress and the Executive Branch.

The report may be found at: https://www.osce.org/odihr/ or by clicking here[pdf]



The current Democratic Party leadership mentioned in the graphic above have been advocating 1/3 representation for the residents of Washington, DC for far too long. What is funny about the graphic to me is it uses the 1/3 meme that I’ve been pressing for the last few years:

First with the license plate:

Which received mention in the Washington Times

Then the D.C. Flag

….and now the graphic above employs the concept of being begging to the 1/3 meme. I wonder what meme will be next? I can only hope the Democratic Party leadership changes their direction in favor of what Washington, DC residents voted for: statehood or at least full representation in Congress (not one token vote in the House of Representatives and no Senators).



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The Holy Ghost Explosion [“the Messiah” @ Church]
|| 8/5/2008 || 6:34 pm || Comments Off on The Holy Ghost Explosion [“the Messiah” @ Church] || ||

Messiah Remix goes off!!!

“Messiah” is name of a drum & bass track by Kem & Rob Data in 2000 and remixed by Noisa in 2005

Back in April of this year I posted a mashup featuring Islamic architecture with the Athan being dubbed over a Drum & Bass DJ mix. The video above mashes up a scene from some exciting times at what looks to be an Evangelical Christian Church overdubbed by a pre-recorded Drum & Bass DJ mix with David Rodigan as the MC . If I am not mistaken, one of the tracks is Messiah by Konflict (the Noisa remix) and I think the other is Bad Company UK’s “The Nine” but its been years since I’ve listened to this music.



At first I thought it was real, and then I realized the music was dubbed over and I couldn’t help but laugh at the craziness. The video is even funnier with the annotations added. These can be seen by watching the video directly on the YouTube website.



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You Street on YouTube || East Meets West || A Game of Locational Awareness
|| || 2:28 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

The other day after I watched the interview conducted on a bicycle the idea that had been swimming in the back of my head resurfaced. Originally it was going to be something simple, as in, one YouTube video for U Street (sometimes written out as You Street) in Washington, DC that featured me riding down the street at night and another video that would be filmed on the exact same stretch of road, but filmed during the day. By using the YouTube Doubler, the on-line mashup helper, the viewer would be able to simultaneously see the same stretch of road at two different times of the day.

After thinking about the concept more thoroughly, I literally went in a different direction (actually two) and came up with a game of sorts. Last Saturday I filmed myself riding on the same stretch of U Street going to one end of the street and then filmed myself going back to the same point where I started. I then edited the videos so they start where the other on ends and then I placed the two videos side-by-side using YouTube Doubler.

The object of the game is to find the exact location where the videos cross paths. As in, the video on the right features me riding my bike on U Street going due East and the video on the left features me riding my bike due West and somewhere in the videos there is a specific point where the two videos cross paths.

Since they were filmed at different times you won’t actually see me riding down the street, but there is an exact point on the street where the two videos intersect and its up to the viewer to figure out where East meets West or West meets East.

Since I had more traffic going West than I did going East, the West video is slightly longer, but the spot where the two videos cross paths does not change. It might take a couple tries, but eventually you’ll be able to figure out the spot in question. If you need help with a map or two, I created a special Google Map that shows the starting locations of the two videos.

I’ve already found the location, but do you think you can find it? If you do, leave the estimated time in the comment section!! The answer is quite easy.

Click the screen grab below to try it out:

One disappointment with this game is that YouTube’s compression still stinks. I uploaded the videos at 640×480 in size with minimal compression with the hopes that they’d show up less pixilated, but alas the option to view the videos in high-quality was not there when I checked last. I still don’t know why either. The unfortunate result is that you are unable to see as much detail in the videos, which means the game is slightly harder to “win.” Currently Vimeo does not have an autoplay option which makes this mashup impossible on their platform, so there really isn’t much I can do to fix the compression issue.

One idea is to remove the YouTube Doubler component and redesign the videos in Final Cut Pro. By adjusting the size of the final video, I can place both East & West into one video and release the game without compression. This will take me longer to complete, but I think it might be a worthy effort. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this game.




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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.





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  • thank you,
    come again!