"Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
-Alan Watts

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Old Stamp "Karl-Marx-Stadt"

Here's a rather interesting stamp I recently acquired. I was over my grandmother's house one day and she had just received an anonymous donation of old stamps. In fact, she received an entire grocery bag full of them. Now, I'm no stamp collector, but might as well become one because I find many of these stamps quite interesting. This being one of them:  (keep in mind the stamp is only 29mm wide from blue border to blue border)

Right click and select "open in link in new window." Notice how they took care in printing even the smallest of details, the lettering of the background text. It reads Proletarier Aller Lander Vereinigt Euch! which roughly translates to Workers of the World Unite! It's displayed in multiple languages, even english. I find it interesting that such care would be taken to ensure that the text is legible even though without enlarging no human eye could read it. I had to scan it in at 64000 ppi in order to get an enlargement with the largest width being 18 inches.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Image of the Night (14)

My take on creating a simple three dimensional image.

Sorry for the pixelation but I'm going to hold off on uploading a hi-res image as this image might have sparked a project idea.

©Steve Shilling; 2011 - POPD

Friday, November 18, 2011

Letter to a Priest

I've recently been traveling around New York City in an attempt to photograph many of the churches and sacred spaces starting with Manhattan. Recently I stepped inside the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - St. John The Baptist church. It's located at 143 East 17th Street New York, NY 10003. You walk inside this dimly lit space with only one aisle, velvet red carpet, red candles, a beautiful alter and the walls are lined with dramatic paintings. It's a wonderful space and the priest is a kind man who used to build and ride motorcycles. If you ever find yourself in the area, stop by and see if he's in. His name is Father Vasilios Bassakyros.



P.s. It you wish to read the letter it's best if you right click and select open in new window. unless you're running Firefox in which case I believe it does that automatically.
Also, please do not click download file. I understand I'm presenting this file on the web where nothing is safe or private or personal but these are my words and I'd like to feel that I can share my thoughts online.

Information regarding the swastika and it's uses in world religions.
Information taken from:

"The swastika (Sanskrit svastika, "all is well") is a cross with four arms of equal length, with the ends of each arm bent at a right angle. Sometimes dots are added between each arm.

The swastika is an ancient symbol found worldwide, but it is especially common in India. It can be seen in the art of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and Persians as well Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

The swastika's Indian name comes the Sanskrit word svasti, meaning good fortune, luck and well being.

In Hinduism, the right-hand (clockwise) swastika is a symbol of the sun and the god Vishnu, while the left-hand (counterclockwise) swastika represents Kali and magic. The Buddhist swastika is almost always clockwise"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Good Words from Morgan Freeman

Here is a great excerpt from an interview with Morgan Freeman conducted by Mike Wallace. In it Mr. Freeman expresses his dislike towards having a Black History Month and challenges Mike Wallace with a question Mr. Wallace clearly feels uncomfortable answering.  Freeman then goes on to offer a beautiful and simple humanist solution to racism.

To my understanding this is an excerpt from CBS' 60 Minutes conducted by Mike Wallace, one of the show's original correspondents. As to the date of publication, that I do not know.



New Images from a Recent Roll #2

Here are some recent images (about half that I decided were good enough to scan) that I shot. They're only 35mm Agfa slide film images. There's no real thesis that I had in mind when shooting them. Just the usual whatever interests me type of mentality.
Hope you enjoy.



©Steve Shilling II -  2011
A tree that's won against the city.

©Steve Shilling II -  2011

©Steve Shilling II -  2011

©Steve Shilling II -  2011
While walking around Chelsea one morning I found an urban Crucifix. 

©Steve Shilling II -  2011
An especially interesting and somewhat musical find.

©Steve Shilling II -  2011
On the High Line Park

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mouse on the Keys

     Here is a band that I think everyone should experience. They're a Japanese Jazz / Rock band called Mouse on the Keys and here is their song Saigo No Bansan. I'm not entirely certain what the title means but knowing the word 'bansan' means diner and 'saigo' means last, end, completion it could mean something as deep as the last supper or as simple as completing dinner or not doing so (not sure what the no means). Personally I find it to be incredibly gripping music when focused upon. For those of you who enjoy audio over-stimulation such as myself then I feel you'll seriously enjoy picking apart all the dynamic aspects of the drumming and the intricate interplay between the piano and keyboard.
     Admittedly, for all you classically trained musicians who are steadfast in your puritan ways this music may open up your mind...or simply not be for you. Nevertheless it is something you should listen to at least once. It's a bit difficult to accept the wall of sound that is thrown at you initially in songs such as Toccatina but I found myself very quickly (about 35 seconds in) getting in flux with the jam.

Here is a horribly compressed YouTube upload of Mouse on the Keys song Toccatina:

There desire to express visual sensations through the experience of sound (as most successful music attempts to do -in my opinion) leads me to categorize them with bands like The Cinematic Orchestra.
    Here is Last.fm's write up of them which can probably be attributed to Wikipedia:

     "A blend of minimal phrased piano and dynamic drumming. The pursuit of a live experience composed of visual and audio expression.Formed in 2006, with elements of jazz, funk, post‐rock and electronic music, Mouse on the Keys fits into a genre of their own.
     The unique sound of the band’s drums, two pianos, and two keyboards combines the sense of urgency from rock, hard core and heavy metal with tastes of early/contemporary classical, jazz and various dance music.
At their concerts, the band projects a variety of images chosen to match their sound ―views of Tokyo, geometric symbols, 3D objects, and abstractions. Residents of Tokyo, the members of Mouse on the Keys represent the haunting restlessness of their home city at their live appearances. They would transform even a venue in Germany or France into a kind of virtual Tokyo."

     There latest album An Anxious Object (2009) differs from their first album entitled Sezession (2007) but many of the core inspirations and motivations for the band I think can still be felt. I hope you all enjoy Mouse on the Keys. I may have to agree with Youtube user DeSterrennacht when he said this about Saigo No Bansam, "If this was MY last supper, I would be content with crucifixion."



- Here is a link to a copy of the songs that have not been compressed as much: 
  Toccatina:  http://grooveshark.com/s/Toccatina/30NEtw?src=5

  Saigo No Bansan:  http://grooveshark.com/s/+/30NEdj?src=5

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New Filming Project - Never Ending...

     I've signed on to help a friend of mine (Joel Campbell) with a short feature film to begin shooting some time in February. He's set up an IndieGoGo page in order to raise some of the funds necessary to complete this film.

Here is the page: http://igg.me/p/48491?a=299839&i=shlk

     I'd appreciate any and all donations you can offer towards the making of this film. It's going to be an edition to my film reel which will assist in securing future cinematography jobs. Also it'd be appreciated because while the idea and creation of the project is ultimately Joel's I've been working closely with him tweaking the script and location scouting and I really feel that it can be if not an impressive looking film for the budget, certainly a big step towards something.
I believe that as it stands the film with be under the production of CIS Unlimited which is my friend Joel's production company name. The project will be completed in conjunction with Sophisticated Lions production company of which I am a co-founder along with my friend Anthony.
As I said earlier, any and all support you can show would be greatly appreciated, so please check out the campaign page.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Morning - Reunited with a Friend

I had the pleasure of having one of the most enjoyable mornings today. I set out just before six to Joe Junior's on sixteenth and third avenue. The coffee is... so-so, as is the music but the food is delicious and the people are such characters. There I met and was therefore reunited with close friend of mine, Professor Robinson Lilienthal (Phd). I've included a Youtube video that contains a compilation of clips and excerpts from some of his many lectures. Almost exactly one year ago we met on the sidewalk of seventeenth street where he took me on a tour of roughly half the block and taught me about the history of the buildings and the architecture, the sculptural aspects and the neighborhood mentality.  This morning we spoke from our reuniting at the diner till nine o'clock and his topics, as always, held my fascination and intrigue till the very end. We spoke about a multitude of philosophical ideologies, the difficulty he's having in finding a third definition for religion because he in unsatisfied with the two takes society currently holds true. Those are that religion or the idea of the spiritual existence is wholly true and 'physical' and the oppositional idea is that it is strictly metaphorical. Among other things he also spoke to me about his love of the Peter Stuyvesant statue and it's direct influence in the creation of Melville's character Captain Ahab. If I were to report on everything we spoke about I'd undoubtedly be here for at least double the length of time he and I spoke. This is of course due to the fact that my skills as a typist are...somewhat lacking. Anyway, here's the video clip, I hope you all enjoy it. For those of you whom are my family members reading this and are familiar with another one of my close friends Mr. Richard Marcucci I have no doubt that you'll see a striking resemblance both in mannerisms as well as his vocal qualities.