Francis Hwang
Since 2003
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America

PORTFOLIO (4)
BIO
Francis Hwang is an artist, writer, and software engineer. He was Rhizome's Director of Technology from 2003 to 2006.

Jack Pierson vs Barneys




I'm actually not sure who bloggy and Tyler Green are taking sides with in the Jack Pierson vs Barneys dustup. Barneys supposedly "forged," for its window displays, its own set of Pierson's "trademark" sculptures made out of found sign letters. Pierson is mad, and his gallery Cheim & Read wrote a pedantic letter to the clothier that stops short of asserting an actual intellectual property right but nevertheless accuses the retailer of a "fraudulent situation."

But given that those kinds of sculptures are commonplace--you see them in craft fairs, regional art shows, and T.G.I. Friday's-calibre restaurants--that's a bit like Duchamp writing an indignant letter to a urinal manufacturer. As long as the accusations of "fraud" are flying around, why doesn't Pierson have his gallery write an outraged screed to the stock photography company selling this royalty free image:

nope



Or maybe sling a fraud allegation at painter Leslie Brack while he's at it?

Leslie Brack

READ ON »


MTAA at the big dance…


Update on Collaborative March Madness

Concept Trucking / Leisurearts just wrote to say -

“MTAA has made the final four as a number 11 seed! Your success was modeled/is hitched on George Mason University’s in the NCAA tourney. I will be posting an updated bracket soon! Guess you better start rooting for the Patriots to win it all.”

twhid adds:
I have had zero (or, more likely, negative) interest in this so-called March madness… until now! Go George Mason!



(more update)
The chart is updated. Check it out…

READ ON »


Counter-Surveillance Headdress


csheaddress1.2-thumb.jpg

Become a Target of Heightened Surveillance

The purpose of the Counter-Surveillance Headdress, by Gloria Sed, is to empower the wearer by allowing him/her to claim a moment of privacy in the Big Brother world.

The design of the headdress borrows from Islamic and Hindu fashion to comment on the racial profiling of Arab and Arab-looking citizens that occurred post-9/11. The design of the headdress is thus a contradiction: while its goal is to hide the wearer, it makes the wearer a target of heightened surveillance.

The laser tikka (forehead ornament) is attached to a hooded vest and reflective shawl. The laser is activated by pressing a button on the left shoulder of the vest. When pointed directly into a camera lens, the laser creates a burst of light masking the wearer

READ ON »


Future of Television Conference


<p>

Satellite provider EchoStar has launched a mosaic video application (showcase) that will enable viewers to watch six TV thumbnailed video channels and access an interactive menu concurrently, reports CED Magazine.

Powered by OpenTV set-top software, the mosaic and interactive elements, offered on channel 100, follow some earlier work with the technology by EchoStar. In 2004, the DBS service provider offered mosaics to support the Summer Olympics and for coverage of the Presidential elections.

A mosaic thumbnail, once selected by a customer, will be transitioned to full-screen video.

Cable also has some grand plans for mosaic video applications. The Comcast Media Center and GuideWorks, the Comcast/Gemstar-TV Guide joint venture, are developing "video-rich navigation" enhancements for interactive program guides.

Cable has a technological advantage over satellite because signals can be sent two ways. Without a two-way path, satellite operators can offer simultaneous viewing of channels or provide VOD via cable PVR boxes. Programming can be downloaded and stored for later retrieval. That's what DVB-H does, too.

How long until WiFi, WiMax or DVB-H deliver multi-media for Playstation Portables? You decide.

Related DailyWireless stories include; IP-TV Networking, Bricklin Installs FiOS, The Verizon/Yahoo DSL Deal: $14.95, SBC Picks IP-TV Settops, The Free Triple Play, VDSL-2 Ratified, IPTV: Is It Soup Yet?, IP-TV Settops, Legislators: Don't Mess With SBC, DirecTV + WiMax?, Duopoly Laws, Mobile TV Expands, Video Search and Big Media Mobilizes.

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University of Georgia's Peabody Archive selects SAMMA for videotape migration project


Media Matters' automated system to preserve and digitize priceless collection

The University of Georgia’s Peabody Archives has signed with Media Matters to use their System for the Automated Migration of Media Archives, or SAMMA, to migrate over 2,000 recordings submitted by local television stations around the United States for consideration in the annual Peabody Awards competition between 1973 and 1990. The project, funded by the National Park Service’s “Save America’s Treasures

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Discussions (176) Opportunities (7) Events (2) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Rhizome Commissions: Voting starts


Hi everybody,

The voting for the 2005-2006 Rhizome Net Art Commissions is now
underway. If you are eligible to vote, please go to
http://rhizome.org/commissions/voting/ to vote for your favorite
proposals.

This is the second year we have used this process, and last year it
went off without a hitch. My only major problem with last year was that
voter turnout was sort of low, so please spend some time to evaluate
the applicants' proposals and let your vote be counted. After all, this
is not another silly online poll. Your vote will have a genuine effect
on the decisions regarding who will be awarded ... so if you care at
all about the proposals you like, and the art you like, getting a
commission, please take the time to vote!

I have emailed all the candidates, and asked them:

+ not to participate in list discussion on any of the work under
consideration.
+ not to change their proposal sites during the discussion in an
attempt to win more votes.

For everyone else, please remember to be polite in discussing the
submissions. We want people to talk openly about the proposals, but we
also have to keep in mind that in any open call like this, you're going
to get proposals that vary in quality. So please accentuate the
positive. We want this to be a pleasant experience for every artist who
submits a proposal.

Thanks in advance for participating. And please email me if you have
any questions about how this whole thing is supposed to work.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the rapture and anti-environmentalism


Hi Curt,

I'm probably using my words imprecisely, again. I don't know you that
well, but you seem like a moderate to me. Mostly when I say "moderate"
I'm thinking about what criteria a person uses to arrive at ethical &
political decisions, and how willing they are to admit to their own
ambivalences or change their minds publically or offer respect and
consideration to those with whom they disagree. As opposed to
fundamentalism, which obviously can take on many stripes: Christian,
Muslim, Marxist, etc., etc. Ultimately what's at stake is the ability
to deal with the basic fact that life and society are often
complicated, and that any simple way of seeing the world is probably a
lie.

Thanks for being open to this discussion in a place like this.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On Mar 22, 2005, at 3:33 PM, curt cloninger wrote:

> Hi Francis,
>
> I'm probably not what you'd call a moderate Christian. I walk up to
> strangers on the street and pray with them. You and I disagree about
> most of the issues you mention (abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage,
> Christian intention of US founding fathers). The point is, there's a
> way to love and respect people with whom you disagree.
>
> As far as being the defender of orthodox Christianity versus
> contemporary misunderstandings and oversimplifications of it, no
> thanks. It's taken me two days to refute 1 Bill Moyers overstatement.
>
> http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew13:9-17
>
> peace,
> curt
>
>
> Francis Hwang wrote:
>
>> True enough. And I suppose it's one paradox about this issue, that
>> those who are most moderate about their faith are those who tend to
>> be
>> more quiet about it.
>>
>> But then, when other people are loudly hijacking a thing that you
>> yourself stand for, what is your moral and social responsibility to
>> stand up and be counted as a moderate? I'm willing to believe that
>> there are plenty of good-hearted, sensible Christians in the U.S. But
>> if their faith is being hijacked politically to spread an agenda of
>> fear and ignorance, to what extent are they responsible for standing
>> up? I know there are some Christians who are doing so--heck, the
>> Roman
>> Catholic church has just started making moves about being
>> anti-death-penalty--but it feels to me like many are not.
>>
>> When the priest at my parent's church said those things about Iraqis,
>> that was the thing that upset me the most. What he said about
>> Iraqis--that suicide bombings happen there because they value life
>> differently there--struck me as the sort of comfortable middle-class
>> lie that people tell themselves to give themselves a reason not to
>> get
>> involved. The priest seems like a nice, well-meaning guy, but I start
>> to wonder: The United States is a country at war. In Iraq, scores of
>> people are dying everyday because of what we've done. Shouldn't
>> somebody who's devoted his life to serving God's will be able to take
>> the risk to speak out? Shouldn't we be able to expect some measure of
>> moral courage from, of all places, a church?
>>
>> This isn't just a problem with only Christianity, of course. I wonder
>> if Muslims have a similar responsibility to spend more energy to
>> counter the fundamentalist strains in their midst. And although I
>> don't
>> have to deal with this in my own religious backyard, I've got similar
>> issues, in a much smaller way, when it comes to the nascent scene of
>> Ruby programmers. I just suggested that for next year, the national
>> conference be held in a city in Canada (Vancouver? Montreal?) so that
>> non-U.S.-citizens who are skittish about getting entered into a
>> biometric database at the border can come. The average Rubyist, on
>> one
>> level, is quite like the average Christian: They both want to live
>> their lives and celebrate certain modest activities, free of the
>> burden
>> of political participation. But shouldn't we be taking on that burden
>> anyway?
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: the rapture and anti-environmentalism


True enough. And I suppose it's one paradox about this issue, that
those who are most moderate about their faith are those who tend to be
more quiet about it.

But then, when other people are loudly hijacking a thing that you
yourself stand for, what is your moral and social responsibility to
stand up and be counted as a moderate? I'm willing to believe that
there are plenty of good-hearted, sensible Christians in the U.S. But
if their faith is being hijacked politically to spread an agenda of
fear and ignorance, to what extent are they responsible for standing
up? I know there are some Christians who are doing so--heck, the Roman
Catholic church has just started making moves about being
anti-death-penalty--but it feels to me like many are not.

When the priest at my parent's church said those things about Iraqis,
that was the thing that upset me the most. What he said about
Iraqis--that suicide bombings happen there because they value life
differently there--struck me as the sort of comfortable middle-class
lie that people tell themselves to give themselves a reason not to get
involved. The priest seems like a nice, well-meaning guy, but I start
to wonder: The United States is a country at war. In Iraq, scores of
people are dying everyday because of what we've done. Shouldn't
somebody who's devoted his life to serving God's will be able to take
the risk to speak out? Shouldn't we be able to expect some measure of
moral courage from, of all places, a church?

This isn't just a problem with only Christianity, of course. I wonder
if Muslims have a similar responsibility to spend more energy to
counter the fundamentalist strains in their midst. And although I don't
have to deal with this in my own religious backyard, I've got similar
issues, in a much smaller way, when it comes to the nascent scene of
Ruby programmers. I just suggested that for next year, the national
conference be held in a city in Canada (Vancouver? Montreal?) so that
non-U.S.-citizens who are skittish about getting entered into a
biometric database at the border can come. The average Rubyist, on one
level, is quite like the average Christian: They both want to live
their lives and celebrate certain modest activities, free of the burden
of political participation. But shouldn't we be taking on that burden
anyway?

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On Mar 21, 2005, at 10:01 PM, curt cloninger wrote:

> Hi Francis,
>
> You'd be right about some Christians and wrong about other Christians.
> Most of the "orthodox" Christians alive in the world today are
> actually African Anglicans or South American Pentacostals.
> Contemporary Protestant Christianity in America has a lot to answer
> for. It's often badly exercised Christianity. But Christianity is
> also being exercised properly all over the place (even in the US) with
> the standard miraculous results.
>
> peace,
> curt
>
> Francis Hwang wrote:
>
>> Now. If I didn't have many Christians who I love in respect in my
>> family, I would be forced to conclude this about contemporary
>> Christianity: That everything good and hopeful about it has been
>> hollowed out, that all that is left is a shell of an religion grafted
>> to a political machine. That those who seek solace in Christian faith
>> are invariably weak or small-minded or simply psychotic, and they
>> would
>> accept the uncritical belief in a spiritual mystery over the burdens
>> of
>> rational knowledge and personal introspection. That their political
>> agenda is even more of a danger to the United States than that of the
>> terrorists of Al Qaeda, because while such terrorists may seek to
>> kill
>> our bodies and disrupt our economy, contemporary Christians seek
>> instead to rewrite history, replace democracy with theocracy, and
>> turn
>> back the Enlightenment.
>>
>> Would I be wrong, Curt?
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: the rapture and anti-environmentalism


Hi Curt,

I'd agree with you that Christians in the U.S. aren't oppressed, but
can at times be pre-judged depending on how you're talking to. I'd also
say that it's not really okay, which is why I find myself trying to be
a voice of moderation whenever I'm in conversations where somebody
else--an ex-goth hacker who was demonized in high school for wearing
all black, a gay man from Texas who has been cast out of his household
by his fundamentalist parents--makes sloppy generalizations calling all
Christians narrow-minded hate-mongers. Most of my family is Christian,
and they're loving, open-minded people, and I'm happy for their faith.

But that being said, when it comes to being prejudged as a Christian,
what else do you expect? People get prejudged all the time. I get
prejudged in plenty of ways: Some people think I'm amoral because I'm
an atheist, some people think I'm automatically good at math and
computers because I'm Asian, some people think I'm gay because I care
about my appearance. One key difference here is that some sorts of
prejudgments are far more harmful than others, and Christians in this
country don't usually have to worry as much about what happens because
of prejudice against them. Even with New York being as smugly godless
as it is, I bet most white Christian fundamentalists here wouldn't
trade places with, say, Amadou Diallo. Or the four boys sent to jail
for "wilding" the Central Park jogger. So you complain that Christians
are being shit on? Get in line.

Besides, Christianity is different from race, gender, and even sexual
orientation in that it is a chosen ethic, not something born into.
People decide to become Christians, so arguably we can infer some level
of conscious belief from that designation than we can't from the fact
that somebody is a Jew or a white male.

And based on my own experiences, if I had to infer something, what
would I infer? Other than with my family, the vast majority of my
experiences with Christianity have been profoundly negative. There were
the Christian parents who forced a high school humanities teacher to
replace a multicultural class unit on the world's religions with one
focusing almost exclusively on Christianity. There were the Christian
parents who helped force one of my favorite university professors out
of school for talking openly in his painting classes about his life as
a gay man. There were the Christian fundamentalists who yelled at some
of my friends as they stepped through the doors of Planned Parenthood.
There was the Christian cult that took one friend, a woman who had been
psychologically shattered by child sexual abuse, and turned her into a
scripture-quoting zombie for a few months, before she snapped out of
it. There was the woman who stalked me incessantly for years, sending
me long rambling emails quoting scripture in a way that suggested she
was confusing me with Jesus Christ. There was the Seventh Day Adventist
minister who ran his Manhattan congregation like they were a bunch of
Unitarians, even hosting a conference about how devout Christians could
relate to the secular world in a way that was genuine and
open--offering me a glimmer of hope for his church until his church
elders got wind of what he was doing and transferred him out.

There was the minister of my parent's church, saying at the last
Christmas mass that the suicide bombings in Iraq are a sign of what
happens to the value of life in a society that does not know Christ.
(Apparently, it is more Christian to drop bombs on somebody from a
plane than to strap that bomb to your own body.) There is a Christian
in the Supreme Court writing opinions saying that this country was
founded on Christian faith. There are Christians in the U.S. Congress
who are so eager to keep Terry Schiavo on a feeding tube that they
subpoenaed her, leading me to wonder if we will actually be subjected
to the ghoulish spectacle of a woman whose brain has largely been
replaced with spinal fluid being carted to Washington D.C. and placed
in front of Congressmen who will watch her in silence, waiting out the
clock.

Now. If I didn't have many Christians who I love in respect in my
family, I would be forced to conclude this about contemporary
Christianity: That everything good and hopeful about it has been
hollowed out, that all that is left is a shell of an religion grafted
to a political machine. That those who seek solace in Christian faith
are invariably weak or small-minded or simply psychotic, and they would
accept the uncritical belief in a spiritual mystery over the burdens of
rational knowledge and personal introspection. That their political
agenda is even more of a danger to the United States than that of the
terrorists of Al Qaeda, because while such terrorists may seek to kill
our bodies and disrupt our economy, contemporary Christians seek
instead to rewrite history, replace democracy with theocracy, and turn
back the Enlightenment.

Would I be wrong, Curt?

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On Mar 21, 2005, at 3:29 PM, curt cloninger wrote:

> Hi Francis,
>
> "Oppression" is surely too strong a word in relation to contemporary
> US Christians (although in Sudan and China it's spot on). "Prejudice"
> may be a more accurate word -- judgment based on hunch/bias vs.
> knowledge.
>
> majority/minority; white/black; rich/poor -- all that is a bogey. You
> don't have to be in a minority for someone to be prejudiced against
> you. You don't have to be non-white for someone to be prejudiced
> against you. You don't have to be poor for someone to be prejudiced
> against you. You simply have to have someone make a prejudgment of
> you not based on fact or logic.
>
> There is this notion that a little prejudice against the current
> majority is just the thing to even out the imbalance of power.
> Creepy.
>
> peace,
> curt
>
>
>
> Francis Hwang wrote:
>
>> I suppose in some ways it depends on your social frame of reference.
>> My
>> mother, who is not particularly political or conservative, but is
>> fairly devoutly Christian, has trotted out the line about Christians
>> being oppressed, which I find kind of unusual, but then, I'm probably
>> the only athiest she knows. On the other hand, many of my friends my
>> age expressed dismay when I told them a few years ago that my dad was
>> getting baptized. I viewed as a mostly positive development, but a
>> lot
>> of my friends grew in repressive environments, and a number of them
>> are
>> gay, which isn't going to make them all gung-ho about religion
>> either.
>> Here in NYC, I don't know many people who I'd consider devout in any
>> form, really, except for a friend of mine who's Muslim and tells me
>> the
>> words "Insh'alla" (sp?) are never far from her lips.
>>
>> So. In a country that's increasingly socially polarized, it's easy to
>> find somebody who doesn't know any Christians, and it's easy to find
>> somebody who doesn't know anybody who's not Christian.
>>
>> As a general line of argument I have to say that I find the idea of
>> Christians being oppressed--at least in the U.S.--a sort of repugnant
>> one borne out of backlash, sort of on par with people talking about
>> white males being an endangered species. But what Curt says is true,
>> in
>> the certain social circles I travel in, and I suppose Curt travels in
>> as well. In conversations with friends and associates who are
>> variously
>> hackers, queers, academics, artists, etc., I find myself defending
>> Christianity most of the time. The time I find myself attacking
>> Christianity is when I'm home for Christmas. ;)
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: the rapture and anti-environmentalism


On Mar 20, 2005, at 7:12 PM, ryan griffis wrote:

>> It's easy to pick on a group that everyone generally despises and no
>> one knows very much about. Do a little research, make some facile
>> conclusions, and then declare whatever you like... (blacks are prone
>> to drug abuse, muslims are prone to terrorism). Politically correct
>> people aren't allowed to say either of those things (and well they
>> shouldn't be), but say anything you like about Christians and the
>> general response is, "that may or may not be true, but I wouldn't put
>> it past 'em."
>
> Sensitivity is in order here curt, but come on... Christianity hardly
> suffers from the same oppressions that either blacks or muslims do in
> the US. but critics should take note of the ability of a small group
> of Christians (that seem to be using the religion to its most
> effective political ends) to use the apparent "widespread" attacks on
> their faith to shore up support - not unlike the disgruntled white
> male syndrome. The critics need to drop the polemics that seem to see
> only one shade of "Christian" and make some coalitions.

I suppose in some ways it depends on your social frame of reference. My
mother, who is not particularly political or conservative, but is
fairly devoutly Christian, has trotted out the line about Christians
being oppressed, which I find kind of unusual, but then, I'm probably
the only athiest she knows. On the other hand, many of my friends my
age expressed dismay when I told them a few years ago that my dad was
getting baptized. I viewed as a mostly positive development, but a lot
of my friends grew in repressive environments, and a number of them are
gay, which isn't going to make them all gung-ho about religion either.
Here in NYC, I don't know many people who I'd consider devout in any
form, really, except for a friend of mine who's Muslim and tells me the
words "Insh'alla" (sp?) are never far from her lips.

So. In a country that's increasingly socially polarized, it's easy to
find somebody who doesn't know any Christians, and it's easy to find
somebody who doesn't know anybody who's not Christian.

As a general line of argument I have to say that I find the idea of
Christians being oppressed--at least in the U.S.--a sort of repugnant
one borne out of backlash, sort of on par with people talking about
white males being an endangered species. But what Curt says is true, in
the certain social circles I travel in, and I suppose Curt travels in
as well. In conversations with friends and associates who are variously
hackers, queers, academics, artists, etc., I find myself defending
Christianity most of the time. The time I find myself attacking
Christianity is when I'm home for Christmas. ;)

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +