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

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:


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

Leslie Brack


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…


Counter-Surveillance Headdress


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


Future of Television Conference


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.


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


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

Director of Technology's report, August 2005

Hi all,

Here's my monthly roundup of big technical things that happened on the
site in the last month:

1. Location by City
We've rolled out selecting location by City. This is selected based on
current populations of Rhizome Members who have opted in to the
Location feature on the country level, and have entered a city as well.
Right now there are cities that can be selected for:

+ Australia
+ Canada
+ France
+ Germany
+ Italy
+ The Netherlands
+ Spain
+ United Kingdom
+ United States

We're planning on reviewing these regularly, to add more cities as they
become necessary.

See the full list at

If you're a Member, you can set your location by going to .

And, of course, if you're not a Member, you can become one at .

2. Front page RSS

If you want to follow the front page in an RSS reader, you can do that

3. Optimizations

Our web traffic has started to climb steadily since we changed our
Membership policy in May, and some of you may have noticed the site
getting a little slower. I'm keeping close tabs on it, making frequent
tweaks to many different pages to speed the site up.

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


Front page RSS

Hey kids,

Quite a few of you have asked for an RSS feed of the front-page reBlog.
Here you go:

As always, a full list of our feeds can be found

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


Rhizome Location: More cities for more countries

Hey everyone,

As promised, I just added more cities to the Location feature. These
countries now have one or more cities belonging to them:

- Australia
- Canada
- France
- Germany
- Italy
- Netherlands
- Spain

I also added Washington D.C. to the U.S.; I had forgotten it last week.
This was an oversight, and not a reflection of my feelings towards the
current Administration. Or of my belief that New York City should
secede from the Union. Honest.

Some of you may be curious as to the policies we're using to determine
what cities get included. My rough rule of thumb is that I look at
every country where 20 or Members have made their Locations visible,
and then I look to see what cities they have entered. I try to create a
city-level Location for every case in which 5 or more Members have
entered it as a city on their own. It's a tremendously imperfect
process, not least because people sometimes live in a suburb and I
might miss the possible match. I do not, unfortunately, know the names
of every suburb of Munich or Milan.

Basically, the idea is to have some specificity, but not too much. And
I'd rather be too general than too specific. You don't want a situation
where somebody's looking for people in Minneapolis, and misses people
because she didn't realize we also had a location for St. Paul. We are
also aiming to sidestep the politics of naming locations as much as

But of course, it's all a work-in-progress anyway. Please feel free to
chime in with any questions or concerns.


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


iPod reprise

Hey all,

Negativland has a gallery show in New York this September, and they
were kind enough to invite me to be in their show. Details follow:

September 09 2005 - October 22 2005

In celebrating their 25th anniversary, the 'cultural jamming


New on Track your Location by city!

Hey everyone,

Today, the Rhizome Location feature is getting even better: We're going
to start creating city nodes, too, so people can list themselves, and
find other people, by cities.

Right now I've just turned on cities for the United States, because
that's where most of our Members live, and because it's a territory I
know well, so picking appropriate names is a little easier.

If you are a Member, and you live in the U.S., you can now go to and choose to be searchable under one of
these cities:

Los Angeles
New York
San Francisco
San Jose

Here, for example, is the location page for NYC:

Though right this minute, I'm the only person who's tagged myself as
living in NYC. That should change soon, I'd imagine ...

Cities will be coming for more countries soon--hopefully starting next
week, once I feel confident that the overall system works fine. In the
meantime, please start using it, and let me know if you have any
questions or problems.


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