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.

Where the Power REALLY Lies

Last Saturday afternoon we walk into P.S.1 at 3:45. The sign at the admission desk says the Turrell room will be open at 4:45.

We wander for a while, looking at the new shows. Mrs. FtF (usually pretty charitable in her opinions) says of one group exhibition, "This is horrible." She's right. It is.

By 4:30 we've seen enough. But I want to see the Turrell. So we sit down in the hallway outside the room to wait. Soon a crowd starts to form. At 4:45 it's me, the wife and kid, and a group of 20 German tourists. I can understand exactly three words of what they are saying among themselves: "Turrell," "Roden," and "Crater."

At 4:55 the door still isn't open. The Germans are getting restless. One of them starts making paper hats for the kid out of the floor plans they are all carrying. Security staff members are pacing the hallway. Mrs. FtF overhears them discussing the problem. They've lost the key to the door. Brilliant. You put a major piece of contemporary art behind a locked door, and you don't keep a spare key around?

I'm about ready to pack it in when along comes one of the art handlers. He's been installing a show in another gallery on the floor. He sizes up the situation, pulls a Five-in-One painter's tool out of his pocket, sticks it between the door and the jamb, gives a little pull, and pops the door open for us.

Now I know who really holds the keys to the art world kingdom. It's that anonymous guy who nobody trusts with a key but who's always got the right tool in his back pocket.


Jesus Loves Google Print

via BoingBoing, 10/20/05:

Writer begs publisher to give her book to Google Print
One of Kottke's readers is a writer named Meghann Marco whose publisher is joined to the suit against Google over the excellent, writer-friendly Google Print service. She has written an amazing open letter to her publisher:

I asked my publisher, Simon and Schuster, for my book to be included in Google Print. I was told they did not do that.

Lack of exposure is the primary reason that a book like mine would fail in the marketplace. I spend most of my day trying to get attention for my book. Not for the money, but because I believe that it is well written and funny. Very few authors will become rich writing books. We do it because we have something to say. If we wanted to be rich, we'd have invented a search engine!

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. After all, it's perfectly free to check out a book from the library. I have no problem with my book being indexed by your site. In fact, I wish it was!

Someone asked me recently, "Meghann, how can you say you don't mind people reading parts of your book for free? What if someone xeroxed your book and was handing it out for free on street corners?"

I replied, "Well, it seems to be working for Jesus."

Link (Thanks, Jason!)


Call for Works: The ELO Electronic Literature Collection


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Carol Ann Wald
Date: Nov 3, 2005 1:00 PM
Subject: Call for Works: The ELO Electronic Literature Collection


The Electronic Literature Organization ( seeks submissions for the first Electronic Literature Collection. We invite the submission of literary works that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the computer. Works will be accepted until January 31, 2006. Up to three works per author will be considered.

ctronic Literature Collection will be an annual publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. The publication will be made available both online, where it will be available for download for free, and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM, in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection will be offered under a Creative Commons license so that libraries and educational institutions will be allowed to duplicate and install works and individuals will be free to share the disc with others.


Project Entropia


Gamer Buys Virtual Space Station

"A virtual space resort being built in the online role-playing game, Project Entropia, has been snapped up for $100,000 (£56,200). Jon Jacobs, aka Neverdie, won the auction for the as yet unnamed resort in the game, which lets thousands of players interact with each other. Entropia also allows gamers to buy and sell virtual items using real cash.

The space station is billed as a "pleasure paradise". Last year, a gamer bought an island for $26,500 (£13,700). The space station is described as a "monumental project" in the "treacherous, but mineral rich" Paradise V Asteroid Belt and comes with mining and hunting taxation rights. With the price tag also comes mall shopping booth and market stall owner deeds, a land management system, a billboard marketing system, and space station naming rights. Neverdie is a popular and well-known in-game character. He and another character, Island Girl, appeared in a 2003 dance music movie Hey DJ!, which starred Jon Jacobs, Charlotte Lewis, and Tina Leiu..." From Gamer buys virtual space station, BBC News.


I have a beef and I don't know where else to vent

Pall Thayer:
There have been a handful of interesting experiments involving use of
the so-called Apple Motion Sensor or Sudden Motion Sensor that's
built in to all recent PowerBooks and iBooks. Most of these projects
have used a program called AMStracker to read from the sensor.
However, the current version works only with the first powerbooks to
come out with the sensor. It doesn't work with the iBooks and now the
newest PowerBooks have yet a new way of handling the motion sensor.
When I made my Carpenters Level Dashboard Widget, at first I used
AMStracker. But it bothered me that I had to instruct people to
download and install AMStracker. You see, it's proprietary and the
creator, Ahmit Singh strictly forbids distribution of it. So, for the
sake of making installation of my widget easier for the end user, I
went looking for an open-source program that would do the same thing.
I found it, it's called Motion, originally written by Chris Klein.
Since it's open, you can distribute it along with your nifty motion- sensor-enabled-whatever-it-is. On top of that, I've adapted the
original version so that it works on iBooks and have now adapted it
again to support the newest PowerBooks. Ahmit still says he's trying
to find the time to fix AMStracker for the iBooks (on top of that, he
says that it's an OS thing but it's not, it's a hardware thing. Don't
tell him. Let's let him think it's an OS thing).

Here's my beef. I'm still seeing stuff coming out for use with
AMStracker. Why on Earth would anyone want to use it when there's an
open alternative? It boggles my mind. So, if anyone is interested in ...