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)

Re: Mac + Intel??

On Jun 6, 2005, at 1:36 PM, Rob Myers wrote:

> Macnn live report say it's true:
> "Transition to Intel-based Macs. Developers Now. Next year for users.
> "Because we want to make the best computers for our customers." No G5
> PowerBook yet. Future products can't be build on IBM of PowerPC. Intel
> has performance and better performance per watt. Intel delivers much
> better performance per watt. Starting next year the first Macs with
> Intel processors. Shipping by next WWDC. Mostly complete by 2007 WWDC.
> Complete by the end of 2007. Two-year transition."

Holy shit.

"Mac OS X has been leading secret double life. Every Mac project build
for Intel and PowerPC and Intel. Every release of Mac OS X has been
built for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. For the last 5 years."

The amount of secrecy and NDAs that it must have taken to keep this
secret for literally 5 years is mind-boggling.


"Rosetta is a dymanic binary translator. Runs PowerPC code on
Intel-baesd Macs. Transparent to users. Pretty fast. Jobs demos Rosetta
used to run PowerPC macs on Intel-based Macs. Jobs shows Microsoft
Excel/Word running on Intel-based Mac (without any porting and/or
recompiling). Jobs also shows Photoshop CS2 with all plugins that are
translated and run on Intel-based Mac without significant speed


"News Xcode generates a single "universal binary" that supports both

So the idea is to emulate away the chip itself with Rosetta as a layer
between OS X and the chip itself. This seems a step better than their
transition from 68K chips to PowerPC chips; if I remember correctly,
then they compiled the OS separately for each chip, and programmers had
the option of shipping "fat binaries" that contained both a 68K version
and a PowerPC version of the same program.

This might make Java folks sweat a bit more; this is the sort of
emulation that Java was supposed to take care of, only its claims of
universality never really took.

I wonder if one of the main reasons for this is to move Apple
consistently into lower price ranges, to offer products from
super-elite-expensive and high-school-kid cheap. Both the iPod and the
Macs have steadily moved into low-end markets, now you can get an iPod
(Shuffle) for $99. Moving into Intel territory puts more commodity
pressure on chipmakers everywhere: If you can emulate away dependency
on the chip itself, there's no lock-in to keep you from switching.

As to whether or how they'll stop people from running dual-boot OS X
and Windows, that remains to be seen.

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


Re: technology categories for Artbase

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the note. We're aware that our metadata, both for text and
artworks, is far from perfect, and looking into ways to improve it
(without us having to all run out and get library science degrees). So
improvements are definitely on our list, though it's hard to say when
in the next year we can get to it.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On May 26, 2005, at 2:19 PM, Paul Slocum wrote:

> I was just submitting some newer work to the AB, and it seems like
> that technology list either needs an "other" box or it needs to be a
> broader list (my preference). Since you have to check one of them, I
> was forced to check something that was vaguely related to what I used,
> but not something that I did actually use.
> Most of my stuff's written in C, C++, assembly, and CAD software,
> which aren't there. And for audio formats it only lists MP3 (no OGG
> Vorbis, FLAC, etc). I actually just used WAV files in my most recent
> thing.
> -paul
> +
> -> post:
> -> questions:
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> -> give:
> -> visit: on Fridays the web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at


Re: Re: raw.rss

On Jun 4, 2005, at 11:58 AM, t.whid wrote:

> Rock.
> Thanks Francis. I'm going to experiment with using the RSS feed and
> web interface. This is the first time I'm not subscribed to RAW in..
> probably 8 years. Weird...

Seems to me that syndication feeds, not email, are definitely the
future regarding broadcast text. Adoption will come slowly, of course,
but syndication being integrated into web and mail clients is going to
help quite a bit.

> One thing that might make it easier. You could maybe put a default
> 'post a message' box at the bottom of the threads. Then if you just
> want to join the thread you can. But keep the 'post a reply' button on
> each entry so that people can choose to reply to specific entries.
> Might save a click and page load now and then.

How would such a thing work if you weren't logged in? Anybody can read
an RSS file, but you need to log in with your email address to post to
the list.

On the other hand, just double-clicking on the item title should take
you to the web page, with the standard "Reply to this" button. Then the
web site can force you to log in if necessary.

> OH, one more question. Can I post to Rhizome_RAW via email if I'm not
> subscribed? It would be nice to post via email but reply via links
> from the feed. Best of both worlds that way.

Yeah, you should be able to. I sort of hacked majordomo to allow this.



Now available at Rhizome: a Raw RSS feed!

Right now this feed re-posts the entire text as posted originally. So
it's suitable for reading, reposting, etc., etc. There are now three
separate ways to track the discussion on Raw: by email, by web, and by
RSS syndication feed.

I set the feed to track the last 40 items, which right now means it's a
sort of big feed, at 87k. Of course with Raw's traffic the way it is,
the resulting feed only tracks about the last 36 hours worth of posts.
I'm considering excerpting some of the bigger posts, and having more
posts per feed, if 36 hours isn't enough ... anyway, let me know if
you're using it and have suggestions for it.

This is one of those things that we couldn't have done three weeks ago.
I hope y'all find it useful.

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


Director of Technology's report, May 2005

Hi all,

An eventful month. Let me go over some of the things I've been doing:

1. Membership policy change
Obviously, this was the biggie; a policy six months in the making, and
one that we hope will pave the way for us to offer lots of new great
stuff. There's already been lots of discussion about it; let me focus
on the technical stuff and say that it's my understanding that as of
this writing, there are no technical problems with the policy
transition. If you see any problems, please feel free to let me know.

2. Made /text/ quite a bit faster
I added a little caching code; should run
quite a bit faster than it used to. I'm looking at site speed more
closely than before, so this won't be the last of these sorts of
gradual tweaks.
One thing I realized is that our front page is about 100k, which seems
like it's too big. But then I look at other sites: Eyebeam's reBlog is
512k, Boing Boing is 756k, We Make Money Not Art is 298k, so maybe I've
got nothing to worry about. Hard to say. Some of our site users have
day jobs as web designers and surf our site from their office's T1
line; some are trying to get by using a computer at a media lab in
Bangkok with a 56k modem. You don't want to discount the importance of
users with slow bandwidth, but you'd like to keep the page visually
interesting, too ... Opinions, as always, are welcome.

3. Commissions
People are intermittently asking me about this, so: No, we still have
not announced the awards for this year's cycle. We're hammering out
some last-minute details and are hoping to announce quite soon. We're
quite sorry to put people to this sort of inconvenience.


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