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.

My Mother Was a Computer


Digital Subjects and Literary Texts

"Mathematician Stephan Wolfram has recently proposed that many different kinds of complex systems, including human thought and action, can be modeled using cellular automata. These very simple computational systems have demonstrated that they are capable of generating complex patterns using simple rules. According to physicist Ed Fredkin, cellular automata underlie physical reality on a subatomic level; in his view, nature itself is software running on a Universal Computer. This presentation will look critically at these claims, asking whether we should consider them as physical models or as over-determined metaphors that would inevitably emerge in a historical period when computation is pervasive. This issue, and its proliferating implications, will be explored through Greg Egan's print novel Permutation City, which imagines a world in which it is possible to simulate a person's consciousness inside a computer, creating a Copy that has all the personality and memories of the original." My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts [RealAudio] by Katherine Hayles, University of California at Los Angeles. Presented at HUMlab, Sweden.


Open Zone Call for Submissions

Thomas Beard:
Open Zone at Ocularis
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Open Zone is a quarterly open screen night for new works by NYC-based artists. Including documentary, experimental and narrative film, video and new media, Open Zone provides a unique opportunity to view and discuss emerging work of all kinds. Submissions are received prior to the screening, and the organized program is circulated to filmmakers two weeks before the show, which will be held on Wednesday, December 14.

Work must be under 10 minutes in length and produced in the last 12 months. Acceptable formats include: DVD, VHS, Mini DV, 16mm, S8 film.

To be considered for the next Open Zone, please send a preview copy of your work, along with a $10 submissions fee, to

at Galapagos Art Space
Attn: Open Zone
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Postmark Deadline: Wednesday, November 16.

Inclusion in the program is held on a first-come, first-serve basis. All filmmakers with work in the screening receive free admission for themselves and one guest.

Please contact Thomas Beard ( with any questions.

Ocularis is a weekly cinema run out of Galapagos Art Space dedicated to the exhibition of independent, experimental and documentary film/video and new media, as well as international and repertory cinema. For our current schedule and more information on Ocularis, please visit --

Thomas Beard
Program Director
at Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Everybody's A Critic!



Everybody's A Critic, Or Are They?
States of Criticism, Credibility and Celebrity

Thursday, November 3, 2005
7-9 pm

540 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
[T] 212.937.6580
[F] 212.937.6582

Join us for a participatory panel.

With 9 million blogs, umpteen online message boards, thousands of shows on hundreds of cable channels and an increased number of magazines on the newsstand, the number of outlets for expressing criticism has never been higher and the barriers to would-be critics
have never been lower. Is this devaluing evaluation or does the shotgun approach result in better criticism? Certainly everyone has an opinion but is everybody a critic?

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice Film Critic
Emily Gordon, Critic at the New Yorker, author, blogger
Jason Kottke, Blogger of
Duncan Watts, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
Moderator: Steven Heller, Design director NYT Book Review and author

Enjoy refreshments while we hear from various types of critics.

But don't just sit back and listen! Take part! Agree! Disagree!

YOU be the judge!!

This panel is free and open to the public with a suggested donation.


Open Call deadline approaching

Lauren Cornell:

A reminder to those who are considering submitting works to Open Call: the deadline is coming up soon - October 31st! Open Call is the exhibition that Rhizome is organizing in collaboration with free103point9 - more information on it can be found here:

If you have any questions about it - please feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you,

Executive Director,


Found Sound in D.C.


Crisscross a City

[Unrelated photo: a port-a-potty-based public address system at the MACBA, Barcelona, 2005.]

A public art project called FOUND SOUND will be featuring works from artists in sound booths ('reconfigured' Port-a-Potties) on sidewalks in public locations throughout Washington, D.C. from Oct 14-Nov 5. Participating artists include Richard Chartier, Joseph Grigely, Alberto Gaitán, Jennie C. Jones, Helmut Kopetzky, Brandon Morse, Robin Rose, and Alex Van Oss. Actor and part-time New Orleans resident Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, Spinal Tap, HuffPo) is contributing a piece on Hurricane Katrina, and Calvin Trillin has contributed a poem as well. The press release quotes this from an essay by Nora Halpern at Americans for the Arts:

FOUND SOUND entices the listener to crisscross a city to experience fully this collection of work. As one leaves a destination for anotherówhether by foot, car, bus, or Metroóthe heightened audio awareness encouraged by each piece should continue, like a musical riff, through all the spaces in between.

Thatís great and all, but in most of the places where these will be, 'heightened audio awareness' might not be a good thing. Downtown D.C.ís not known for its street life ó but we have plenty of nice, loud traffic and construction. Maybe they should make a podcast available for walking in between. Local galleries including Fusebox, Conner Contemporary Art, the Goethe Institute, and DCAC are collaborating. No map seems to be available yet but weíll link when it turns up online. No word on whether any of the port-a-potties will be performing their originally intended public service as well, but consider it highly unlikely. [blogged by Tim on]