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.

READ ON »


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

READ ON »



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

Re: Re: Re: Re: New Membership Policy


Okay, thanks for letting me know, I'll add it to my list.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On May 26, 2005, at 8:47 PM, Curt Cloninger wrote:

> Hi Francis:
>
> From http://lab404.com/dreams/library.html#text
> under "art":
> "chinese musak always sets me free" (2002) works
> but
> "on the inherent bias of words" doesn't work. I get the firewall.
>
> And that's even with me logged in as a $5 member.
>
> best,
> curt
>
>
> At 4:45 PM -0400 5/26/05, Francis Hwang wrote:
>> Yeah, that should be the case. Of course, you're welcome to try it
>> out and submit a bug report to me if it turns out not to work. There
>> have been a lot of details for me to keep track of these past few
>> weeks; I may have missed a few things.
>>
>> Francis Hwang
>> Director of Technology
>> Rhizome.org
>> phone: 212-219-1288x202
>> AIM: francisrhizome
>> + + +
>> On May 24, 2005, at 7:16 PM, curt cloninger wrote:
>>
>>> Hi Francis,
>>>
>>> This is something we worked through last time around, but I just
>>> want to make sure it stays in place.
>>>
>>> For those of us who have written articles for rhizome, and then we
>>> want to link to those articles from our web sites, will the links
>>> still work? Behind the $5 firewall they worked if they were linked
>>> from an online web page, but not from an email. I assume the same
>>> will remain true behind the $25 firewall?
>>>
>>> And just for fun (from 2003):
>>> http://www.computerfinearts.com/collection/cloninger/rebranding/
>>> rhizome/
>>>
>>> again from 2003:
>>> http://www.lab404.com/rhizome/
>>>
>>> Doug Butabi: You can take away our phones. You can take away our
>>> keys. But, you can't take away our dreams!
>>>
>>> Steve Butabi: That's right. 'Cause we're like sleeping when we
>>> have them!
>>>
>>> peace,
>>> curt
>>>
>>> _
>>>
>>> Francis Hwang wrote:
>>>
>>>> Well, it's a funny thing. Newest content is the most valuable, for
>>>> sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can charge for it. I
>>>> actually blogged about this, a few months back, on my own site:
>>>>
>>>> http://fhwang.net/blog/51.html
>>>>
>>>> It's useful, for the purposes of discussion, to divide content into
>>>> two
>>>> completely arbitrary categories: "news" and "archives". News--which
>>>> is
>>>> to say anything that's about notifying you of a new thing happening
>>>> recently--is a highly in-demand product, but there are lots of
>>>> people
>>>> giving it away for free online, so you can't really charge for it. I
>>>> can only think of one company that's been able to do this reliably
>>>> online, and that's the Wall Street Journal--and obviously that works
>>>> for them because their customers are Godless capitalists who are
>>>> willing to pay for premium services like WSJ content. But it hasn't
>>>> worked reliably for Salon or the NYT online, and I don't personally
>>>> have any faith that it'd work for us.
>>>>
>>>> Archives aren't nearly as popular as news, and in fact, people who
>>>> want
>>>> archives are looking for somewhat different reasons as those who
>>>> want
>>>> news. Someone looking for a one-day-old text wants to read that
>>>> funny
>>>> thing that somebody wrote yesterday, or join some chatter about a
>>>> recent news article or how to make a living in the field. Someone
>>>> looking for a five-year-old text is more likely to be doing some
>>>> sort
>>>> of research.
>>>>
>>>> It turns out that a lot of people would like a little bit of access
>>>> to
>>>> the archives, but people who really need access to the
>>>> archives--we're
>>>> talking academics, researchers, historians, etc.--are more likely to
>>>> justify paying some money for it. Hence the $25 requirement at 1
>>>> year-plus. Of course, an individual donation of $25 can be steep for
>>>> some of those folks; the idea is that if they're affiliated with
>>>> some
>>>> sort of an organization, like a library or a university, that
>>>> organization can sign up for an organizational subscription instead.
>>>>
>>>> ( By the way, we also offer complimentary organizational
>>>> subscriptions
>>>> to new media arts organizations in developing countries; contact
>>>> Kevin
>>>> at kevin@rhizome.org if you think you'd qualify. )
>>>>
>>>> The division between news consumers and archive consumers is quite
>>>> arbitrary, of course. And you can make the case that with the rise
>>>> of
>>>> amateur publishing, amateur history, etc., etc., enabled by internet
>>>> culture, such a division may be rendered entirely useless at some
>>>> point
>>>> in the near future. But it works for some organizations today, and
>>>> we're hoping it'll work for us for a while.
>>>>
>>>> Of course, ideally you wouldn't have to charge for anything. But I'm
>>>> fairly confident that our new policy is one that will be
>>>> significantly
>>>> less irritating for everybody on a day-to-day basis. And it does so
>>>> while letting us sustain or increase our member-driven
>>>> revenue--which
>>>> is, unfortunately, something we always have to be conscious of here
>>>> in
>>>> the office.
>>>>
>>>> But of course, this is just another try at a difficult problem. Like
>>>> the New York Times, like Salon, like Kuro5hin, and everyone else,
>>>> we're
>>>> always looking for the best policy that allows us to make enough
>>>> money
>>>> to keep doing interesting things, while annoying people as little as
>>>> possible. I don't think we'll need to tinker with this policy for
>>>> some
>>>> time--but this is the internets, after all, so eventually you're
>>>> going
>>>> to have to tinker with everything.
>>>>
>>>> Francis Hwang
>>>> Director of Technology
>>>> Rhizome.org
>>>> phone: 212-219-1288x202
>>>> AIM: francisrhizome
>>> +
>>> -> 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
>
> +
> -> 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: New Membership Policy


On May 23, 2005, at 5:12 PM, t.whid wrote:

> It's not clear if things fall into the archive automatically after
> they are a year old or if everything added before May 23, 2004 goes
> into the archive and everything after is out. I assume the former. So
> there will be a moving archive deadline I'm assuming.

Yup, it's a moving archive deadline.

> I was pro-fee when it was proposed, but later changed my mind and
> became anti-fee. At first I felt that if Rhizome needed the money,
> then a Rhizome behind a fee firewall is better than no Rhizome at all.
> But then I realized that the firewall was slowly strangling Rhizome
> and urged them to ditch it. Which they've now done. Good!
>
> A small bit of criticism: I don't like the archive idea. It's my
> opinion that the text and art archives should be open forever. Rhizome
> needs to figure out other services/features that people will pay a
> membership fee for, but they shouldn't restrict access to the artbase
> or text archives.

To lapse into some dot-com-speak: There are very few community-driven
websites that have really solid revenue streams. What we've got how is
our best guess at what will work for us, given our resources and who we
serve, but of course it's always a work-in-progress. Giving away more
for free is good, and if we can figure out how to do that safely one
day, then I'm sure we'll do it. I wouldn't hold your breath for that,
though.

Although having an archive wall cuts off some webbish uses for crawlers
and the like, I'm fairly confident that the one-year line will be
pretty good in terms of most online discussion--by which I mean
discussion both inside and outside of the rhizome.org domain. The fact
is that the internet has an astonishingly narrow attention span; most
of the time you link to something, it's something that's only weeks or
months old.

Anyway, even though I hate promising stuff before I actually do it, we
are in fact planning on adding new features that add value, both for
Members and for everyone else. We've got a couple of ideas and are
trying to figure out which one to do, so watch this space.

> Putting my criticism aside, I'll say congrats to all the Rhizome staff
> for getting the new policy in place. I'm sure it was a lot of work.
> Good job guys!
>
> And now that we've got a fairly substantial hole in the firewall,
> perhaps we can tear it down entirely someday :-)
>

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

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: New Membership Policy


Hi Jason,

Thanks for the compliment. As for your question regarding what sort of
feedback we'd like, these sorts of discussions on Raw are a good start,
and we do all read this stuff even if we don't have the time to
participate 100%.

In the long-term, though, such discussions are probably not sufficient.
Here in the office we've been thinking of ways to involve our members
more substantively in the things we do, without compromising ourselves
strategically. For example, the new policy we enacted this week has
been in the works for, literally, more than six months. It would've
been great to involve the membership in some way in this discussion,
but you can't talk about something so drastic for six months unless you
want your normal member contributions to be completely out of wack
while you're talking about it. It's sort of a Heisenberg thing, I
guess.

When we say that we want your feedback, we mean it, even if we can't
always turn on a dime to incorporate it. During our discussions of this
policy, we did actually cull through personal emails from Rhizome
members from the months before--I think one was even from you, Jason.
So that feedback did in fact help guide our thinking, even if took some
time.

So, on one hand, we know we're nothing without our members and we spend
a lot of time trying to incorporate their ideas & their criticisms. On
the other hand, there are only three of us, and there are a lot of
things to do in any given day. So I want everyone to feel like they can
speak up, and they'll be listened to, but I also want people to have
realistic expectations about how quickly their suggestions can be
turned into reality.

One concrete idea I had recently was that maybe we could have
super-casual face-to-face meetings, say once a month. By necessity,
such meetings would be NYC-centric, of course, which is always a
problem, but maybe that'd give NYC Rhizome members a chance to say
hello, talk about Rhizome stuff, talk about non-Rhizome stuff, and just
have a drink. Is that a useful idea?

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On May 26, 2005, at 9:40 AM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

> Hi Francis,
>
> A few hours after posting my comments about the new policy, I cringed
> as I thought "Wow - that was kind of arrogant." Although the format
> of Rhizome lends itself to the ideal that any member can have an
> impact on its policies - its easy to forget that in fact there is a
> really smart group of professional staff devoted to this task. Your
> blog entry underscored this for me.
>
> That being said ...
>
> What kind of feedback would the Rhizome Staff find useful from its
> membership?
>
> Jason Van Anden
> www.smileproject.com
>
> +
> -> 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: New Membership Policy


Yeah, that should be the case. Of course, you're welcome to try it out
and submit a bug report to me if it turns out not to work. There have
been a lot of details for me to keep track of these past few weeks; I
may have missed a few things.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On May 24, 2005, at 7:16 PM, curt cloninger wrote:

> Hi Francis,
>
> This is something we worked through last time around, but I just want
> to make sure it stays in place.
>
> For those of us who have written articles for rhizome, and then we
> want to link to those articles from our web sites, will the links
> still work? Behind the $5 firewall they worked if they were linked
> from an online web page, but not from an email. I assume the same
> will remain true behind the $25 firewall?
>
> And just for fun (from 2003):
> http://www.computerfinearts.com/collection/cloninger/rebranding/
> rhizome/
>
> again from 2003:
> http://www.lab404.com/rhizome/
>
> Doug Butabi: You can take away our phones. You can take away our
> keys. But, you can't take away our dreams!
>
> Steve Butabi: That's right. 'Cause we're like sleeping when we have
> them!
>
> peace,
> curt
>
> _
>
> Francis Hwang wrote:
>
>> Well, it's a funny thing. Newest content is the most valuable, for
>> sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can charge for it. I
>> actually blogged about this, a few months back, on my own site:
>>
>> http://fhwang.net/blog/51.html
>>
>> It's useful, for the purposes of discussion, to divide content into
>> two
>> completely arbitrary categories: "news" and "archives". News--which
>> is
>> to say anything that's about notifying you of a new thing happening
>> recently--is a highly in-demand product, but there are lots of people
>> giving it away for free online, so you can't really charge for it. I
>> can only think of one company that's been able to do this reliably
>> online, and that's the Wall Street Journal--and obviously that works
>> for them because their customers are Godless capitalists who are
>> willing to pay for premium services like WSJ content. But it hasn't
>> worked reliably for Salon or the NYT online, and I don't personally
>> have any faith that it'd work for us.
>>
>> Archives aren't nearly as popular as news, and in fact, people who
>> want
>> archives are looking for somewhat different reasons as those who want
>> news. Someone looking for a one-day-old text wants to read that funny
>> thing that somebody wrote yesterday, or join some chatter about a
>> recent news article or how to make a living in the field. Someone
>> looking for a five-year-old text is more likely to be doing some sort
>> of research.
>>
>> It turns out that a lot of people would like a little bit of access
>> to
>> the archives, but people who really need access to the
>> archives--we're
>> talking academics, researchers, historians, etc.--are more likely to
>> justify paying some money for it. Hence the $25 requirement at 1
>> year-plus. Of course, an individual donation of $25 can be steep for
>> some of those folks; the idea is that if they're affiliated with some
>> sort of an organization, like a library or a university, that
>> organization can sign up for an organizational subscription instead.
>>
>> ( By the way, we also offer complimentary organizational
>> subscriptions
>> to new media arts organizations in developing countries; contact
>> Kevin
>> at kevin@rhizome.org if you think you'd qualify. )
>>
>> The division between news consumers and archive consumers is quite
>> arbitrary, of course. And you can make the case that with the rise of
>> amateur publishing, amateur history, etc., etc., enabled by internet
>> culture, such a division may be rendered entirely useless at some
>> point
>> in the near future. But it works for some organizations today, and
>> we're hoping it'll work for us for a while.
>>
>> Of course, ideally you wouldn't have to charge for anything. But I'm
>> fairly confident that our new policy is one that will be
>> significantly
>> less irritating for everybody on a day-to-day basis. And it does so
>> while letting us sustain or increase our member-driven revenue--which
>> is, unfortunately, something we always have to be conscious of here
>> in
>> the office.
>>
>> But of course, this is just another try at a difficult problem. Like
>> the New York Times, like Salon, like Kuro5hin, and everyone else,
>> we're
>> always looking for the best policy that allows us to make enough
>> money
>> to keep doing interesting things, while annoying people as little as
>> possible. I don't think we'll need to tinker with this policy for
>> some
>> time--but this is the internets, after all, so eventually you're
>> going
>> to have to tinker with everything.
>>
>> Francis Hwang
>> Director of Technology
>> Rhizome.org
>> phone: 212-219-1288x202
>> AIM: francisrhizome
> +
> -> 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: New Membership Policy


Well, it's a funny thing. Newest content is the most valuable, for
sure, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can charge for it. I
actually blogged about this, a few months back, on my own site:

http://fhwang.net/blog/51.html

It's useful, for the purposes of discussion, to divide content into two
completely arbitrary categories: "news" and "archives". News--which is
to say anything that's about notifying you of a new thing happening
recently--is a highly in-demand product, but there are lots of people
giving it away for free online, so you can't really charge for it. I
can only think of one company that's been able to do this reliably
online, and that's the Wall Street Journal--and obviously that works
for them because their customers are Godless capitalists who are
willing to pay for premium services like WSJ content. But it hasn't
worked reliably for Salon or the NYT online, and I don't personally
have any faith that it'd work for us.

Archives aren't nearly as popular as news, and in fact, people who want
archives are looking for somewhat different reasons as those who want
news. Someone looking for a one-day-old text wants to read that funny
thing that somebody wrote yesterday, or join some chatter about a
recent news article or how to make a living in the field. Someone
looking for a five-year-old text is more likely to be doing some sort
of research.

It turns out that a lot of people would like a little bit of access to
the archives, but people who really need access to the archives--we're
talking academics, researchers, historians, etc.--are more likely to
justify paying some money for it. Hence the $25 requirement at 1
year-plus. Of course, an individual donation of $25 can be steep for
some of those folks; the idea is that if they're affiliated with some
sort of an organization, like a library or a university, that
organization can sign up for an organizational subscription instead.

( By the way, we also offer complimentary organizational subscriptions
to new media arts organizations in developing countries; contact Kevin
at kevin@rhizome.org if you think you'd qualify. )

The division between news consumers and archive consumers is quite
arbitrary, of course. And you can make the case that with the rise of
amateur publishing, amateur history, etc., etc., enabled by internet
culture, such a division may be rendered entirely useless at some point
in the near future. But it works for some organizations today, and
we're hoping it'll work for us for a while.

Of course, ideally you wouldn't have to charge for anything. But I'm
fairly confident that our new policy is one that will be significantly
less irritating for everybody on a day-to-day basis. And it does so
while letting us sustain or increase our member-driven revenue--which
is, unfortunately, something we always have to be conscious of here in
the office.

But of course, this is just another try at a difficult problem. Like
the New York Times, like Salon, like Kuro5hin, and everyone else, we're
always looking for the best policy that allows us to make enough money
to keep doing interesting things, while annoying people as little as
possible. I don't think we'll need to tinker with this policy for some
time--but this is the internets, after all, so eventually you're going
to have to tinker with everything.

Francis Hwang
Director of Technology
Rhizome.org
phone: 212-219-1288x202
AIM: francisrhizome
+ + +
On May 24, 2005, at 8:36 AM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

> This policy change is super - thank you! Offering value-added
> features for paying members makes a lot of sense - and I look forward
> to the features Rhizome has in store.
>
> I disagree with the archiving concept though. I feel the membership
> gets more value by the "old" content being freely available. Placing
> this content in a lock box prevents a casual audience from discovering
> Rhizome (and its membership's art and words) via the serach engines.
> It seems to me that a better model might be the reverse - paying
> members would have access to fresher content - and everyone else would
> have access after some time period (a day, a week, etc...).
>
> Jason Van Anden
> www.smileproject.com
> +
> -> 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
>