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.

Donald Kuspit on Digital Art; MTAA


Digital art duo MTAA link to a Donald Kuspit article that makes some over the top claims for digital work. I haven't studied the essay in depth but agree with about half the premise ("digital art is the new art; code is the new subject") and practically none of the examples. Now MTAA is duking it out in their comments with an anonymous meanie who makes the obvious argument that art has to have that undefinable something regardless of the medium and then backs it up with ad hominem attacks on MTAA's twhid. Guys, don't give that fellow too much of your brain power. (Like I follow that advice with rude anonymous commenters.) More on the Kuspit soon--it's surprising he wrote this because he's usually the spokesman for the Healing Power of Art and fecund interiority over bloodless conceptualism. Possibly he's in full contrarian mode but then his principles are never rock-solid.

Update: The Kuspit piece is disappointing. He bases his link between early Modernist painting and the computer on squishy metaphors of pixeled space that leap across several decades and don't take into account photographic grain, TV rasterizing and other developments that came between Seurat and the first computer art in the 60s. "Code" is also used in a broad metaphorical sense so it could mean almost any systematic approach to art. The only current digital work he discusses in depth is Michael Somoroff's video Query (2004), which is more of that damn art about art, riffing on Duchamp's and Richter's famous nudes descending staircases by subjecting them to the inevitable high-tech imaging analysis. Ugh.

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Capture the Flag


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TONIGHT!

Since many of you love the game of Capture the Flag so much we are playing it again, in DUMBO. Just take the F train to York street or simply meet at the corner of Jay and York. The Map is the playing grounds. Bridge street remains neutral territory. Meeting time is at 7:30pm. Game starts at 8pm, this Thursday, 8/04/2005. Remember, the game is cellphone enabled, so bring one! Rules will be provided at the game. Hope to see you all on Thursday!

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INTERACTIVE FUTURES 06:


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Audio Visions

CALL FOR PAPERS, PANELS, PERFORMANCES, & INSTALLATIONS

INTERACTIVE FUTURES is a forum for showing recent tendencies in new media art as well as a conference for exploring issues related to technology. The theme of this year's event is Audio Visions. IF06 will explore new forms of audio-based media art from a diverse body of artists, theorists, and sound practitioners. Sound poetry, web-based audio and multimedia, mobile audio performance, new forms of music theatre, synaesthetic performance, hybrid forms, sound-based installation, video and sound, and environmental sound are all of interest to Audio Visions.

The proliferation of audio technologies, audio-visual collaboration, and hybrid forms of live performance in the new millennium is striking. Audio artists are exploring the areas of mobility, virtuality, performance, and audience interaction from an experimental point-of-view. Audio Visions invites scholars, sound-artists, and performers of all stripes to submit paper, panel, performance or installation proposals in one of the three following categories.

1. "Sound and Vision" lecture and panel series - Scholars, artists, and practitioners working in audio or audio-visual-based new media are encouraged to submit proposals for IF06. We are interested in a broad range of audio including: computational, interactive or generative audio; the creation of digital audio tools; synchronization between sound and visuals; performative art that explores language, voice and body; streaming radio and mobile sound works. Presentations should be, in part, demonstrative. We recognize that sound art is evolving and that categories have become increasingly irrelevant - we encourage proposals that push the boundaries of the traditional conference paper.

2. "Earshot" performance series =96 "Earshot" is seeking experimental audio-based performances that challenge assumptions about audio forms and performance conventions. Avant-garde, post-avant-garde, techno, electro-acoustic, synaesthetic production, liminal art and hybrid performance are all within our desired range. "Earshot" is primarily interested in new types of electronic audio-visual performance as well as models for audience participation in sound works. "Earshot" will run performances at Open Space for each night of IF06.

3. "Tangible Frequencies" installations. We are interested in audio installation works that consider site, space, vision, volume and perception and how physical location 'matters' to the reception of audio frequencies. IF06 has identified areas within Open Space Gallery to function as controlled locations for sound installations.* We welcome proposals that respond to the particular characteristics of these locations through their acknowledgement of private and/or public space and use. Installations may provide audio continuity to the existing locations, or respond as intervention and critique.

INTERACTIVE FUTURES is part of the Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival and applicants are encouraged to check the Festival website for more information on the broader program.

...

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call for proposals, The Infinite Genealogy: Intercultural Approaches to New Media Art


Laura Marks:
The Infinite Genealogy: Intercultural Approaches to New Media Art
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, May 2006

The Infinite Genealogy is a conference for international scholars, artists, and researchers from a variety of fields to explore non-Western genealogies and intercultural understandings of contemporary new media art. Submissions are invited for papers and artists’ presentations and performances.

The premise of this conference is that contemporary new media are already informed by the histories, knowledges, and worldviews that come to us from Chinese, Indian, Arab, African, indigenous, and other worlds of science, mathematics, cosmology, spirituality, and technology. We are interested not only in non-Western adaptations and critiques of new media, but also in affinities and historical connections between new media and traditional and “hybrid

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bake this concept: Pschocyberographic Memoirs > Let Your Fingers Do the Drifting


Pschocyberographic Memoirs > Let Your Fingers Do the Drifting

"travelers in a labyrinth revealed by their wish to find it"


CONCEPT:

Verite applied to the web is simply called surfing. The web surfer
as flaneur. This concept was overworn as early as 1998. Generative
psychogeography is easy enough to apply the web. It's called a
linkbot (or an "intelligent agent" for those more anthropomorphically
inclined). Search engines send them out in droves to harvest pages
for their databases.

The problem is, merely automated psychocyberography is missing the
point of psychogeography. The point is not for a robot to re-map the
city. It's not the non-euclidian path in and of itself that
transforms the city; it's the fact that you as a subjective person
are walking the path, experiencing the ride along the way. Your
subjective experience is the transformative factor. Even if a bot
could cull images and text from its web journey and randomly assemble
them into a collage similar to Debord's _Memoires_, they would just
be the memoirs of the bot. Feel free to steal this tangential
concept and implement it. Entitle the piece "Memoirs of a Bot."

As incidentally transformative as reading Debord's _Memoires_ may be,
it can never be as transformative as experiencing the LI and
collaging _Memoires_ was to Debord himself.


META-INSTRUCTIONS:

Create a set of instructions for surfing the web (the web being
analogous to the modern city). Instead of saying "go down three
lights and turn left," the instructions might read "tab forward three
links and click." Instead of saying "follow a woman in a blue," the
instructions might read "click on the next linked image of a woman."
You may create these instructions with generative software, or simply
write them out the old school analog way (cf: non-digital ...

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

"Post Post Modern" panel discussion tonight at SVA


Dates:
Fri Apr 28, 2006 00:00 - Fri Apr 28, 2006

Friends,

Sorry if this is a repeat, I didn't see it posted here earlier. I'm in a panel discussion tonight at SVA, details below ...

------
Friday, April 28th 2006, 7pm
School of Visual Arts. 209 East 23rd Street,
(between 2nd & 3rd Ave.)

Artists Talk on Art is pleased to present 'Post Post Modern,


DISCUSSION

Signing off


Hi everyone,

Today is officially my last day at Rhizome, so I wanted to send out a
quick note and officially bid farewell. Actually, this isn't so much
a farewell, since I'll still be around, just as another member. The
only difference, really, will be that you will all have to put up
with my miscellaneous ramblings, without the benefit of me actually
writing code for you. ("Oh, great", I can hear some of you thinking.)

Patrick May has been in the office since February, and the transition
has gone better than I could've hoped. He'll be in touch with y'all
soon, but let me just say that he's hit the ground running and
already has a batch of fresh new ideas to improve the user experience
at Rhizome.

Patrick, Lauren, and Marisa make a phenomenal team, and it's going to
be a kick to stand back and watch where they take Rhizome in the
future. I'm happy to be moving on, but I have to admit I will miss
working with and for the other folks on staff.

I will also miss working with the Rhizome community, many of whom
I've had the privilege of getting to know well over the last three-
and-a-half years. I've enjoyed having so many people to learn from as
the field has continued to grow. And although some of our discussion
about Rhizome policy has been, mm, how you say, contentious, I always
kept in mind that it is mostly driven by the desire to see Rhizome,
and the entire field of new media arts, succeed. Without its
opinionated users, Rhizome wouldn't be what it is today, so thanks to
all of you.

As for my plans in the near future: Still unfixed, and right this
minute I suppose I like it that way. I'm actually going to be
vacationing a bit next month, with old friends to visit in Barcelona,
a friend's wedding in Minneapolis, and then quality time with my
family in Washington State. After that, who's to say? I'll be sure to
keep y'all posted, in between posting here about hallucinogenics and
XML and everything in between.

Thanks, everyone. And keep in touch,

Francis Hwang
ex-Director of Technology
Rhizome.org

DISCUSSION

Patrick May to be the next Director of Technology


Hi everybody,

Last November, I notified the Rhizome community that I would soon be
stepping down as Rhizome's Director of Technology. Today, I'm very
happy to announce that our next Director of Technology will be Patrick
May.

Patrick comes to Rhizome with an exceptional background in both
technology and in the arts. His previous position at the publishing
company Source Media gives him extensive experience with developing and
maintaining large, content-driven sites with limited resources, and
this experience will come in handy at a highly dynamic,
community-oriented website like Rhizome. He is also active in the free
software and Ruby communities: He is the creator of the Ruby-Web
library, and has presented at the International Ruby Conference.

Patrick is also the cofounder and Director of Programming at the
Williamsburg-based artists' collective Open Ground, helping to guide
the consensus-based curatorial process that furnished Grand Street with
four years' worth of always surprising group shows. He is an artist
himself, and his creative practice incorporates a software library he
created that automatically publishes consecutive iterations of images
to an artists' blog; he discussed this tool at Rhizome's second
"Blogging and the Arts" panel discussion.

Being Rhizome's Director of Technology, of course, requires more than
just a knowledge of programming, and more than a familiarity with new
media arts. Rhizome has always been an undersized organization with
oversized ambitions, and we continue to explore ways to deepen the
nascent connections between art and technology. Patrick's resume hits a
lot of the right topics, but what's most important is that he's able to
think of the big picture--not just in terms of artworks and lines of
code, but also in terms of organizations and communities. I'm confident
that he will make the perfect partner for Lauren and Marisa as the
three of them lead Rhizome in the future. We've accomplished a lot in
the last year, and I'm excited to see what changes will come in the
years ahead.

We are expecting the transition process to work like this: Patrick will
come in on February 2nd, and he and I will work side-by-side throughout
February as I train him in. My last day will be March 3rd, but even
after then I'll still be available to Patrick & the organization in
general.

I'm quite happy to leave this job in Patrick's capable hands. I hope
you all welcome him as kindly as you welcomed me.

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

DISCUSSION

Re: schizoanalizys for beginners


On Jan 19, 2006, at 8:07 PM, Marisa Olson wrote:

> I have long been appalled by the way that theorists supposedly steeped
> in
> psychoanalytic readings could misdefine schizophrenia and then
> consistently glamorize this very serious, very misdefined condition as
> some sexy alternative to 'reality.' There is a long list of scholars
> who've become quite famous in the course of building and upholding this
> farce.
>
> Now I'm all for creativity, metaphor, and wordplay, but I feel that
> any of
> us with a ligitimate interest in these discourses or in contributing to
> any kind of meaningful conversation have a personal responsibility not
> to
> entrench this kind of grossly irresponsible scholarship.

Good thing Rhizome doesn't try to have an official stance on psychiatry
;)

I'm not familiar with D&G's writings on psychiatry, but it's quite
possible to be critical of mainline psychiatry without necessarily
glamorizing the condition of schizophrenia. A lot of the good
"anti-psychiatry" theory moves to put such conditions out of the
individual context, and into the social context, which was part of
psychiatry's brief in the beginning but has been slowly leached out of
the practice as it became more closely lashed to modern technocratic
society.

I agree with much of what Eric wrote here:

> In Mircea Eliade's research, the role of the schizophrenic is enabled
> by some tribes and excluded by others. In complex social networks,
> which we are a part of, the schizophrenic is excluded and sent to the
> shadows.
> As well capitalism has no room, or need for the schizophrenic. They
> don't contribute to the nations wealth in an open market system.
> Witness the homeless today and the Bedlams of the past. Providing a
> social space doesn't cure the chemical imbalances, but it can give
> them a nurturing environment and a sense of belonging.
> It isn't a cure, but it does provide needed dignity.

Though I'd go a little further and say that ultimately it may not be
correct to describe schizophrenia as a condition requiring a "cure" ...
You could also remove the normative aspect from psychiatry altogether
and simply that schizophrenia is a condition, a statistical outlier,
but not necessarily more or less healthy, just different.

I don't want to trivialize or glamorize the problems faced by those
with mental illnesses. In fact, my dad works in the industry, so I grew
up with all sorts of terrible stories about mental illnesses.

But if you're not normal, and that makes it difficult to live in
society, who's to blame for that, exactly? Homosexuality was only
removed from the DSM within the last 50 years. If you grew up gay in a
Christian fundamentalist household in a homophobic small town, and
revealing your desires to anybody might get you condemned or beaten or
killed, and then you grow up with serious intimacy issues, whose fault
is that?

Or, to take a much more harrowing example from the cutting edge of
psychiatric pathology: Some psychiatrists are beginning to look into
what is currently called Body Integrity Identity Disorder, which is the
overwhelming desire of a person to voluntarily amputate a very specific
part of their body. These patients (who are almost always men) feel
that a certain part of their body (almost always below the waist)
simply doesn't belong to them, and that they would be more whole
without it. Like pre-op transsexuals, they often dress the part, for
example by tying their leg back and wearing loose fitting pants that
are clipped up where the missing part would be.

And, although research on this is extremely preliminary, at this point
it would appear that the only known treatment is actually amputation.
Some of these patients are able to pursue this in a proper medical
setting, but as you might imagine some are forced to do it themselves,
using whatever tools you might imagine a person might use if they were
forced to self-amputate without the benefit of a medical staff, an
operating theatre, or anesthesia.

The New York Underground had a pretty amazing documentary on the
subject (I think two years ago), and a few of the interviewees were
people who had taken this step. They all looked astoundingly happy.
Their condition was cured. They were just without one leg or foot or
whatever ...

Now, this is pretty horrifying stuff, and it's clearly not normal in
the statistical sense, but why is it unhealthy? We know, for example,
that plenty of people who lose their limbs in accidents are capable of
living rich, fulfilling lives. So why can't the same be true for
somebody who loses his limb on purpose? And what should society's
response be to this? Should we make it easier for people to get, to
twist a Christian fundamentalist phrase, "amputation-on-demand"? Or
should we force them to pursue years of experimental treatments--shock
therapies, medication, aversion therapy, etc., etc.--in lieu of just
getting an amputation, which is on its own a very established, safe
medical procedure?

Anyway, back to schizophrenia ... It's quite possible that the world is
going to become increasingly hostile to its schizophrenics, largely as
a result of the spread of global capitalism. Cities are worse for
schizophrenics than the countryside, so a future in which more than
half the world's population is urban doesn't bode well for them. The
complex web of invisible power relations--whether technical, financial,
social, or legal--required to get along in the 21st century probably
don't do any good for the schizophrenic's propensity for paranoia.

Maybe the trade-offs are worth it, maybe they're not. I personally
can't claim to be pure in this respect, anyway: I live in a big city
and I work with the internet and I even find the Economist to be
interesting reading. But maybe it's a shame that we're implicitly
deciding that from now on, society has no place for the schizophrenic.
And maybe it's a copout to say that it's because of biology that they
don't fit in, when it's just as much because of culture.

Or maybe the decision isn't so final. Maybe the fragmentation of
culture that comes with the spread of information technology actually
works against the idea of reality as consensus--and thus in favor of
the schizophrenic. Any world that has a place for furries and centaur
porn and Everquest economies and transgenderism and people who dress up
like Uruk-Hai on the weekends might actually have a place for
schizophrenics, right? Who's to say.

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

OPPORTUNITY

Looking for nine fiction writers


Deadline:
Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:19

I’m looking for nine fiction writers who want to collaborate with me on an artwork that has been commissioned by Turbulence.org. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can say that the work will involve writing collaborative, improvisational fiction online. I can’t honestly say how good the final product will be, but I think it’ll make a fascinating experiment—provided, of course, I’m lucky enough to have good writers to work with.

Each writer will receive a $200 stipend for participation. Participating in this artwork will require a light, but ongoing commitment: perhaps an hour a week, from March to June.

No particular experience, or publications, are necessary. However, you should be mildly comfortable with technology, enough to use a website like MySpace or a blog host like Blogspot. It would also be okay if you had a friend who could help you with the technical stuff. Basically, the project involves a little tech setup, and I don’t want to have to do a lot of tech support for other people.

If that doesn’t sound too maddeningly vague, please let me know if you’re interested by emailing me at sera@fhwang.net. I’d appreciate a few writing samples, and if you have any experience with improvisational anything (stand-up comedy, music, even live-action role-playing), it’d be useful to know about that, too. Also, please feel free to ask any other questions. Thanks!