Randall Packer
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

PORTFOLIO (2)
BIO
Randall Packer is internationally recognized as a pioneering artist, composer, educator, and scholar in the field of multimedia. His work has been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the world including Europe, Asia, and North America. He is Assistant Professor of Multimedia at American University in Washington, DC. His book and accompanying Web site, Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality (W.W. Norton 2001 / www.artmuseum.net), has been adopted internationally as one of the leading educational texts in the field. He is concerned with the aesthetic, philosophical, and socio-cultural impact of new media in an increasingly technological society.

In 1988, he founded Zakros InterArts and has since produced, directed and created critically acclaimed new media performance, installation, and net-specific works. His sound installation Mori was selected for the 1999 Biennial Exhibition at the InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo and included in the Telematic Connections: A Virtual Embrace exhibition that toured the US (2001-2002). In 2003 Mori received its New York debut at the Kitchen. His net project, the Telematic Manifesto (1999), was included in ZKM's (Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany) Net_Condition exhibition and has been featured on the Website of the Walker Art Center.

Since moving to Washington, DC in 2000, his work has explored the critique of the role of the artist in society and politics. He founded the virtual government agency US Department of Art and Technology (www.usdat.us) in 2001, which proposes and supports the idealized definition of the artist as one whose reflections, ideas, aesthetics, sensibilities, and abilities can have significant and transformative impact on the world stage. The US DAT project has emerged as a hybrid of media forms and genres. It has yielded numerous published articles and manifestos, live performances, media installations, and video works presented at festivals, museums, and universities around the world. US DAT has also spawned several subsidiary projects, including: The Experimental Party (www.experimentalparty.org); TEL-SPAN (Web-based streaming broadcast channel); and The Media Deconstruction Kit (audio-visual manipulation of live broadcast news). In the fall of 2003, the US DAT Visitor Center was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, across the street from the White House. In 2004, the Experimental Party DisInformation Center debuted in New York City at the LUXE gallery during the Republican National Convention.

A native Californian, Packer holds degrees from the University of Oregon (BS, sociology); California Institute of the Arts (MFA, music composition); Institute for the Research and Coordination in Acoustics and Music (IRCAM), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (certificate, computer music); and the University of California, Berkeley (PhD, music composition). He is the recipient of several awards for his work, including the George Ladd Prix de Paris and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.
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DISCUSSION

An Aesthetic Operation


Please join us in saluting Jon Henry, a great artistic hero:

"Speech for the End of Time"
Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology
Wednesday, April 23, 2003, 7:30 pm
Johns Hopkins University, School of Arts & Sciences, Room LL07
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Jon Henry is the National Chairman of the USA Exquisite Corpse. He is
dead.

Jon Henry was killed fighting the war machine, but his spirit lives on.
His spirit remains strong. So strong in fact, that he is about to lead
the Experimental Party in 10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation.

Jon Henry's epic journey to deconstruct a new medial state begins
tomorrow evening (April 23) when his spirit is released into the night,
during my "Speech for the End of Time."

In this speech, I am calling on coalition artists to "to inspire other
artists into action by undergoing an aesthetic operation as a form of
magic designed as a mediation between our strange hostile world and the
human spirit." Jon Henry will lead that effort.

The new Jon Henry, the young artist from Baltimore, inspired by the
old, legendary John Henry, continues the brave fight against the
machine in Operation Artistic Freedom.

Here then, is an excerpt from Jon's Manifesto:

"WAR is the ultimatum of capital. It is the result of the energized
spectacle of money. God/Money is the fuel that will drive us into the
ground. Gain is intertwined in the roots of this cancerous tree of
America. And they called the mechanized vacuum of the wretched rich
freedom? As the past became history the new Jon Henry saw the object of
spectacle in front of him and he knew that in order to be free he must
fight against his assimilation; he must face the war spectacle and
battle it to his death." - Jon Henry

Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology

******

The US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdept-arttech.net

The US Department of Art and Technology is the United States
principal conduit for facilitating the artist's need to extend
aesthetic inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real
action. It also serves the psychological and spiritual well-being of
all Americans by supporting cultural efforts that provide immunity
from the extension of new media technologies into the social sphere.

The Experimental Party
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The Experimental Party - the "party of experimentation" - is an
artist-based political party that has been formed to activate
citizens across the country in an effort to bring the artists'
message to center stage of the political process. This is a political
awakening, 'representation through virtualization' is the major
political thrust of the Experimental Party, it is the driving force.

DISCUSSION

"Speech for the End of Time"


Speech for the End of Time"
Presented by the Communication in Contemporary Society Program
and the Center for the Study of American Government
Johns Hopkins University - Washington, DC

Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology
Wednesday, April 23, 7:30pm @ Room LL07
School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

"Weapons that change consciousness could call the war game in
question." - William Burroughs

Randall Packer will conclude his tour of the nation in Washington, DC
with the "Speech for the End of Time." As Secretary of the US
Department of Art & Technology, the event will be a direct response
to war cries from the Administration that are leading us quickly and
inevitably down the path to a day of reckoning. In Secretary Packer's
tour - which has included Los Angeles, Boulder, and New York City -
he has announced the activation of the Experimental Party, the
artist-based political party, the "party of experimentation," and its
latest initiative, "10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation." In the
"Speech for the End of Time," Secretary Packer will call on coalition
artists to " to inspire other artists into action by undergoing
aesthetic operation as a form of magic designed as a mediation
between our strange hostile world and the human spirit." For more
than 100 years, the avant-garde has gone forth from its studios and
garrets to fight for utopian aspirations and social transformation.
Today's artists have entered a fierce struggle against a grave
danger, the existential darkness that has possessed our government,
that grips its soul.

Randall Packer

Randall Packer's work as a composer and media artist has focused on
the integration of live performance, digital media, and the
interdisciplinary arts. From the revival of avant-garde music theater
to the creation of new interactive media work, he has bridged current
issues in art, media and culture with seminal interdisciplinary
ideologies. As a leading authority on the history of multimedia,
Packer has completed a multi-part hybrid publishing project entitled
"Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality" (W.W. Norton, 2001).
Most recently, Packer founded the US Department of Art & Technology
and Experimental Party in Washington, DC as an artistic critique of
the political process. He has appeared frequently as the Department's
Secretary, including the Transmediale International Festival of Media
2002 in Berlin, the Thaw Festival of Film, Video and Digital Media
2002 in Iowa City, and the World Mediation Summit (2002) in
Washington, DC at the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes. In 2003, his
collaborative sound installation Mori received its New York debut at
The Kitchen. Packer is Professor of Electronic Arts and Director of
the Center for New Media at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

*******

The US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdept-arttech.net

The US Department of Art and Technology is the United States
principal conduit for facilitating the artist's need to extend
aesthetic inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real
action. It also serves the psychological and spiritual well-being of
all Americans by supporting cultural efforts that provide immunity
from the extension of new media technologies into the social sphere.

The Experimental Party
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The Experimental Party - the "party of experimentation" - is an
artist-based political party that has been formed to activate
citizens across the country in an effort to bring the artists'
message to center stage of the political process. This is a political
awakening, 'representation through virtualization' is the major
political thrust of the Experimental Party, it is the driving force.

DISCUSSION

We the Blog Update: McLuhan: Live and in Real Time


(((((((((( We the Blog Update: McLuhan: Live and in Real Time ))))))))))

April 7, 2003

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http://wetheblog.org/archive/000030.html

Watching the war on television I am simultaneously "there" and "here."
In the 1960s Marshall McLuhan said the media tools we create are
extensions of our bodies. After revisiting his work this week I can see
why so many are confused by the images and reports from the Iraqi
front.

Take a look at the latest post on We the Blog: "McLuhan: Live and In
Real Time"

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DISCUSSION

We the Blog Update: Trail of Death


(((((((((((((((((( We the Blog Update: Trail of Death ))))))))))))))))))

April 7, 2003

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http://wetheblog.org/archive/000028.html

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"It was three hours of organized chaos" - Lt. Col. Eric C. Schwartz,
3rd Infantry Division, US Army

This is not Apocalypse Now. This ain't Hollywood. This is George
Bush's War on Iraq brought to you live by CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.

Saturday the troops stormed Baghdad. The headlines in the Sunday New
York Times, read, "Barrage of Fire, Trail of Death in the Capital."
Colonel David Perkins of the Second Brigade estimated that more than
1,000 Iraqi fighters died. Countless civilians were caught in the
crossfire.

The Army had no intention of occupying Baghdad. Not just yet. No,
this is what the military called an "I.O. campaign," or information
operation. More shock and awe, you could say.

Forty tanks rolled into the city from the Southwest on Highway 8,
took a left turn in the central area, and then headed for Saddam
International Airport, or rather, what has now been tagged Baghdad
International Airport. Oh, how easy it is to rename an airport in time of war.

Four of those tanks bear the name of the four airliners that were
hijacked on Sept. 11. Apparently the names were placed on the cannons
for motivational reasons, even though the men who stenciled them were
not quite sure there was a direct connection between the attack on
the World Trade Center and the one grinding its way through Baghdad.
Oh well.

Later that day, a captured Republican Guard colonel, who spoke a
little English, was asked if he thought it was the right thing to
take out Saddam. The Iraqi replied that it was. Whew.

Eventually, the first battalion of tanks made its way to the newly
occupied airport, leaving in its wake an endless of trail of burning
military vehicles, charred soldiers, families and children dead,
lying in the streets. A Sergeant Casady, who manned a .50-caliber
machine gun on the roof of an armored command vehicle, waxed, "Being
a dad myself, that's the hardest part. I've got six kids at home, and
I can't imagine it. I'd just as soon die than see that happen to my
kids. Just to drive by and be helpless, man. It makes you feel
selfish."

This is one selfish war. The horror.

Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology

DISCUSSION

We the Blog


In the past week, Jeff Gates, Robert Atkins, Kristine Stiles, and Abe Golam, four of our esteemed staff members, have posted entries on "We the Blog." Please take a look at their texts and help activate the blog by posting your comments.

"We the Blog" (http://www.wetheblog.org ) offers information and dialogue - from artistic expression to political activism - as a tool for facilitating the artist's need to extend aesthetic inquiry into the broader culture where ideas become real action.

"As technology fuels new ways of communicating, the blog (web log) is resulting in certain kinds of human actions that were never possible before," said Gates, a Principal Artist of the Experimental Party. He adds, "We the Blog will offer an artistic alternative to the spin-doctors of the Republican and Democratic parties. "We the Blog" will be the virtual community to participate in as the War rhetoric ramps up."

Randall Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology