Randall Packer
Since the beginning
Works in WASHINGTON, District of Columbia United States of America

ARTBASE (2)
BIO
Since the 1980s, multimedia artist, composer, writer and educator Randall Packer has worked at the intersection of interactive media and live performance. He has received international acclaim for his socially and politically infused critique of media culture, and has performed and exhibited at museums, theaters, and festivals throughout the world. Packer is also a writer and scholar in new media, most notably the co-editor of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality and the author of his long running blog: Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge. He holds an MFA and PhD in music composition and has taught multimedia at the University of California, Berkeley, Maryland Institute College of Art, American University, CalArts, and Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he teaches the art of the networked practice. Most recently, he developed Open Source Studio (OSS), an international project exploring collaborative online research and teaching in the media arts. Packer is also an artist educator at the Museum of Modern Art: his online course received an award from Museums and the Web as the best educational site of 2014. Packer works and teaches remotely from his underground studio bunker in Washington, DC.
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DISCUSSION

Abe Golam Enters 2004 Presidential Race


The Experimental Party National Committee
Washington, DC
http://www.experimentalparty.org
press@experimentalparty.org

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2003

ABE GOLAM ENTERS 2004 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

WASHINGTON, DC - Abe Golam, Director of the Office of Political and
Economic Insecurity of the US Department of Art & Technology, joined
the growing field of candidates running for the Presidency of the
United States today.

Mr. Golam, in announcing he is forming an exploratory committee,
declared his candidacy would "stir up controversy throughout the
global computer networks, that 'non-place' where the true battle for
democracy in America will be fought and won."

Running as an independent under the Experimental Party, "the party of
experimentation," Mr. Golam, legendary info-shaman and digital
avatar, discussed his candidacy outside his home in the
Electrosphere, where he tried to paint a sharp contrast between
himself and President Bush. He also tried to separate himself from
other Democratic candidates, and indeed from politicians in general.

"If the American people want a lifelong, corporeal politician in the
White House, that's not me," Mr. Golam said in a webcast news
conference. "They'll have a group of people to choose from if that's
what they want. If they want instead somebody who is closer to them,
more connected to them, someone who will subvert the dominant
paradigm, who is willing to gnaw into the body politic, inhabit it,
and lay his demon seed, that is me."

And he challenged Mr. Bush on what many analysts consider one of the
president's political strengths thus far, the campaign against
terrorism. Criticizing the Bush Administration's handling of national
security, Golam exclaimed, "Since September 11, all levels of
government have been pointing fingers like never before while our
airports become Keystone cop scenarios and our border security
remains a farce."

Mr. Golam said he would seek to enlist artists in the fight. He
expressed his anger at the administration for not seeking support
from the nation's artists in its response to recent international
crises.

"America's artists - indeed, artists all over the globe - want to
contribute," Mr. Golam said. "They want to be involved; they want to
feel like they can do something to make their nation and their world
safe for collaborative experimentation and digitally-enhanced
self-expression. They just haven't been asked."

Golam also challenged the Bush administration's recent war in Iraq
and their overall foreign policy agenda by saying that elligerent
actions by the reigning oilgarchy are meant to pick on easy enemies
who, in fact, pose no threat to the United States of America but are
simplistically portrayed in the classic Biblical role of Evil. First
it was Bin Laden, then it was Saddam Hussein, neither of whom have
been found. Who is the next Bogeyman? Jacques Chirac? Geraldo? John
Kerry? or maybe even me."

Abe Golam is best known as a pop culture info-shaman, a leading
proponent of copyright-free art and entertainment products. Since his
debut in the internationally acclaimed website GRAMMATRON
(http://www.grammatron.com), released on the net in 1997, Golam has
been a political activist and performer in various on-line and live
theatrical events as well. Being a digital avatar with a gift for
language as well as a certain kind of virtual charisma, he seemed
well-positioned to run for President under the Experimental Party
banner. As one of the innovators of an art movement that had a brief
flash of success during the last few years of the 20th century, Golam
was able to use his cultural influence to radically change the course
of art history and has since devoted most of his time and energy
toward developing cutting-edge positions on the major political
issues facing America and the rest of the world today.

*******

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.

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.

*****

Contact:

Experimental National Committee | Washington, DC
Fax: 202.342.1293 | E-mail: info@experimentalparty.org

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"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