Randall Packer
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

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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"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

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

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.


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

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

April 7, 2003



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

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

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We the Blog Update: Trail of Death

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

April 7, 2003




"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

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

This is one selfish war. The horror.

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


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


We the Blog Update: Architects of Our Situation

(((((((((((( We the Blog Update: Architects of Our Situation ))))))))))))

April 3, 2003

Kristine Stiles
Under Secretary of the Bureau for Surveying the State of Art and the Medial
State of Mind
US Department of Art & Technology




Assuming the grave responsibility of my post as Under Secretary of the
Bureau for Surveying the State of Art and the Medial State of Mind, I
remain tuned in directly and remotely (visioning) to the media. Last night
I heard/felt a discussion of great consequence, and so pass it dutifully

Last night Joseph Cirincione, Senior Associate and Director of the Non
Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
spoke on the NPR program "Fresh Air." His presentation was followed by a
discussion with William Kristol, editor of the neo-conservative publication
The Weekly Standard. I strongly recommend that everyone listen to the
archived interview with both figures. Cirincione laid out, in very clear
terms, the Defense Policy Guidance Doctrine imagined immediately following
the Gulf War by Paul Wolfowitz. This program was for military premeption
and global aggression.

If we are to become more effective in countering the increasing fascistic
state in which we are participating as citizens - and therefore for which
we are responsible (we held the German population responsible for the
Holocaust, didn't we?) - one of the first points of action is to fully know
the architects of our situation. For those of you, like me, who were not
yet up to speed about the real stragetists of our current global ambitions,

who had been planning this policy long before the illegitimate appointment
of this illegitimate administration by a corrupt Supreme Court, it is high
time we get busy with our homework. I may be preaching to the
knowledgeable, in which case, mia culpa (I was the ignorant one). If
not, you will find this very informative and bone-chilling.

What I'm trying to point out is that we have to go beyond worrying about
the current thug who is administering this policy (Rumsfeld) and the
mastermind CEO thief (Cheney) to those behind the scenes, the architects of
our current practices. A Saudi prince, educated at Princeton, pointed out,
in a recent interview with Barbara Walters, much the same thing. Even
though he refused to name names, he did name the "policy makers" as the
major problem. Of course, we all know it isn't the dauphin himself.

As Cicincioni noted, the current national foreign policy being enacted in
Iraq, belonged to what many felt under the Clinton Administration to be
impossible because of its extreme position. Now this colonialism and
empire is our reality; we are responsible for these people and this war!

May I recommend the following links to give both sides of this story:
www.ceip.org/files/projects/Staff.ASP?p=8 (for the Non Proliferation
Project) and www.weeklystandard.com/ (for the neo-conservative The Weekly

On a more personal note - my six-year old cat Pasha has been increasingly
expressing his views about the war. His revenge tactic is spraying all
metalic and ceramic surfaces in the house, a guerrilla warfare gesture that
is extremely successful in disturbing the home front, but having no effect
on the enemy. If anyone knows a special way to calm my military man down -
aside from the Prozac that he is now taking to ease his anxiety - I would
be most grateful.

The war zone is really beginning to smell, and it would appear that the
smell is permanent unless drastic measures are taken immediately. Is there
a cat psychic out there?

Kristine Stiles
Under Secretary of the Bureau for Surveying the State of Art and the Medial
State of Mind