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

PORTFOLIO (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

Ashcroft Remix, Or, Why The Attorney General Lost His Senate Race To A Dead Man


US Department of Art & Technology
Office of Political and Economic Insecturity
Abe Golam, Director
golam@usdept-arttech.net
http://www.usdept-arttechn.net

MEMORANDUM

To: Randall M. Packer, Secretary

From: Abe Golam, Director of the Office of Political and Economic Insecurity

Re: Ashcroft Remix, Or, Why The Attorney General Lost His Senate Race
To A Dead Man

Mr. Secretary:

In its 94-year history, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been
many things -- the defender of its exorbitant budget, the guardian of
governmental secrets, and the tireless debaser of civil rights and
civil liberties for all Americans.

On September 11, a stunned nation turned once again to the trained
men and women of the FBI, and asked: "how could you miss this too?"
Americans everywhere spent the hours, days, and most of the first
weeks after the attack wondering what the FBI's Strategic Information
and Operations Center with Director Mueller could have been thinking.
Even today, nine months later, it is difficult to convey the degree
of unprofessionalism, finger-pointing, and circus-like atmosphere we
witnessed in those first, 24-hour days of non-stop CNN propaganda. We
saw central figures in the US administration coil in uncertainty as
they tried to make heads or tails of the horrible terrorist attacks.
We saw them HIDE their tails between their legs as their heads could
only stop and wonder what went wrong and who was asleep at the wheel.
Consequently, there was only one action taken by our leaders, and
that was to save their asses, to intensely focus on their own
personal agendas and personal safety so as to assure the survival of
the Christian race.

From the first moments our "justice" department spent together,
plotting the largest deconstruction of civil liberties in our
nation's history, they understood that the mission of American
justice and law enforcement had changed, that they would now be able
to use the logic of nothing to fear but death itself, to strip
citizens of their unalienated rights as alien beings in an alienated
country. In a few short days, and with the help of our Congress, we
all became disenfranchised artists. We became victims of the USA
Patriot Act.

That day, in those early hours, the protection of the Christian elite
and their oil-garchy brothers the world over, became the central goal
of the law enforcement agencies and national security mission of the
FBI. And from that time forward, the leadership of the FBI and the
Department of Justice began a concerted effort to free the field
agents so that they could pry into the personal lives of
non-Christian-believing liberals and Al-Qaeda terrorists who threaten
the integrity of what they refer to as "our God-fearing United States
of America." The US Attorney General himself, who less than a year
before September 11 had lost his incumbent Senate seat to a dead man,
has been quoted as saying that he believes "the brave men and women
on the front lines" need to be able to follow through on their
mission to rid the world of pleasure-seeking, libertine artists, and
that under the guise of the much-ballyhooed "war on terrorism," soon
the FBI agents charged with this very serious mission, would be freed
"from the bureaucratic, organizational, and operational restrictions
and structures that hindered them from doing their jobs effectively."

As we have heard recently, FBI men and women in the field are
frustrated because many of their internal restrictions have hampered
their ability to fight terrorism. The adminstration claims that the
current investigative guidelines have contributed to that
frustration. In many instances, they insist, the guidelines bar FBI
field agents from taking the initiative to detect and prevent future
terrorist acts unless the FBI learns of possible criminal activity
from external sources. Now that the Attorney General has essentially
cleared the way for FBI agents to pry in the personal lives of anyone
suspected of being a terrorist, what does this say about our top law
enforcement agency's ability to begin suspending the civil rights of
those citizens who publicly identify themselves as vocally disruptive
and antagonistic artist-organizers? Who will defend the first
amendment rights of these artist-organizers whose own steadfast
mission is to use the global computer networks to democratically
build an opposition to the administration's homophobic, Christian
elitist, oil-garchy agenda?

The Attorney General insists that under the current guidelines, FBI
investigators cannot surf the web the way average citizens can. He
also insists that agents cannot simply walk into a public event or a
public place to observe ongoing activities. It's true that they
cannot plant themselves in progressive political organizations so as
to cause internal strife and thus undermine the attempts of these
liberal thinking citizens to create viable alternatives to the
Christian elite way of life. He is frustrated by this - even though
these citizens are clearly practicing their first amendment rights.

Using the "war on terrorism" as a metaphor for war on everything
un-Christian and liberal minded, the Attorney General's guidelines
and procedures relating to criminal investigations and national
security have been high on the list of action items for reform.
Beginning in the 1970s, guidelines have been developed to inform
agents of the circumstances under which investigations may be opened,
the permissible scope of these investigations, the techniques that
may be used, and the objectives that
should be pursued. These guidelines provide limitations and guidance
in conjunction with requirements and safeguards imposed by the
Constitution and help solidify the legal framework established by
federal statutes enacted by Congress. Promulgated for different
purposes and revised at various times, the guidelines currently cover
FBI investigations, undercover operations, the use of confidential
informants, and consensual monitoring of verbal communications.

The guidelines defining the general rules for FBI investigations, for
example, were first issued over 20 years ago. They are there for a
reason and need to stay in place lest we begin sliding down that
slippery slope toward total Christian fundamentalist oil-garchy. Do
we want a nation run by faux-CEOs of corrrupt companies like Enron,
Harken and Halliburton? For as we know, beyond the axis of evil is
the evil of access. Mr. Secretary, there is a cancer on the soul of
America and something must be done about it.

The assault on civil liberties has already begun in full force.
First, the Attorney General authorized the FBI to waive the
guidelines, with headquarters approval, in whatever cases they see
fit to prevent and investigate terrorism. That authority has been
used, but the AG says he is disappointed that it was not used more
widely. He says his experience over the past few months reinforces
his belief that greater authority to investigate more vigorously
needs to be given directly to FBI field agents. But what fields are
these agents covering and how does this relate to the open source art
hack mentality of many a net artist? Artist-(h)activists beware!

Second, the AG directed a top-to-bottom review of the guidelines to
ensure that they provide front-line field agents with the legal
authority they need to protect the Christian elite and their
oil-garchy brethren who have since mutilated the US economy, from
future terrorist attacks. He insists that that comprehensive review,
devised in secret meetings with the reigning oil-garchy, showed that
the guidelines mistakenly combined "timeless objectives" - what we
essentially know to be the enforcement of the law and respect for
civil rights and liberties - with "outdated means."

What does the Attorney General mean by the term "timeless
objectives"? Are the "timeless objectives" of the dead man he lost
his Senate race to still impeding his ability to rid the world of
un-Christian artists and their libertine lovers?

Just this past month, Attorney General Ashcroft announced
comprehensive revisions to the Department's investigative guidelines.
As revised, the guidelines reflect four overriding principles, three
of which I'll highlight here.

First, the "war against terrorism" - whether foreign or domestic - is
the central mission and highest priority of the FBI. This principle
is stated explicitly in the revised guidelines, and it is facilitated
and reinforced through many specific reforms. The guidelines
emphasize that the FBI must
not be deprived of using all lawful authorized methods in
investigations, consistent with the Constitution and statutory
authority, to pursue and prevent terrorist actions. But what
constitutes domestic terrorism? At what point, Mr. Secretary, does
the vocal dissent filling up this
memorandum, mean we are no longer "with" the Christian oil-garchy but
are now "with" the terrorists?

Second, terrorism prevention is the key objective under the revised
guidelines. The AG states that it is the Justice department's
philosophy not to wait and sift through the rubble following a
terrorist attack but to intervene early and investigate aggressively
where information exists suggesting the possibility of terrorism, so
as to prevent acts of terrorism.

Is this memorandum's verbal assault on the Christian elite, including
those Supreme Court Justices who gave the election to George Bush,
suggesting something along the lines of art-terrorism? Can terrorism
be used as an aesthetic concept within a rhetorically-charged
narrative to "bring down a government" while celebrating the
non-violence of past leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King?
And can this desire to "bring down a government" be absolutely
equated with the extremist
Christian right wing agenda to "bring down the government" of William
Jefferson Clinton, the most "covered" libertine lover in all of US
political history?

The new guidelines advance this "strategy of prevention" by
strengthening investigative authority at the early stage of
preliminary inquiries. Also, even absent specific investigative
predicates, FBI agents under the new guidelines are empowered to
scour public sources for information on future terrorist threats.

Public sources where you, Mr. Secretary, as a private citizen, are
free to speak, believe, and assemble, in any way you damn well please.

Third, the AG insists that unnecessary procedural red tape must not
interfere with the effective detection, investigation, and prevention
of terrorist activities. To this end, the revised guidelines allow
Special Agents in Charge of FBI field offices to approve and renew
terrorism enterprise investigations, rather than having to seek and
wait for approval from headquarters. The guidelines expand the scope
of those investigations to the full range of terrorist activities
under the USA Patriot Act. These major changes will free field agents
to counter potential terrorist threats swiftly and vigorously without
waiting for headquarters to act.

The new guideline reads, "For the purpose of detecting or preventing
terrorist activities, the FBI is authorized to visit any place and
attend any event that is open to the public, on the same terms and
conditions as members of the public generally."

This, of course, includes the Internet. Your Big Christian Brother is
watching you.

DISCUSSION

Articles of Artistic Mediation


US Department of Art & Technology
PO Box 32265 Washington, DC
http://www.usdept-arttech.net
office of the Secretary
secretary@usdept-arttech

Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation

Presented by the US Department of Art & Technology
To the US Department of State

Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes
Washington, DC
June 19, 2002

THE MEDIATING PARTIES, In order to promote international co-operation
and to achieve international peace and cultural understanding by the
acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription
of open, informed cultural dialogue between nations, by the
establishment of the understanding of the aspirations of the artist
as a model for spiritual and moral conduct among Governments, and by
the maintenance of the role of the artist as a mediator on the world
stage, and a scrupulous respect for the following articles of
artistic mediation in the dealings of organized peoples with one
another,

Agree to this Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation.

Article 1

Jeff Gates
Deputy Secretary
US Department of Art & Technology

The events of September 11 have caused all Americans to look at the
world and our lives in new ways. We are beginning to question what it
means to be an American within the greater world stage. Like Pearl
Harbor, the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks have once again
jolted us out of our isolationism.

This presents us with a unique opportunity. Let us reevaluate the
relationship between our government and its policies and the
contributions of artists and other cultural workers. We are standing
at the fork in a road, just as we were soon after December 7, 1941.
We can redefine our country by building taller, more impenetrable
walls or we can promote our way of life by looking for new ways to
solve our problems.

Traditionally, artists have developed creative ways of looking at the
world. Employ our strengths and the country will be stronger and more
able to adapt to the changing world around us. Work with us to become
more inclusive domestically and more responsible internationally.

Article 2

Mark Amerika
Under Secretary for the Department of Freedom of Speech
US Department of Art & Technology

I am deeply offended by recent attempts by high administration
figures to try and equate vocal dissent against their
politically-motivated 'war on terrorism' with unpatriotic behavior. I
would go so far as to say that these blatant acts of psychological
manipulation and ideological coercion are themselves some of the most
unpatriotic acts of any administration I have seen in my lifetime.

Article 3

Lynn Hershman
Deputy Under Secretary of the Bureau for the Protection &
Immunization Against Mediation & Alienation
US Department of Art & Technology

Initiate compassion, dignity and enlightenment in all cultural challenges.

Article 4

Pierre Levy
Under Secretary for the Office of Virtualization
US Department of Art & Technology

Each one of us is an autonomous and responsible source of meaning. We
can enrich our world by integrating others as autonomous
interpretation centers who are complete worlds in themselves. What is
to be done with the other's meaning production? Ignore it, tolerate
it, despise it, beat it, imitate itS? this would not be a dialogue.
Collective intelligence is the reciprocal implication and mutual
recognition of autonomous world's sources.

Article 5

Douglas Robertson
Director of the Office of Excessive Verbiage & Official Ceremonies
US Department of Art & Technology

Have Barney, that lovable hug-happy purple dinosaur, accompany the
Secretary of State on all missions, and have Barney speak in the
language of the host country. Barney will prove to be the perfect yin
to every Secretary of State's yang. Alternative methodology if the
Secretary of State does not consider this prudent: Appoint Bahrein as
an American Ambassador at Large and send him on a world tour.

Article 6

Robert Atkins
Deputy Undersecretary
US Department of Art & Technology

Being the most complex form of knowledge, art IS the best hope for
subtle, nuanced communication. Power to the palette people!

Article 7

Jack Rasmussen
Minister of Culture
US Department of Art & Technology

Artists interpret the cultures they live in... their "criticisms"
take the form of invitations to engage us in constructive dialogues.
Such dialogues seem to be completely lacking in the geo-political
arena, where they are needed most. Let us use the artist's model to
resolve international conflicts. Let's get naked!

Article 8

William Gilcher
Envoy Plenipotentiary to the European Union and Latin America
US Department of Art & Technology

US Museums and cultural institutions - under DAT's and UNESCO's
leadership - should enshroud a major, signature work from their
collections. Then they should hold fancy fund-raisers to pay for
recovering (i.e., uncovering) the work. The money raised should be
used to support the creation and maintenance of a permanent light
sculpture representing the Bamiyan Buddhas, to be projected in the
original space in Afghanistan. The team of artists selected to create
the work should be people of various ethnic and religious origins,
including at least one Afghan.

Article 9

John Paul Young
Under Secretary of the Bureau for the Blurring of the Real & the Virtual
US Department of Art & Technology

Art reflects the conscience of each generation. As we inhabit the
21st century, do we choose to take up the challenge of crafting a new
vision of global compassion, or fall back upon antiquated notions of
diplomacy at gunpoint? Our children will judge us by our decision.
Technology in the service of "clean" war is not a solution, it is a
mere political expediency. Instead of increasingly virtualized
destruction, the future must embrace radical notions of humane
intervention. As proud citizens of the world family, let us lead with
a passion for creatively deploying and delivering life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness where they are most needed.

Article 10

Billy Kluver
Under Secretary of Reality
US Department of Art & Technology

Chaos is the best defense.

Article 11

Margaret Schedel
Under Secretary for Dissertations and Strategic Disinformation
US Department of Art & Technology

Interact with art and with each other. Ferocious interaction in art.
Tender interactions with each other.

Article 12

Joan Freedman
Deputy Secretary of the Bureau for Archiving Old Media
& Anachronistic Ideologies
US Department of Art & Technology

No Land Mimes! Appoint mimes to call for an international ban on the
use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel
landmines, and for increased international resources for humanitarian
mine clearance and mine victim assistance programs. Send mimes to
effected regions to demonstrate the effects of land mines on
unknowing civilian populations.

Article 13

Mark Tribe
Director of the Office of Emerging Technologies & Digital Aesthetics
US Department of Art & Technology

The conflict between Al Quaeda and the U.S. Government may be
understood in terms of two very different modes of organizing power:
one horizontally distributed and nomadic, the other hierarchical and
geographically fixed. In the past, we have tended to assign positive
value to the rhizomatic in contrast to the hierarchical. This
conflict helps us realize that there is nothing inherently good about
rhizomatic organizations of power. But if we think of think of these
organizations of power as technologies in and of themselves, then it
quickly becomes clear that rhizomatic technologies - fugitive,
resilient, designed to operate in tatters - are not only newer but
also more likely to survive in an evolutionary struggle.

Article 14

Randall Packer
Secretary
US Department of Art & Technology

Organize a virtual government department, select a staff of the
finest media artists and technologists you can find, have them
collectively co-author imaginative acts of artistic mediation, stage
an "official" event in Washington, DC with department staff and
cultural officials providing remarks on the role of the artist in
society, and invite the US State Department.

Article 15

David Baime
Assistant Secretary for Legislation & Congressional Affairs
US Department of Art & Technology

The sentimentalist would deceive himself, the rhetorician others;
while art alone provides the reflection of reality. Art is as
perennial as the grass, and may our good government sow its seed, so
as to reap its splendor.

Article 16

David Crandall
Director of the Office of Strategy and Subversion
US Department of Art & Technology

I would submit that a central problem is the rest of the world's lack
of understanding of America's unique burden and contribution.
Inasmuch as our great nation has given the world the best-dressed
peasant class in history, I would call for the commission of a series
of grand, heroic paintings of, e.g. noble American yeoman
stock-traders, bond-swains, cash maidens & personnel-herds, done
larger than life in a golden glow.

Alternatively, murals could be created in the soviet style extolling
the virtues of our noble Arts Infrastructure workers - see the sweat
gleam on the sides of the redoubtable database coordinator and grants
administrator as they build a better world for all! Their song: "If
we lose this grant, the terrorists win!"

Article 17

Chris Bowman
Artist-Ambassador from Scotland
Global Virtualization Council

NEW CHILDREN'S GAME:

After lots are drawn, two children stand side by side pretending to
be skyscrapers, while two others charge into them, pretending to be
planes.

The two pretending to be skyscrapers aren't allowed to duck or dodge,
and the two pretending to be planes get to crash into them as hard as
they like, at which point the skyscrapers compete to see who can
topple over the most dramatically.

It's in the interests of the planes not to hit the skyscrapers too
hard, because in the next and final stage of the game, the
skyscrapers - who have become a military alliance - get to kick the
shit out of the planes - who have become foreign terrorists - in any
and every way they like.

The game is known as PYRRHIC VICTORY.

Article 18

Philip Ryder
Artist-Ambassador from England
Global Virtualization Council

Being pigeon holed with terrorists should not be a frustration or
insult. We do not kill. We are feared for being artists and all that
it entails. Let their fear be proof of art's power and an inspiration.

Article 19

Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Artist Ambassador from the US
Global Virtualization Council

Without the negative to negate the positive, the positive would have
no power. Working together we can avoid the threat that terrorism
will be a threat to the way we perceive threats. Art is the only way
to escape the world of what is possible into the world of what can be
possible. Artists and creative processes will lead us past the
bureaucratic stranglehold that stifles radical change. Our only hope
is to rely on individual creative energy to prove the hypothesis that
new approaches to perception will lead us to salvation.

Article 20

Agricola de Cologne
German media artist

Violence is an expression of speechlessness, of lack of
communication. The best solution to eliminate violence and
confrontation is looking for communicating, dialogue and networking,
starting already in the smallest cel of society family, which lead in
consequence to openness against the different, tolerance. A good
example on the way to that represents the net based art project -
http://www.a-virtual-memorial.org - Memorial project against the
Forgetting and for Humanity.

Article 21

Joseph Franklyn McElroy
Cor[porat]e [Per]form[ance] Art[ist]T

It seems to be a natural tendency on the part of those in power, or
wanting power, to use tactics of brinkmanship and brutality to
accomplish incremental gains in their status. While people of extreme
intelligence might be capable of handling the situations created by
aggressive behavior, the unfortunate consequence of the success of
these tactics is that people of less intelligence and experience
attempt to copy the methods and are unable to control the resulting
forces. This leads to tragedy and sorrow for many people. We implore
you to step back from the strategies of the brute, to use new
techniques of honesty, nonaggression, and inclusivity to establish a
peaceful world, where equality and equitable distribution of
resources are the norm.

Article 22

Ava Su GanWei
Iowan Artist

Our society has it backwards, art should be freed from the museums
and galleries... it should be on the streets. But violence and war -
they belong in a place where they can be studied.

Article 23

Domiziana Giordano
Italian Artist

As an intellectual and artist, I find the international politics of
the US not really performing if it has to reach a point of non
aggression in military and cultural forms. The dialogue between
cultures has to be more open-minded towards the difference of culture
and I think intellectuals and artists can pursue the appropriate way
to mediate between the cultures and make a sort of free land where
opportunities of understanding with each other would be easily
resolved.

Article 24

Lowell Darling
American Conceptual Artist and Presidential Candidate

A National Business Museum in which money schemes can be exhibited
like art, where business people can play with concepts like the
recent Enron/Anderson debacle. Business people like Michael Milkin
should be given a safe venue to play in, like artists. This museum
would give corporate raiders a platform to perform that would protect
the rest of us from seeing their visions reach fruition.

In the National Business Museum a corrupt concept could be exhibited,
reviewed, discussed, and the business person who came up with the
scam could get the attention they seek. a businessman could take his
children to the Business Museum, show his kids the idea he had, and
show them how much money he could have made if he'd done the project
in real life instead of in the museum, and they could say, "wow, dad.
You made that? cool!"

The National Business Museum would allow the money manipulators a way
to vent their greed while giving them their ego boosts. Economic self
gratification without investors being destroyed. In other words,
let's treat business like art. Give money grubbers and corporate
thieves a sheltered venue for their experiments. Let money makers get
the sort of rewards art makers get: pats on the ass, government
grants, ego enhancing shows, brief moments of recognition in trade
magazines, and lots of promises. But the money stays in the people's
pockets when they leave the museum and go home, glad that they are
protected from such crazy concepts as those wild business people come
up with.

* * *

The present Covenant, of which the German, French, Flemish, English,
Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall remain deposited in the on-line archives of the US
Department of Art & Technology. Duly certified digital copies thereof
shall be transmitted by that Government to its agencies and to other
States when appropriate.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the representatives of the Department of Art &
Technology have signed the present charter.

DONE at the city of Washington, DC the 19th day of June two thousand and tw=
o.

DISCUSSION

Address to the World Mediation Summit


US Department of Art & Technology
PO Box 32265 Washington, DC
http://www.usdept-arttech.net
press@usdept-arttech.net

Press Secretary
For Immediate Release: June 19, 2002

Secretary Packer to Address
World Mediation Summit
Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC - On June 19, 7:00 PM (EST), the Secretary of the US
Department of Art & Technology, Randall M. Packer, will deliver the
following speech at the World Mediation Summit in Washington, DC,
minutes before the signing of the Covenant of the Articles of
Artistic Mediation. Department staff, members of the Washington arts
community, and cultural officials from six nations will be
participating in the event. The Covenant, collectively co-authored by
artists, curators, and cultural critics from around the world, is
being presented to the US Department of State.

The following is the transcript of the speech:

Speech by Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology
To the World Mediation Summit
Upon Signing of the Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation

June 19, 2002
Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes
Washington, DC

***********

It's an honor to thank those artists who have heeded a great call:
those who collectively co-authored the Covenant of the Articles of
Artistic Mediation, which we are presenting tonight to the US
Department of State. It's a universal call, and it's a call that has
been applicable throughout history. It's really needed right now.

The reason we're here tonight is to unleash the talents of the artist
as a mediator on the world stage. I appreciate the cooperation of the
Goethe-Institut to stage this event right here in the nation's
capital. Because this is a critical gesture that I hope will
encourage cultural dialogue and understanding throughout the nation.
It's an urgent time for the artist to act. And I think it's going to
help America, along with the rest of the world, cope in these times
of crisis and national insecurity.

This really isn't about any political party, I want to assure you.
It's a way to make sure citizens of the world are as hopeful as they
possibly can be.

The events of September the 11th were an incredibly dark moment. But
the thing I'm most proud about is, through the darkness, is the
emergence of a new era of socially engaged art. This is really an
unbelievable country we live in. A place where heroes risked their
lives, and where artists responded with incredible insight. It was a
remarkable moment, it really was. It was a test of our character.
While many were busy waving the flag, artists and cultural critics in
America and throughout the world have probed deep into the issues of
cultural divisiveness in order to help guide us through these
perilous times. They have rallied together, via the Internet, through
their art, their writing, and their vision, to point out that
everything is at stake, and that we have everything to lose, in these
apocalyptic times. In the words of our Deputy Undersecretary Robert
Atkins, "Being the most complex form of knowledge, art IS the best
hope for subtle, nuanced communication."

This power of cultural action can go well beyond military aggression,
and can help us rise above the hopeless notion of "overcoming evil"
or "rooting out terror." Yes, we will take action, I want to assure
you, but we don't seek death and destruction, we seek a victory of
the human spirit. And I believe that if we're patient and resolved
and united, that out of these acts of artistic mediation could come
lasting peace - peace in regions of the world that might appear now
they cannot be peaceful.

I believe we can achieve peace by listening to the artist. Peace is
the cornerstone of the artistic sensibility, it's what we aim for. As
the Iowan artist Ava Su GanWei said so well, "Our society has it
backwards, art should be freed from the museums and galleries... it
should be on the streets. But violence and war - they belong in a
place where they can be studied." There are going to be some tough
moments achieving this peace. But you need to know that we're going
to be plenty tough when we need to be tough. And we're going to stay
focused on fighting homeland insecurity, caused by those who would
foolishly believe they can root out every trace of evil from human
existence. That's our call. History has called us into action, and we
must and we will respond.

But we need to do more than just make the country less insecure. We
need to make our country and the world a better place. We must be
more than just a military might. We must show our resolve through
cultural understanding: for according to John Young, our Under
Secretary of the Bureau for the Blurring of the Real & the Virtual,
"As we inhabit the 21st century, do we choose to take up the
challenge of crafting a new vision of global compassion, or fall back
upon antiquated notions of diplomacy at gunpoint?"

We have got to recognize that because we're a rich and powerful
nation, we inspire despair and hopelessness in countries that suffer
from extreme poverty and political instability. There are too many
people throughout the world who wonder whether or not America is a
destructive force. And so part of our struggle in making the country
and the world less insecure is to mediate these differences in the
universal language of artistic expression. As David Baime, our
Assistant Secretary for Legislation & Congressional Affairs so
eloquently said, "art alone provides the reflection of reality. Art
is as perennial as the grass, and may our good government sow its
seed, so as to reap its splendor." And the place to start is
understanding that the world can be changed one word, one note, one
frame, one pixel at a time.

The artist can't do everything. But the artist can do something to
help. And their job as social provocateurs, appropriators,
liberators, and citizens deeply committed to virtualization and the
suspension of disbelief, is to gather that great compassion for
critical insight, the spectacle, and distaste for the status quo, to
change our ineffective paradigms, to change the world. And for those
who have contributed to the efforts of the US Department of Art &
Technology, including tonight's World Mediation Summit, they are
doing a great job of that, and I want to thank them.

My job is to continue to address the spirit of the artist, their role
in society, to call upon the best, and I will do so. Let this be a
reminder to those who want to confront the human reality of terror,
they should turn to the arts and its many forms of expression.
"Violence is an expression of speechlessness, of lack of
communication," according to the German media artist Agricola de
Cologne. The artist recognizes problems when they exist and works to
solve those problems, to eliminate the hurdles and barriers that lead
to violence and aggression.

Government must not turn a blind eye to the artist. There must be a
level playing field available and a role for the artist as a mediator
and a player on the world stage. We need to remember that in our
society, artists can move people in ways that government never can.

In order to understand the eternal, existential struggle between good
and evil, that now paralyzes our government, we must invent, we must
create, we must virtualize, and we must use our imaginations! As
Andre Breton said, "perhaps the imagination is on the verge of
recovering its rights."

In the gathering momentum of these acts of artistic mediation, which
reveal what the artist is truly made of, we stand on the first
promontory of the new centuries. Why should we look back, when what
we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible!

And so, I now have the great honor of joining my colleagues in
signing the Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation and
delivering it to the US Department of State.

Thank you.

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

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
press@usdept-arttech.net

# 01-102

DISCUSSION

New Post Confronts National Insecurity


US Department of Art & Technology
PO Box 32265 Washington, DC 20007
http://www.usdept-arttech.net
press@usdept-arttech.net

Press Secretary
For Immediate Release: June 14, 2002

Appointment of New Post
Confronts National Insecurity

Abe Golam, Director of the
Office of Political and Economic Insecurity

WASHINGTON, DC - Responding to criticism of the Bush Administration's
handling of national security in its recent proposal to create the
Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Randall M. Packer has
called for the creation of the Office of Political and Economic
Insecurity within the Department of Art & Technology, to confront
rising insecurity in the nation and around the world as a result of
the administration's plan to restructure the US government. The
Secretary has appointed Abe Golam, legendary info-shaman, cracker of
the sorcerer-code and creator of Nanoscript, as its Director.

Mr. Packer's proposal would place into a single office the
Department's Office of Artist & Homeland Insecurity, Bureau of
Cultural Transformation and Paradigmatic Shifts, the Bureau for the
Protection & Immunization Against Mediation & Alienation, the Bureau
for Rhizomatics, Community & Generative Data, and the Office of
Freedom of Speech.

"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 stated
in a recent memorandum to the Secretary. "Even as they pretend to be
taking steps toward improving information sharing among our
intelligence agencies, and suggest in their media-manipulated spin
doctoring that we are beginning to deploy more resources and
personnel to protect our critical infrastructure, our federal
investigators are still working with computer technology manufactured
in the dark ages. Our children have access to better technology than
our federal intelligence agents."

Mr. Golam expressed his anger at the administration for not seeking
support from the nation's artists in its response to recent
international crises, "The changing nature of the threats facing
America requires a new government, a new administration, a new way of
looking at the world that protects the environment, that celebrates
diversity, takes care of the poor, and prioritizes the development of
new forms of art using advanced digital technologies that will help
us find a cure to the 'death-denial' of our present leaders." In a
stinging acknowledgment of failures that took place during the
administration's watch, Mr. Golam directly attacked Bush's new
homeland policies and its impact on civil liberties, "Our domestic
agenda has been hijacked by far right wing ideologues and
military-religious zealots who are trying to whittle away at the
basic rights of all US citizens as guaranteed by our Constitution."

Under Mr. Packer's proposal, the new office would put at least 22
separate bureaus, programs and media research centers under one
umbrella group. But the conceptual framework of the new office is
clear: each division is supposed to handle a different element of the
country's ability to confront the administration's emerging
death-wish before it happens, or respond to it should prevention
fail. Mr. Golam's memorandum notes that "The one thing Americans,
perhaps more than any other nation on the planet, fear - is death
itself. Under the protective guise of 'Homeland Security', we find
ourselves primarily a nation of insecure workers scared to death of
our future, of our ability to consume corporate food at any cost, of
our right to buy gas guzzling vehicles that double as tanks."

Mr. Golam's memorandum concludes with an existential portrayal of the
administration's position as he warns, "For those of our fellow
citizens who fear death, we should ask them to remember that death is
an advisor. Death is always there, always with you, watching your
every move. Death has only one thing to say to you and says it over
and over again: live this life to its fullest and find security in
your own heart, the way you act toward others, the things you create."

For the full transcript of Abe Golam's Memorandum to the Secretary:
http://www.usdept-arttech.net/golam.html

##

The US Department of Art and Technology is the 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.

URLs:

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

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
press@usdept-arttech.net

# 01-101

DISCUSSION

Knock Knock Knockin' On Heaven's Door: Why Are We Scared To/Of Death?


MEMORANDUM

To: Randall M. Packer, Secretary

From: Abe Golam, Director of the Office of Political and Economic Insecurity

Re: Knock Knock Knockin' On Heaven's Door: Why Are We Scared To/Of Death?

------

As we know, the President's most important job is to protect himself
while appearing to defend the American people. 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. We are in the process of producing and
stockpiling more medicines to treat the disillusioned masses whose
retirement plans have been plundered by the reigning oil-garchy now
in power, those stupid white men and women who are still trying to
regain their balance after having been knocked over by a ten-ton
intelligence failure like none ever experienced in postmodern times.
Even as they pretend to be taking steps toward improving information
sharing among our intelligence agencies, and suggest in their
media-manipulated spin doctoring that we are beginning to deploy more
resources and personnel to protect our critical infrastructure, our
federal investigators are still working with computer technology
manufactured in the dark ages. Our children have access to better
technology than our federal intelligence agents.

The changing nature of the threats facing America requires a new
government, a new administration, a new way of looking at the world
that protects the environment, that celebrates diversity, takes care
of the poor, and prioritizes the development of new forms of art
using advanced digital technologies that will help us find a cure to
the "death-denial" of our present leaders.

Our current administration continuously churns out the propaganda
butter while greasing up our virtual asses so that they can mind-fuck
us better than Brando does Maria Schneider in Last Tango In Paris.
We are asked to keep our eyes out for "invisible enemies" as if we
were all Supermen and Superwomen with x-ray vision able to leap
collapsing buildings in a single, helpless bound. We are told that
these "invisible enemies" can strike with a wide variety of weapons
and that America needs a single, unified homeland security structure
that will improve protection against today's threats and be flexible
enough to help meet the unknown threats of the future.

Whereas it's true that a great tragedy has struck America, and
innocent people of all walks of life have unnecessarily lost their
lives, our domestic agenda has been hijacked by far right wing
ideologues and military-religious zealots who are trying to whittle
away at the basic rights of all US citizens as guaranteed by our
Constitution. As a result of these ruthless, unpatriotic acts
against freedom of speech and the right to dissent, we have no choice
but to become politically active ourselves and to demand change in
the current administration's personnel make-up.

As part of our next major political action, we should form an
exploratory committee to see if it is feasible to declare a candidacy
for the Presidency of the United States of America. Under the banner
of the Experimental Party whose motto is "Representation Through
Virtualization" - we will recruit a candidate whose virtual identity
is guaranteed to stir up controversy in the global computer networks,
that "non-place" place where the true battle for democracy in America
will be fought and won. As part of this exploration, we will attempt
to locate The Real Moral Majority, those whose ethics and aesthetics
will, without compromise, tell the truth so help them God or whatever
other word they use to describe The Supreme Fiction.

We will not appease soccer moms or corporate dads, we will not
pretend we have endless amounts of taxpayer money to give back to
everyone so that we can essentially buy their votes while making sure
their rights as a U.S. citizen die on the vine, and we will not let
the super-rich steal continue to steal their hard earned retirement
money so that they can buy another Lear jet to fly them out to Monaco
where they can secretly buy old paintings previously stolen and
hidden by the Nazis and their moneyed co-conspirators.

We WILL ask for sacrifice. We will ask for sacrifice from SUV
trust-fund babies and get-rich-quick wannabes whose vaporware dreams
of dot.com glory have turned to dust. We will demand the immediate
impeachment of Vice-President Richard "Tricky Dick" Cheney. We are
naming names, and the first to go has got to be the ex-CEO of
Halliburton whose shady business dealings allowed him to pocket tens
of millions of dollars while corrupting an already corrupt energy
company that is leaving its ex-workers in the dust the same way the
oil-garchy fund-raisers at Enron did during the hey-day of cooking
books and stealing national elections. Remember, "Tricky Dick" is
just one artificial heartbeat away from the Presidency. Once he goes,
the rest are sure to follow.

As we know, the one thing Americans, perhaps more than any other
nation on the planet, fear - is death itself. Under the protective
guise of "Homeland Security", we find ourselves primarily a nation of
insecure workers scared to death of our future, of our ability to
consume corporate food at any cost, of our right to buy gas guzzling
vehicles that double as tanks in case we encounter the next fucked-up
mass murderer at the upcoming stop light. What's worse is that that
fucked-up mass murderer may be your high school son, your pedophilic
priest, your favorite football star, or your local Congressman.

As a nation of laws, we must always remember that our ability to
prosecute the real criminals is crucial to our survival. Those who
steal elections, rob Peter to pay Paul, deprive citizens of their
basic constitutional rights to vocally oppose the egregious war
policies of the present administration, are criminally unpatriotic,
and need to be dealt with immediately.

For those of our fellow citizens who fear death, we should ask them
to remember that death is an advisor. Death is always there, always
with you, watching your every move. Death has only one thing to say
to you and says it over and over again: live this life to its fullest
and find security in your own heart, the way you act toward others,
the things you create.