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

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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

Secretary Packer to Address New York City


Media Release
For Immediate Release: August 25, 2004

Secretary Packer to Address New York City
Announcing "10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation"
At the Freedom of Expression National Monument

WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary Randall M. Packer of the US Department of
Art & Technology will address the citizens of New York City, calling
on them to carry out "10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation" during the
2004 Republican National Convention. The speech will take place on
Thursday, August 26, 5:00 pm, at the Freedom of Expression National
Monument, Foley Square, at the intersection of Centre & Pearl St. in
New York City. Secretary Packer will be introduced by Andrew Nagy,
Commanding General of the USA Exquisite Corpse, the US Department of
Art & Technology's "Artist Call to Service."

At the invitation of Creative Time and the Lower Manhattan Cultural
Council, Secretary Packer will speak to New York City through the
Freedom of Expression National Monument, an enormous red megaphone,
to voice the thoughts, grievances, and hopes of a nation under siege
of the Republicans. The Secretary hopes to inspire the nation into
action to confront the loss of free speech, power and powerlessness,
and a multiplicity of social and cultural concerns in these
post-apocalyptic times.

The Secretary will announce the US Department of Art & Technology's
Experimental Party DisInformation Center, a state-of-the-art media
installation that subverts Republican propaganda, currently on view
at LUXE gallery in NYC. Additionally, he will reveal numerous acts of
artistic mediation already in various stages of planning: from Johnny
America's march down Lexington Avenue in colonial garb declaring "The
Republicans are Coming;" to the Revelers who will mount the Staten
Island Ferry and stage a heroic "Crossing of New York Harbor" to
liberate Manhattan from the Bush Loyalists; to the Missile Dick
Chicks, a posse of pissed-off housewives from Crawford, Texas charged
with opposing consumerism by singing songs like "Shop! In the Name of
War."

The Secretary added, "Like other totalitarian movements, the
Republicans seek to impose a grim vision in which dissent is crushed,
and every man and woman must think and live in colorless conformity.
We offer to the oppressed peoples of our nation and around the world,
the great alternative of human liberty through freedom of artistic
expression. Our country must never allow the Republicans to preach
religious extremism with 9-11, to use New York City and Ground Zero
as the pulpit for its ideologies."

As Reverend Billy poetically declared, "we have to match that
theater, to supplant it, and the RNC is going to be our 9th Symphony."

******

The US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us

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 DisInformation Center
http://www.experimentalparty.org

From August 21 to September 4, the US Department of Art & Technology
presents the Experimental Party DisInformation Center, "anarchic
entertainment for the nation," at the LUXE gallery, 24 W. 57th St. in
New York City. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am - 6pm. The
installation closes on Saturday, September 4, 6 - 8 PM, with the
Post-Mortem Lounge.

*****

# 01-136

DISCUSSION

Experimental Party DisInformation Center Comes to NYC


What:
Experimental Party DisInformation Center
Anarchic Entertainment for the Nation!
Presented by the US Department of Art & Technology (full press release below)
Works by: Mark Amerika, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Andy Deck, Jeff Gates,
Jon Henry, Lynn Hershman, Gregory T. Kuhn, Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky
and '47,' Andrew Nagy, Randall Packer, Trace Reddell, Rick Silva, and
Wesley Smith. Convention coverage by Alexander Provan.

When:
Opening reception: "Propaganda Hospitality Suite," Sat., August 21st, 6-8pm
(Bring Your Own Propaganda BYOP)
Installation continues through Sept. 4, Tues. - Sat. 11am - 6pm
Closing reception: "Post-Mortem Lounge," Sat., Sept. 4, 6-8pm

Where:
LUXE gallery
24 W. 57th St., 5th Floor, #503
212.404.7455
New York City

Website:
http://www.experimentalparty.org

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

Media Release
For Immediate Release: July 23, 2004
Contact: Press Secretary, Megan Morrow
510-547-2162
morrow@usdat.us

EXPERIMENTAL PARTY DISINFORMATION CENTER
COMES TO NYC

WASHINGTON, DC - The Experimental Party DisInformation Center rolls
into New York City on Saturday, August 21st just ahead of the
Republican National Convention with its opening reception, entitled
"Propaganda Hospitality Suite," at LUXE Gallery, 24 West 57th Street,
NYC, 6 - 8 PM.

Politicos, press, protestors, Republicans, performance artists, and
the public will gather for a first look at the Experimental Party
DisInformation Center, a state-of-the-art media installation
presented by the US Department of Art & Technology. The exhibition
runs through Saturday, September 4th, when it will close with a
Post-Mortem Lounge from 6 - 8 PM. Regular hours for the installation
are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 6 PM. On-line works and
additional information can be found at:
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The opening of the Experimental Party DisInformation Center will
bring together diverse elements of the politically-charged artists
and activists converging on New York for an evening of pre-convention
revelry, featuring special appearances by Axis of Eve, Billionaires
for Bush, Armed Artists of America (AAA), USA Exquisite Corpse, The
Secretary, and the Virtual Voice of America singing "God Bless
America." All artists and citizens are encouraged to "bring your own
propaganda" (BYOP).

Regarding the Experimental Party DisInformation Center, US DAT
Secretary Randall M. Packer stated, "We selected New York City to
stage a 'convention intervention' in order to subvert the ensuing
propaganda of the Republicans with our own techniques of media and
illusion. Our decision will show that if you want to carry out
anarchic entertainment for the nation, there's no place better in the
world to do it than New York City during the Republican National
Convention!"

Secretary Packer has collaborated with US DAT staff artists
including: Mark Amerika, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Jeff Gates, Jon Henry,
Lynn Hershman, Gregory T. Kuhn, Andrew Nagy, and Wesley Smith.
Additional works by Andy Deck, Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky and '47,'
Trace Reddell, and Rick Silva are also included. Convention coverage
by Alexander Provan and the Experimental News team.

Featured projects at the Experimental Party DisInformation Center include:

Media Deconstruction Kit (MDK): Live altering of broadcast news and
Convention coverage.
Society of the Spectacle (A Digital Remix): Ten-minute DVD art-loop by DJRABBI.
WetheBlog.org: Virtual community for media artists and cultural critics.
Homeland Insecurity Advisory System: Broadcasting the daily
governmental threat.
Awaken: A dark portrayal of the Spirit of America.
Abe Golam for President 2004 (A PolyVocal Remix): Politically reborn
avatar-candidate.

For on-line projects, information and photos visit
http://www.experimentalparty.org and http://www.usdat.us
LUXE Gallery: 24 W. 57th St., NYC, Tues - Sat. 11AM - 6PM, 212.404.7455

******

About the US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us

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.

About the Experimental Party
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The Experimental Party - the "party of experimentation" - is an
initiative 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 - it is the
driving force.

*****

This event is part of the Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas, a
citywide cultural festival, Aug 28 - Sept 2, designed to inspire,
instigate and support civic engagement through the arts.
http://www.imagine04.org

DISCUSSION

US DAT Activates Homeland Insecurity Advisory System


For Immediate Release: August 2, 2004

US DAT ACTIVATES
HOMELAND INSECURITY ADVISORY SYSTEM
http://www.usinsecurity.us

WASHINGTON, DC - As part of a series of initiatives to improve
coordination and communication among all levels of the American
public, Secretary Randall M. Packer signed the Homeland Insecurity
Secretarial Directive 3, activating the Homeland Insecurity Advisory
System (HIAS).

The Homeland Insecurity Advisory System will provide a comprehensive
and effective means to disseminate information regarding the risk of
the United States Government to the American people and around the
world.

The HIAS, created by Jonah Brucker-Cohen (Under Secretary of the
Bureau for Homeland Insecurity), is a public rating system that
allows people from across the globe to determine the US Government's
Threat Level by collectively rating RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really
Simple Syndication) feeds from major US news sources.

Turning the "Homeland Security" threat level on its head, the system
will allow the people to determine the threat condition by rating
each major US news source according to its support level for or
against the US Government's actions. Finally, the citizens of the
world have a voice in determining the threat level of the most
dangerous government on the planet. According to Under Secretary
Brucker-Cohen, "It is important to identify the threats to our nation
resulting from our government-in-action."

The Homeland Insecurity Advisory System will provide a national
framework for citizens to communicate the nature and degree of
government threats. This advisory system characterizes appropriate
levels of vigilance, preparedness and readiness in a series of
graduated Threat Conditions that characterize the risk of government
failure in order to reduce vulnerabilities:

Benign - Green: Low risk of government failure.
Danger - Blue: General risk of government failure.
Frightened - Yellow: Significant risk of government failure
Horrific - Orange: High risk of government failure
Apocalyptic - Red: Severe risk of government failure

US Department of Art & Technology announcements of threat advisories
and alerts help deter government activity and inform the public about
government actions, policies, announcements and decisions, as well as
provide them with the information necessary to respond to the threat.

With the Homeland Insecurity Advisory System, the US Department of
Art & Technology is providing a truly democratic system that allows
citizens to assess the job the US Government is doing in a tumultuous
domestic and international arena.

For information and to rate the US Government, please visit:
http://www.usinsecurity.us

Contact: Press Secretary
Megan Morrow
510-547-2162
morrow@usdat.us

******

About the US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us

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.

About the Experimental Party DisInformation Center
http://www.experimentalparty.org

The US Department of Art & Technology presents the Experimental Party
DisInformation Center, opening on Saturday, August 21, from 6 - 8 pm
at LUXE Gallery, 24 West 57th Street, NYC. The show continues through
Saturday, September 4. Regular gallery hours are 11AM - 6PM, Tuesday
- Saturday. The Experimental Party DisInformation is a
state-of-the-art media installation subverting Republican propaganda
through works by Secretary Randall M. Packer and US DAT artists.
This "convention intervention" uses techniques of media and illusion
to counter the political hype of the Bush Administration. Featured
projects include the "Media Deconstruction Kit," transforming live
broadcast convention coverage into an immersive multimedia experience.

# 01-136

DISCUSSION

Burn, Baby Burn: Fahrenheit 9/11


Burn, Baby Burn: Fahrenheit 9/11

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has descended upon us, a gripping
portrait of the Bush Kingdom that smokes with the flames of these
apocalyptic times. Moore documents how, since 9/11, even going back
to the Florida election scandal, George W. Bush & Co. has scorched
our liberties, our laws, our sensibilities, and our freedoms.

Bush is portrayed, without much effort, as a dangerous buffoon who
sat reading "My Pet Goat" for 7 minutes to a group of school children
in Florida, while hijacked planes were raining from the sky. The Bush
Family "oilgarchy" is shown to have deep business ties
(collaborative!) with the Saudi Royal Family as well as the Bin Laden
Clan, throwing the latter's post 9/11 getaway into suspect light. And
Moore's account of the Iraq fiasco centers around the ultra-patriotic
Lila Lipscomb from Flint, Michigan, who is shown sobbing in front of
the White House after the news of her son's death - raging against
the Administration.

Fahrenheit 9/11 will surely come to be known as the Great War Film of
the era of the War on Terrorism. The film is one part satire, one
part tragedy, and 100% act of artistic mediation that attempts to
unseat from power the President and his Republican cronies. However
accurate the film may be, its purpose is to peel off the layers of
lies and deception handed down by our political leaders to reveal the
true nature of their intent. It also attempts to reveal the
foolishness, sloppiness, and hypocrisy of politicians on both sides
of the isle: an appeal to Congressmen who haven't read the Patriot
Act is countered by reading it to them from behind the wheel of an
ice cream truck encircling the US Capitol; Moore personally recruits
Congressmen by asking them to sign up their own children to join the
Army if they really support the War in Iraq; and a startling scene in
the Senate Chamber at the opening of the film reveals that not a
single Senator supported a House-led petition to investigate the
Florida election scandal.

This is the film we have all been waiting for. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a
powerful catharsis that vents the anger spreading across the nation
and around the world at an Administration perilously on the brink of
self-destruction and global annihilation. Michael Moore is the hero
of our times, an artist who has expressed our collective horror.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is an artwork that reaches beyond the screen and
attempts to bring the possibilities of change into action, action
that might translate into votes.

Fahrenheit 9/11 demonstrates the power of art to reveal what is so
obvious to some, but remains elusive to most behind the veil of
deception and propaganda. Let's hope the film ignites Joe America and
the rest of the red-zone populace, inspiring them to shed the
terrible illusion afflicted upon them by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,
to exercise their one remaining, untargeted freedom, the right to
vote (even that is now suspect). Our 200 + year experiment with
democracy hangs by a thread, but with films such as Michael Moore's
Fahrenheit 9/11, hope remains.

Go see it if you haven't already.

Randall Packer

DISCUSSION

In Defense of Steve Kurtz and the Role of the Artist


A Letter in Defense of Steve Kurtz and the Role of the Artist in Society:

As with many in the arts community, particularly those engaged in
acts of artistic mediation, I am shocked and outraged that one of our
own has become a recent victim of oppressive policies coming down
from the Bush administration. I met Steve and Critical Art Ensemble
partner Claire Pentecost a few years ago here in Washington, DC,
during their residency at the Corcoran College of Art.

Steve's commitment to social inquiry, particularly in the area of
bio-technologies, is internationally renowned. Steve is an artist and
scholar of extraordinary depth of knowledge and perspective. Behind
the actions and projects of CAE is a profound understanding of 20th
century avant-garde practice and its impact on contemporary thought.
If in fact it is the role of the artist to shed new light and vision
on the issues that confront us today, Steve is the classic model, the
real deal.

For Steve Kurtz to now be facing criminal charges, shows the deep
chasm that exists in our society between the artist's role as a
social and political critic, and the society at large. Steve has
shown how the artist-as-citizen might stand up for justice in the
most thoughtful and imaginative way possible.

It is my hope that the case of Steve Kurtz and other CAE
collaborators now under investigation can inspire other artists to
better articulate their vital role in society. Without artistic
freedom, there is no freedom in the world. The artist is constantly
examining, redefining and expanding our notions of freedom. How
hypocritical for the US Government to claim it is bringing freedom
and democracy to oppressive regions of the world, when here at home,
it is condemning one of the great artists of our generation who
speaks out for truth and justice.

In George Orwell's 1984, the motto of Big Brother is:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

The words resonate all too well in the current social and political
climate. The crisis facing us is much larger than the charges that
may face Steve Kurtz and Critical Art Ensemble. The crisis is that
this madness may soon be staring us all in the face, particularly
those of us fighting for the ideals we thought our nation was all
about. Steve is being victimized by the Patriot Act and the extremist
ideologies behind it. We must not allow this to occur. We must defend
the principles we believe in, and we must defend the role of the
artist as a critical voice to help counter the rising tide of
injustice that has spread since 9-11.

The defense of Steve Kurtz is vital to the defense of the artist,
whose role is to function as a mediator between our strange hostile
world and the human spirit.

Randall Packer
June 8, 2004
Washington, DC