Randall Packer
Since the beginning
Works in United States of America

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

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

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

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

Secretary Delivers Speech at Seoul Digital Forum


US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us
press@usdat.us
Washington, DC

Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 11, 2004

SECRETARY DELIVERS 'ARTISTIC CONVERGENCE' SPEECH

Secretary Packer Unveils Initiative for Securing the
Role of the Artist in the Corporate Sector
Remarks by the Secretary at the Seoul Digital Forum
Seoul, S. Korea

WASHINGTON, DC - On May 6, 8:32 PM (UTC/GMT +9
hours) Secretary Randall M. Packer of the US
Department of Art & Technology completed his
first tour of Asia at the Seoul Digital Forum to
deliver the "Artistic Convergence" speech,
announcing a bold new initiative intended to
embed revolutionary artistic strategies for
social transformation into the heart of global
information and communication industries.

The following is the transcript:

Speech by Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology
Presented by the Seoul Broadcasting System
at the Seoul Digital Forum
Grand Hilton Hotel
May 6, 2004

THE SECRETARY: Thank you Soh-Yeong Roh of Art
Center Nabi for the warm introduction. Thanks to
the Seoul Digital Forum for letting me come by
and share some thoughts. You picked a great place
to have a conference. What a great city Seoul is.
(Applause.)

I want to thank Seyoung Yoon, the Chairman and
CEO of the Seoul Broadcasting System for hosting
the US Department of Art & Technology at the
Seoul Digital Forum. And I want to thank those of
you here who are leaders in the information and
media industries around the world. I want to
thank you for your dedication; I want to thank
you for your spirit; I want to thank you for your
vision; and I'm here to say "thanks" on behalf of
all of America. (Applause.)

Not only do I want to talk about the role of
artists in our society today, but I want to talk
about 'artistic convergence' as we promote a new
generation of artists engaged in 21st century
survival techniques of artistic mediation.

For as Marshall McLuhan declared, "The artist
picks up the message of cultural and
technological challenge decades before its
transforming impact occurs. He, then, builds
models or Noah's arks for facing the change that
is at hand."

* * *

You know, the artists closest to the situation at
hand are those who can best devise a strategy:
tactical methodologies for social change through
experimental acts of artistic expression for all
citizens. This is the rallying cry of the
Department, formed by artists seeking to reclaim
America's Government.

It was just three years ago, shortly after 9-11,
that I proposed the idea to President George W.
Bush to form a new government agency to
revitalize utopian ideologies in America. We
faced a crisis. And those were tough times,
obviously, for the nation.

The President issued an Executive Order to form
the US Department of Art & Technology and named
me as its first Secretary.

I was sworn into office at an official ceremony
pre-sided by Alice Denney, founder of the
Washington Project for the Arts.

Here in the nation's capital, and all around
Washington, DC, are emerging signs of the
artistic achievements of the US Department of Art
& Technology.

We now have the strength of the artist helping to
guide our nation's policy. And that is -- it's an
amazing statement, when you think about what this
country and the world have been through for the
past three years. And the reason I bring that up
is because I know how important the artistic
spirit is; I know how important art is to the
future. And I believe it is the spirit of the
artist, in part, that will help us overcome the
challenges we face.

* * *

In the past century it has come to be generally
acknowledged that, in the famous words of the
late Billy Kluver, "The artists have to create
with technology because technology is becoming
inseparable from our lives." Knowledge of this
simple fact is now needed for human survival. The
ability of the artist to develop immunity to the
extensions of new technology of any age, and to
parry such extensions with full awareness, is
age-old.

Let me give you some examples:

The "paroxysm of junk in motion" to the fluidity
of human locomotion is apparent in Jean
Tinguely's Homage to New York, which
self-destructed in the Sculpture Garden of the
New York Museum of Modern Art in March of 1960,
in front of a well-dressed audience. Here, during
27 minutes of cataclysmic motion, smoke, and
explosions, Tinguely awakens machine parts from
their dreams and makes them come alive. Anything
brought back to life in this way is frightful and
menacing; the term intelligent-machine would have
been an oxymoron; the artist seeks a
rapprochement between art and science, between
the human and technology; He endeavors to get
people to interact with his art, to entrance them
while simultaneously freeing their minds.

Nam June Paik's 1974 TV Buddha was created with a
strange twist of television technology combined
with the ancient statue of the symbol of Asian
Buddhism. The Buddha sits in front of a
television set and contemplates its own image. A
question of origin. The Buddha, who traditionally
wishes to keep himself free of all external
matters, now sits in deep contemplation
confronted by his own image via closed-circuit
television.

Decades later, Paik reinterpreted this theme by
placing the Buddha sculpture in front of a
computer monitor in Buddha Re-Incarnated. The
connection is not made through a contemplative
gaze, but rather mediated by a telephone receiver
teleconferencing the Buddha figure to a computer
monitor.

We find human bodies merged with technological
cyborgian attributes here in Lynn Hershman's
Phantom Limbs, pointing out our reliance on
electronics and media, and how it permeates our
physical and psychological collective selves.
Media infiltrates the body and in doing so gives
birth to our virtual selves.

Ken Goldberg's tele-robotic installation,
Telegarden, allows World Wide Web users to view
and interact with a remote garden filled with
living plants. Participants can plant, water, and
monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender
movements of an industrial robot arm. Internet
behavior might be characterized as ``hunting and
gathering''; the purpose here is to consider the
``post-nomadic'' community, where survival favors
those who work together; the Telegarden projects
a techno-utopian society where the individual's
relationship to nature and to one another is
supplanted by virtual means and technological
extension.

Alba is a very special animal, but I want to be
clear that her formal and genetic uniqueness are
but one component of the "GFP Bunny" artwork. The
"GFP Bunny" project of Eduardo Kac is a complex
social event that starts with the creation of a
chimerical animal that does not exist in nature.
It also includes at its core an ongoing dialogue
between professionals of several disciplines
(art, science, philosophy, law, communications,
literature, social sciences), as well as the
public, on the cultural and ethical implications
of genetic engineering.

And finallly, if you're going to ask the media to
take responsibility for your view of reality, you
should be willing to take responsibility for your
own. The Media Deconstruction Kit is an
information service, news and media project of
the US Department of Art & Technology, serving
viewers around the world. The Media
Deconstruction Kit has forged a unique position
within the media arts through an unparalleled
combination of appropriation, theory, collage and
real-time processing tools.

By providing instantaneous access to broadcast
media - and the ability to act upon it - the
Media Deconstruction Kit seeks to transform the
one-way paradigm of broadcast media into
many-to-many forms of interaction by leveling the
playing field between medium and viewer.

In today's media, events, information, ideas, and
images are packaged, and delivered to our
television screens as soundbytes, slogans, ads,
logos, and banners. This state of affairs is only
compounded in times of crisis such as we have
experienced since 9/11: the media and the
manipulation of its content must be understood as
a breakdown between credible, meaningful
communication and the distortion of reality that
confronts us today; The Media Deconstruction Kit
amplifies and subverts this condition by
reconfiguring and disorienting live broadcast
media into an immersive, sensorial, multimedia
experience.

* * *

Technology can be construed dystopically, but one
must also recall Martin Heidegger's claim that
where technology's danger lies, so does its
saving power, a saving power not merely secondary
to its danger. Underscoring the ambiguous nature
of technology - Heidegger reminds us that in
ancient Greece "the poiesis of the fine arts was
also called techne" - he says any decisive
confrontation with technology "must happen in a
realm that is, on the one hand, akin to the
essence of technology and, on the other,
fundamentally different from it. Such a realm is
art."

And that's precisely why we must not isolate the
work of the artist from the rest of the world.
We've got to reject artistic isolationism and
embrace, rather, its total convergence. And in
turn we must redefine the role of the artist as a
mediator whose reflections, ideas, sensibilities,
and abilities can take significant action on the
world stage.

And in turn, the artist must move into action by
undergoing aesthetic operation as a form of
magic, as a mediation between our strange hostile
world and the human spirit. Again, quoting
Marshall McLuhan, "To prevent undue wreckage in
society, the artist tends now move from the ivory
tower to the control tower of society."

* * *

And so, the artist is indispensable in the
shaping and analysis and understanding of the
life forms, and structures created by digital
technology.

Now as we encourage innovation and change it is
always important to remember the vital role the
artist plays in our society. Technologies change,
but the spirit of art never changes.

If we are to be convinced that art is precise,
advanced knowledge of how to cope with the
psychic and social consequences of the next
technology, would we all become artists? Would we
begin a careful translation of new art forms into
social navigation charts?

The Government and industry can help this effort
by embracing the artist. One of the things we've
got to recognize is that if you want to be
competitive in the future, you've got to
encourage art and technology.

To quote the great Korean artist Nam June Paik,
"Cybernated art is very important, but art for
cybernated life is more important, and the latter
need not be cybernated."

Paik also said, "there is no rewind button on the betamax of life."

The US Department of Art & Technology will
continue to promote the convergence of art in all
aspects of society as an integral part of that
strategy. That's what I'm here to tell you. It's
an integral part so long as you're willing to
listen to the needs of the artist. Art and
technology is the cornerstone of good economic
policy. It's a cornerstone of sound business
policy. And it's one of the reasons why I'm
optimistic that the artist will continue to lead
the world when it comes to innovation and change.
And that will be good for all people. That will
be good for the revitalization of what I call
"The Artistic Spirit."

I want to thank you for what you do. I appreciate
your compassion. I appreciate your interest in
the future of digital media.

And I am confident in those principles of
virtualization that will unite and lead us
forward. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

***********

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
press@usdat.us

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.

# 01-132

DISCUSSION

Secretary to Announce 'Artistic Convergence' in Seoul


US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us
press@usdat.us
Washington, DC

Press Secretary
For Immediate Release: April 30, 2004

SECRETARY PACKER TO ADDRESS SEOUL DIGITAL FORUM
ANNOUNCING 'ARTISTIC CONVERGENCE'

WASHINGTON, DC - In his first official tour of Asia, Secretary
Randall M. Packer will give an opening address at the Seoul Digital
Forum in South Korea on May 6th, 7pm (UTC/GMT +9 hours), announcing a
bold new initiative, 'Artistic Convergence,' intended to embed
revolutionary artistic strategies for social transformation into the
heart of global information and communication industries.

Seoul Digital Forum has as its key thematic objective, "value
reshuffling," where the "previous paradigms to extract profit by
creating value no longer applies." Secretary Packer plans to
reshuffle the corporate deck through the introduction of 21st century
survival techniques of artistic mediation, stating Marshall McLuhan's
declaration, "the artists picks up the message of cultural and
technological challenge decades before its transforming impact
occurs. He, then, builds models or Noah's arks for facing the change
that is at hand."

The opening ceremonies of Seoul Digital Forum, organized by the Seoul
Broadcast System (SBS) will take place at SBS Mok-Dong Headquarters
May 6-7 in Seoul, featuring such notable media luminaries as Nicholas
Negroponte (MIT Media Lab) and Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks), as
well as the Minister of Information & Communication, Republic of
Korea. Secretary Packer, quoting his Under Secretary for the Bureau
of Cultural Transformation and Paradigmatic Shifts: "No curators, no
critics, no CEO's really know where it is artists are taking us in
this extraordinary moment. I find that quite exhilarating, a little
frightening at times, primarily it's energizing. We can only project
the hope and promise of creating a new structure for artists to gain
access to the technology of the broadcast medium, which until now has
been monopolized by corporate interests."

During his tour, Secretary Packer will unveil the Media
Deconstruction Kit (MDK), a recent initiative of the Department
intended to confront corporate control of mass media. The Secretary
will install MDK at an exhibition at the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul
(organized by the Institute for Media Art, Yonsei, University,
opening May 4), to raise awareness of an escalating social condition
in which we are imprisoned by the Spectacle through a distortion of
information as disseminated by the broadcast news media.

With a view to the creation of conditions of artistic convergence in
government and industry to effect radical change in the adoption of
cutting-edge information and communications technologies, the
Secretary will promote: (a) tactical methodologies and techniques of
artistic mediation; (b) recognition of movements of international
activist, hyper-mediated, utopian, and related ideologies; (c)
universal respect for, and observance of, social change through
fundamental creative acts of expression for all citizens; (d) the
transformation of the one-way paradigm of broadcast media into
many-to-many forms of interaction by leveling the playing field
between medium and viewer.

The Secretary will also discuss a new array of important services to
US citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or navigate through
virtual environments.

Secretary Packer's address will be open for press coverage. Media
representatives may cover this event upon presentation of either (1)
a US Government-issued identification card (Department of State,
White House, Congress, Department of Art and Technology, or Foreign
Press Center), (2) a photo ID issued by the employing media
organization, or (3) a letter on official letterhead from their news
organization verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied
by an official photo
ID.

***********

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
press@usdat.us

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.

# 01-132

DISCUSSION

INTERFACE @ LOCAL 16 / Experimental Party


INTERFACE
@ LOCAL 16 [art + activism]

JOIN THE EXPERIMENTAL PARTY
FOR AN EVENING OF DECONSTRUCTIVE
SURGERY ON THE ARTIFICIAL SKIN

Activating the Nation's Capital through Artistic Mediation

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 6PM
LOCAL 16 [UPSTAIRS]
1602 U ST, NW
WASHINGTON, DC
free/cash bar

DEPARTMENT VIDEO WORKS, SONIC MIXOLOGIES, & TRANSFORMATIONS
Andy Deck, Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky & 47, Randall Packer, Trace
Reddell, Rick Silva, Wesley Smith

LIVE PERFORMANCES
Noskilz Sound & Video Syndicate, Pneuthogram, Sick Bed

http://www.experimentalparty.org/interface

Organized by the US Department of Art & Technology
http://www.usdat.us
Washington, DC

DISCUSSION

Online Deconstruction of Live Broadcast Media


US Department of Art & Technology
Washington, DC
http://www.usdat.us
press@usdat.us

Press Secretary
For Immediate Release: March 24, 2004

US DAT Announces New Online
Media Deconstruction Kit (MDK)
to Transform & Deliver Live, Altered
News Broadcasts to the World

MDK Broadband Services Enhance Citizens Experience of Live Cultural
Appropriation (http://www.experimentalparty.org/mdk)

Washington, DC - The US Department of Art & Technology announces
today new network and Internet service capabilities that transform an
array of appropriated live news broadcasts - from advertisements to
political pundancy, live news updates to cable network logos - and
put the altered matter out on the Net. The Department believes these
techniques could swamp the mass media with total illusion in 2004 as
the election rhetoric ramps up.

A project of its Experimental Party initiative, The Department said
it is introducing these new capabilities to deconstruct networks like
Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, and to reliably deliver to its end-users a
range of transformed imagery and fragmented sound to bring about the
systematic reordering of the senses.

Trace Reddell, Under Secretary for the Bureau of Pharmakogeographical
Surveying, advocates systems of varied media ambiences "diverting
[mass media] from its current roadmap to manufactured similitude
through an hallucinatory recycling of composted media content."

"Today's announcement is significant because it illustrates US DAT's
continued commitment to confront corporate control of mass media,"
Secretary Randall M. Packer stated outside his office in Washington,
DC, "so that a new century is spared new horrors of Fox News - the
issue Americans should care most about."

The US Department of Art & Technology, responding to the gravity of
the situation, is collaborating with artists and engineers, including
Under Secretary for Cultural Appropriations Wesley Smith, to discover
new tactics that stand at the cradle of art and science. As Secretary
Packer stated in a recent Washington speech at Johns Hopkins
University, "we must achieve the total deconstruction of media in
order to build new formations, and we will advance this
transformation we've created for purposes of propaganda."

Media Deconstruction Kit Online
A Project of the Experimental Party
http://www.experimentalparty.org/mdk

********
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
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.

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
press@usdat.us

# 01-133

DISCUSSION

The New Techne : Scott Fisher Keynote


The New Techne
A Symposium on Collaboration in the Art & Sciences
Presented by the Center for New Media, Maryland Institute College of Art
and the Digital Media Center, Johns Hopkins University

Reception starting at 5 pm
Keynote Lecture by Scott Fisher at 7pm
Thursday, April 8, 2004

Maryland Institute College of Art
Brown Center
1301 Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD
free and open to the public

Sponsored by Intel and Firaxis Games

The New Techne Keynote Lecture will feature artist/scientist Scott
Fisher in the Hall @ Brown Center at 7pm. Fisher conducted seminal
research in virtual reality (VR) and telepresence in the late 1980s
at the NASA-Ames Research Center in California, where he worked on
the Virtual Environment Workstation (VIEW) project. There, he
pioneered the development of technology for multi-sensory interaction
with cybernetic devices, creating the powerful illusion of entering a
digitized landscape. "The possibilities of virtual realities, it
appears, are as limitless as the possibilities of reality, they can
provide a human interface that disappears - a doorway to other
worlds." - Scott Fisher

The lecture is preceded by a reception from 5 - 7 p.m, with DVD
presentations of MICA/JHU/Peabody Conservatory of Music
collaborations; Intel supported art and technology projects by
Rebecca Allen, Greg Niemeyer, Chris Chafe, Danny Rozin, Vibeke
Sorensen, Richard Brown, Ken Goldberg, Victoria Vesna, James
Gimsewski, and Bill Seaman; works by Hunt Valley-based Firaxis Games
including Pirates!, Civilization III, and SimGolf; and remarks by
Firaxis Founder, CEO, and President Jeffrey Briggs (6:45 pm).

The lecture and reception kicks off a two-day symposium that offers a
unique opportunity for artists and scientists at the participating
institutions to build bridges for collaboration and to seek support
from industry. The New Techne is an interdisciplinary initiative
whose objective is to advance opportunities for research and projects
in such emergent fields as biomedical engineering, telematics,
transgenics, hypermedia, data imaging, intelligent systems,
generative art, and other hybrid areas. The New Techne is organized
jointly by Randall Packer of MICA's Center for New Media and Joan
Freedman of the Johns Hopkins University Digital Media Center.

For more information:
http://cnm.mica.edu/events.html

MICA Office of Communications
410.225.2300