|Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 8:15:41 -0400
To: President George W. Bush <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Randall Packer <email@example.com>
Subject: U.S. Department of Art and Technology
Cc: Vice President Dick Cheney <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RE: U.S. Department of Art and Technology (http://www.usdept-arttech.net)
Dear Mr. President,
Two years ago, upon moving to Washington, D.C.,
I had the grand idea that what our country needed most was a new government
agency to oversee the integration of art and technology. As an artist
working with new media, I was seeking a way to engage with the government
and to stimulate collective action, and felt strongly that my expertise
in this area qualified me to found the U.S. Department of Art and Technology
and be appointed as its first Secretary. My plan was to build an agency
that effectively uses the Net to give artists access to the political
process so they can impact national policy, and reciprocally, to give
the nation access to the artist's vision as a means to cope with an increasingly
technological society. For, as Marshall McLuhan has so profoundly stated,
"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."
At this dramatic moment in our country's history,
there is a profound need for new initiatives that are critical to the
cultural and spiritual well being of a nation under attack. This is precisely
why I am writing to you, sir: to propose a new branch of the government
be formed that will no doubt be successful in healing our wounded nation
through the revitalization of utopian ideologies, ideologies that have
long been fading since the heady days of Thomas Jefferson and the framers
who created our Constitution. Mr. President, though it is well known that
you are not a big supporter of the avant-garde, nor the expansion of government,
you have proven to understand the need to act quickly and decisively to
broaden the reach of the government, such as your recent action to found
the Office of Homeland Security. You must now understand that today's
artists are probing the depths of issues that are of vital concern to
the health of America, issues such as the impact of media on the national
psyche in times of war, as well as the virtualization of human interaction
resulting from the widespread assimilation of information technologies.
People of all ages across the country and around the world are engaged
with telematic devices to the point where they are forced to confront
the dematerialization of the physical world, terrorists who control their
media and their minds, a confused view of reality, and the disintegration
of their perception of time and space. The condition of the human race
is in dire trouble as we begin the 21st Century.
Mr. President, it is the artist and only the
artist who can understand the depth of these dramatic changes. The U.S.
Department of Art and Technology will safeguard our most precious resource--the
visionary aspirations of avant-garde artists working with technology--and
will, in turn, bring their message, essential to the well-being of our
country, to all corners of this nation and around the world.
I know you will understand and acknowledge
the urgency of my decision in these difficult times. In the spirit of
our forefathers, the artistic visionaries who understand the complexities
and dangers inherent in maintaining a free nation, a creative nation,
a technological nation, must be given voice and play a key role in the
ongoing process of shaping public policy in order to save our troubled
I would like to end this letter with a quote
from the British artist Wyndham Lewis, who articulated the need for my
request so well: "The artist is always engaged in writing a detailed
history of the future because he is the only person aware of the nature
of the present."
Mr. President, knowledge of this simple fact
is now necessary for human survival in our cybernated and media-saturated
society. I look forward to working with you as a new member of your cabinet
in bringing the artist's message to the people.
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 8:16:02 -0400 (EST)
Thank you for emailing President Bush. Your
ideas and comments are very important to him. Unfortunately, because
of the large volume of email received, the President cannot personally
respond to each message. However, the White House staff considers and
reports citizen ideas and concerns.
Again, thank you for your email. Your interest
in the work of President Bush and his administration is appreciated.