For Immediate Release
Delivers "Speech for the End of Time"
7:44 P.M. EST
WASHINGTON, DC - On April 23rd, 7:44 PM (EST) Secretary Randall M. Packer of the US Department of Art & Technology completed his nationwide tour at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC to deliver the "Speech for the End of Time," announcing the activation of the Experimental Party, the artist-based political party, the "party of experimentation," and its latest initiative, "10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation."
In his Washington address, Secretary Packer called on coalition artists "to inspire other artists into action by undergoing aesthetic operation as a form of magic designed as a mediation between our strange hostile world and the human spirit."
The following is the transcript:
Speech by Randall M. Packer
THE SECRETARY: Thank you all very much. Thank you all so very much for that warm welcome. It's such an honor to be here. Thank you Peter Decherney, Under Secretary of the Bureau for Medial Transformations & Paradigmatic Shifts. Thank you Jeff Gates, Under Secretary for the Office of Artist & Homeland Insecurity. I'm especially pleased to be here in Washington today joined by Alice Denney, Chief of Protocol,William Gilcher, Envoy Plenipotentiary to the European Union and Latin America, Glenn Marcus, Director of the Office of the National Regulatory Commission on Illusion & Fakery, and finally a great Under Secretary for Domestic Affairs, Phyllis Hecht. (Applause.) We really appreciate your welcome and we're proud to be with the staff of the US Department of Art & Technology and students and faculty of Johns Hopkins University.
There's no finer image - no finer image - than to imagine 10,000 Acts of Artistic Mediation - (Applause) - unless you happen to be a member of the Bush Administration. (Applause.)
For more than 100 years, the avant-garde has gone forth from its studios and garrets to fight for utopian aspirations and social transformation.
Now today's artists have entered a fierce struggle against a grave danger, the gravest danger facing America and the world, the existential darkness that has possessed our government, that grips its soul.
As the artistic forces of our coalition advance, we learn more about the deep fear that has been instilled in the American psyche. Yet, no mental infection, no derangement, will divert us from our mission. They are blind to the fact that, with all their rationality and efficiency, they are possessed by "powers" that are beyond control. We will not stop until their hidden desires and dark fantasies are revealed. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Secretary Packer! (Applause.)
THE SECRETARY: When freedom needs defending, America turns to its artists. It's our job, it's what we do.
This is a time of hardship for many artists. Some of them have been separated from their loved ones for quite a while because of long deployments. All of America is grateful for their sacrifice. And Phyllis and I are here to thank each one of them. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, we're here to thank the artists! (Applause.)
SECRETARY: Yes, we're here to thank the artists.
As you may know, this address at Johns Hopkins University
concludes a nationwide tour announcing "10,000 Acts of Artistic
began a few months ago in Los Angeles. First, I want to thank Victoria
Vesna, Under Secretary of the Bureau for Communications Beyond the Corporeal
for her hospitality and leadership in hosting my recent speech at the
University of California, Los Angeles.
I appreciate so very much my New York host Alex Galloway, Under Secretary of the Bureau for Rhizomatics, Community & Generative Data, and staff members of the US Department of Art & Technology, who celebrated my "Speech @ Zero Hour" at New York University.
And here in the nation's capital, all around Washington, DC, are emerging signs of the artistic achievements of the US Department of Art & Technology.
It was just 18 months ago that I was sworn into office, since then, the Department has added new achievements to its great story. (Applause.)
In my first European Address at the Transmediale Festival of Media in Berlin, I had the privilege of being introduced by the Cultural Attaché of the US Embassy in Berlin. Our mission was accomplished with his moving introduction describing the role of the US Department of Art & Technology in furthering cultural relations, particularly, in these times of crisis. (Applause.) In my speech, I called on US and our European and Asian allied artists to join the Global Virtualization Council as artist-ambassadors in order to mobilize our forces internationally.
That job was done by our artist-Ambassadors in a collective toast of Havana Club Rum. It's what we do. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Cheers!
SECRETARY: Thank you. There's nothing like illegal booze for diplomatic events.
Our official escort service then brought us to the World Mediation Summit at the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC, where our dedicated staff, along with cultural officials from France, Belgium and Austria, furthered its mission to act as cultural mediators, showing its unrelenting courage worthy of its name by signing the Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation, followed by another collective toast from the Official Bottle of Havana Rum and transmitting this historic document to the US Department of State. (Applause.)
And last fall on the eve of war, accompanied again by our dedicated staff, who stood in the freezing rain, I gave a speech at the US Capitol, where we were joined by the President and First Lady, to announce that the US Department of Art & Technology, together with the Global Virtualization Council, had set out on a daring mission - thanks to their skill and courage - in which they drafted and passed unanimously the Joint Resolution US DAT J.RES.1 "To Authorize Artistic Acts of Mediation" - in response to the administration's self-created and deadly dangers. (Applause.)
These missions are difficult and they are dangerous, but no one becomes a artist because it's easy. (Applause.) Now our coalition moves forward.
Artists are in the thick of the battle. And make no mistake about it, what we have begun, Operation Artistic Freedom, we will finish. (Applause.) For as the great American hero William Burroughs proclaimed, "Weapons that change consciousness will call the war game in question."
At this hour, coalition artists now undertake aesthetic action that is not static, but moves externally and takes part in the creation of new forms. Our Special Technology Forces, collaborating with engineers and scientists, are discovering new tactics which stand at the cradle of art and science. (Applause.)
We now set about to resurrect the belief that general revolution will originate in the appropriation and alteration of the medial environment and its space. We welcome, out of the void, out of nothing at all, a cataclysmic explosion brought about by coalition artists. They inspire other artists into action, by undergoing an aesthetic operation as a form of magic designed as a mediation between our strange hostile world and the human spirit.
The artists of the "state" must assemble in order to prepare for the aesthetic hyperculture and its virtualization of space.
In our declaration of war on war, 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.
If ever there was a time for our great nation to get down on its knees and pray, there is no question in my mind that that time is right now. I would like to introduce our Under Secretary for Homeland and Economic Insecurity, Abe Golam. Abe will recite his Prayer for Empire.
ABE GOLAM: Mr. Secretary, I propose that what comes after nations, what comes after borders, what comes after the welfare state so many of our corporations and NGO-sponsored culturati depend on, is something we are only beginning to understand in a political, economic, and social context. For what comes next, Mr. Secretary, is Empire.
Therefore, I would like to send out my prayers to our nation while pointing to a future world with no borders. Here then is my Prayer for Empire.
With Empire we can turn sugar water into profits and software into gross national product. With Empire, we can turn soft core beauty porn into commercial advertisements and yet still claim the moral high ground for our economic production.
Finally, with Empire, we can transmit our radioactive waves into the atmosphere of whatever geopolitical location that dares threaten the economic prosperity of our People as it attempts to annihilate whatever social difference there may be among us.
Lord, we know all is not right
with America. All is not right in Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.
We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal
to help us meet the many problems we face.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Amen!
SECRETARY: Thank you, Abe.
And tonight, I announce a new state, a medial "state" - of collective being - of social transformation, to serve for a future intuitive environment.
To achieve this, our coalition partners must strive for unity through the strength of artistic forces and the suspension of disbelief. In our deepest recesses lie ever new perfections for the world, which will only be achieved through man's skull.
The perfection of the world is the perfection of man, of his organism, which changes eternally and renews itself. We shall see what perfection is attained through art and how all the tools of the artist must be sharpened so that his image of the new world is perfect in every respect. (Applause.)
Our coalition has one suggestion for the future of humanity - he who can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed out candle. (Applause.)
All who serve in this mission can know this: Science and art have no boundaries because what is comprehended infinitely is innumerable and virtual. (Applause.)
There is a tradition in the USA Exquisite Corpse that no one who falls will be left behind on the battlefield. (Applause.) No one who falls will be forgotten by this heroic legion of artists. We honor their service to the arts and we strive towards brotherhood and unity in order that we may live peacefully. We yearn for the perfect medial "state" and we will devote ourselves utterly to its attainment. (Applause.)
There are sacrifices in a high calling -- the defense of humanity and the peace of the world. Overcoming the spectacle of war is the noblest cause and the hardest work. The objectives we've set in this war on war are worthy of all the acts of heroism and generosity that have come before. Once again, we are applying the power of the collective imagination to recover our rights. And the liberation of millions from the ever-increasing infection of modern times is the fulfillment of the USA Exquisite Corpse's founding promise.
Though Our artists have sacrificed themselves , we will prevail. (Applause.)
Moving a massive force of 10,000 artists in acts of artistic mediation is an extraordinary achievement, and a dangerous one at that. Yet there is work ahead for the coalition. With a great distance to travel, we will now go the first 200 yards. (Applause.)
And so, I very much want to say a little something about a brave young artist, a former student of mine at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Jon Henry.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, Jon!
THE SECRETARY: You may have known Jon - somebody knew Jon Henry out there. (Laughter.) But you need to know his story.
Jon Henry represents the best of America, somebody who was willing to give up his physical being for art. I want to thank Jon Henry.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you!
THE SECRETARY: Yes, thank you, Jon.
We have now received an official confirmation that George W. Bush and his loyal cabinet have proclaimed Jon Henry as dead.
Jon Henry's life was taken from no other than the war machine itself. They stood over his body holding their guns sincerely, with an expression cold as ice. Faceless on the outside, inside they were laughing. They knew that with the elimination of Jon Henry they would secure their oppressive regime's power. To insure that there would be no internal threat to the beautiful war machine George W. pulled the trigger himself.
As George looked down beneath him he saw the death
of freedom. As he stood over Jon he proclaimed
of the unfree's Capital
Lord. George knew that the threat of Jon Henry
was far too great for the hierarchical hegemony that
he was bringing
With Jon Henry now dead, George knew that freedom was now dead too, and the world was now his board, the pieces, his to command. He looked at the Earth as it was his crystal ball, the images swirling around and taking shape as he saw fit.
George felt the power of complete control as he applied his aesthetic vision to the world, his art, the spectacle of war.
JON HENRY: True Freedom comes from within and is manifested through one's own struggle to be free from one's own self. I was an individual who searched for the monster, seeking out the massive machine that represented the oppression of his life. He stood in front of the spectacular Goliath because it was his destiny to fight it.
Like the old John Henry, the new came face to face with the machine that stood as a threat to his freedom.
THE SECRETARY: The course is set. We're on the advance. Our destination is the Infinite, and we will accept nothing less than to comprehend the Absolute, for when you look at Zero and you see Nothing, you look through it and you see the world. Of hope. (Applause.)
Semper Phi. (Applause.)
Thank you. (Applause.)
Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
U.S. Department of Art and Technology, Washington, DC, USA