New party aims at blurring
lines between politics, art
By John Kenyon
Thursday, April 11, 2002,
10:52:11 AM IOWA CITY -- The Experimental Party, a movement designed to
give artists a voice in the political process, isn't necessarily a real
political party, but it's not just a conceptual art undertaking either.
If it sounds like founder
and artist Randall Packer isn't exactly sure what he has on his hands,
well, that's the idea. "My intent is to blur the line between the
politics and art," he said. "Once you become part of the system,
you have to meet demands. We can participate in the dialogue without actually
having to participate in the system."
Packer, an instructor at the
Maryland Institute of Art, will be in Iowa City to participate in the
University of Iowa's Thaw
Festival. While here, he will hold a press conference at noon Saturday
at Shambaugh Auditorium to announce the formation of the Experimental
Packer started the movement
with a letter to President Bush, outlining the idea for a U.S. Department
of Art and Technology. The reply was a form letter, but it got Packer
thinking about what might have happened if Bush had agreed to his proposal.
He and about 30 other people created their own Department of Art and Technology.
From that sprung the idea of the Experimental Party.
"I think it presents
a model for artists for how they can participate in the real world,"
"I have found that artists
typically operate within a very insular world, the art world. But the
kind of dialogue that takes place in the arts community has real value
to it that isn't taken seriously by the political establishment."
He hopes the new party can
field a candidate for the 2004 presidential election.
Packer, who calls himself
the secretary of the department, will show his work "The Media Deconstruction
Kit" during Thaw.
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© 2002 by The Gazette Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa