U.S. Department of Art & Technology


Press Secretary
press@usdat.us

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.                                 

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The US Department of Art & Technology
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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.

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US Department of Art & Technology | Washington, DC Fax: 202.342.1293 | E-mail: press@usdat.us

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