U.S. Department of Art & Technology

Press Secretary

For Immediate Release: January 21, 2002


WASHINGTON, DC - On February 5, 8:00 PM (GMT+0100), Secretary Randall M. Packer will give an opening address at the Transmediale 02 International Festival of Media in Berlin, announcing a bold new initiative, the Global Virtualization Council, intended to mobilize and coordinate artistic forces of virtualization internationally.

Transmediale 02 has as its key thematic objective, "to go public," questioning the ability of digital media "to carry the hope for new forms of democratic participation."

At the opening ceremonies of Transmediale 02, to take place at Congress Hall of the International House of Cultures in Berlin, Packer along with recently appointed Artist-Ambassadors from 9 nations will ratify the Council's founding Charter, referred to as the Berlin Virtualization Charter, in a collective signing ceremony. This represents the first global accord between the artistic avant-garde and international government.

With a view to the creation of conditions of social and political action by means of those artists engaged with media, the Global Virtualization Council is being formed to promote:(a) international standards for socially-engaged interactivity and collective action; (b) movements of international activist, hyper-mediated, utopian, and related ideologies; (c) universal respect for, and observance of, artist rights and fundamental creative acts of expression for all citizens without distinction as to discipline, medium, gender, bias, or identity.

Packer 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, to be Web broadcast live over Tel-SPAN, 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 (drivers' license or passport).


The US Department of Art and Technology is the United States government's 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.

Tel-SPAN is the telematic channel of the US Department of Art & Technology. Its mission is to provide global access to the artistic process in an increasingly cybernated society. Tel-SPAN provides its audience access to live, real-time distribution of broad forms of cultural content, and to other forums where critical artistic issues are discussed, debated and decided - all without editing, commentary or analysis and with a balanced presentation of all radical points of view. Tel-SPAN provides media artists who seek to influence the political discourse, public policy, and the future of art a direct conduit to its audience without filtering or otherwise constraining their points of view.

US Department of Art & Technology: http://www.usdept-arttech.net
Global Virtualization Council: http://www.usdept-arttech.net/gvc
Tel-SPAN: http://www.usdept-arttech.net/tel-span
Transmediale 02: http://www.transmediale.de

Contact: Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology


Return to the Department of Art and Technology news releases

U.S. Department of Art and Technology, Washington, DC, USA