U.S. Department of Art & Technology

Press Secretary

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2002


WASHINGTON, DC - On Tuesday, February 5, 8:30 PM (GMT+0100), Global Virtualization Council delegates are expected to sign and ratify the official "Berlin Virtualization Charter" at the opening of the Transmediale 02 International Festival of Media in Berlin. The Council is directed towards the mobilization and coordination of artistic forces of virtualization internationally. Present at the signing will be the Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology, Randall M. Packer; Festival Director, Andreas Broeckmann; and Council Delegates who include the Secretary-General and Artist-Ambassadors representing 9 nations.

Preparations for the Charter, to be signed at the opening of Transmediale, are now under way for this historic event that will potentially establish conditions under which the most far-flung aspirations of humankind are ignited. In light of the Festival theme, go public!, government officials and leading media artists from around the world will gather in Berlin under the auspices of Transmediale to endorse a global initiative that promotes radical aesthetic ideology in the larger political and social context.

As mandated by the Global Virtualization Council, the Charter aims 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 expression for all citizens without distinction as to discipline, medium, gender, bias, or identity. [extracted from sub-paragraphs a,b, and c of Article 9]

The accord establishes a promising roadmap as it provides for the employment of media for the purpose of reaffirming our faith in the suspension of disbelief, as well as the advancement of all artists towards their desire to initiate social action. The Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology has stated repeatedly that "to succeed in the 21st Century, we must be prepared to adapt to changes in our social condition - in how we communicate, where we seek cultural enrichment, and how we balance our real and virtual lives."

The Secretary considers that only negotiated and verifiable accords between media artists and government can adequately address the social and political impact of our increasingly cybernated world. Accordingly, the Charter states, "through representatives assembled in the city of Berlin, who have exhibited their full recognition of the power of the artist engaged with media... hereby establish an international movement of the avant-garde to be known as the Global Virtualization Council."

For further information, visit the following URLs:

US Department of Art & Technology
Global Virtualization Council and Charter
Transmediale 02

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