US Department of Art & Technology on Fri, 21 Jun 2002 23:45:35 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Two recent press releases

Table of Contents:

   Address to the World Mediation Summit                                           
     US Department of Art & Technology <>                    

   Articles of Artistic Mediation                                                  
     US Department of Art & Technology <>                


Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 11:54:24 -0400
From: US Department of Art & Technology <>
Subject: Address to the World Mediation Summit

US Department of Art & Technology
PO Box 32265 Washington, DC

Press Secretary
=46or Immediate Release:  June 19, 2002

Secretary Packer to Address
World Mediation Summit
Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC - On June 19, 7:00 PM (EST), the Secretary of the US 
Department of Art & Technology, Randall M. Packer, will deliver the 
following speech at the World Mediation Summit in Washington, DC, 
minutes before the signing of the Covenant of the Articles of 
Artistic Mediation. Department staff, members of the Washington arts 
community, and cultural officials from six nations will be 
participating in the event. The Covenant, collectively co-authored by 
artists, curators, and cultural critics from around the world, is 
being presented to the US Department of State.

The following is the transcript of the speech:

Speech by Randall M. Packer
Secretary, US Department of Art & Technology
To the World Mediation Summit
Upon Signing of the Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation

June 19, 2002
Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes
Washington, DC


It's an honor to thank those artists who have heeded a great call: 
those who collectively co-authored the Covenant of the Articles of 
Artistic Mediation, which we are presenting tonight to the US 
Department of State. It's a universal call, and it's a call that has 
been applicable throughout history. It's really needed right now.

The reason we're here tonight is to unleash the talents of the artist 
as a mediator on the world stage. I appreciate the cooperation of the 
Goethe-Institut to stage this event right here in the nation's 
capital. Because this is a critical gesture that I hope will 
encourage cultural dialogue and understanding throughout the nation. 
It's an urgent time for the artist to act. And I think it's going to 
help America, along with the rest of the world, cope in these times 
of crisis and national insecurity.

This really isn't about any political party, I want to assure you. 
It's a way to make sure citizens of the world are as hopeful as they 
possibly can be. 

The events of September the 11th were an incredibly dark moment. But 
the thing I'm most proud about is, through the darkness, is the 
emergence of a new era of socially engaged art. This is really an 
unbelievable country we live in. A place where heroes risked their 
lives, and where artists responded with incredible insight. It was a 
remarkable moment, it really was. It was a test of our character. 
While many were busy waving the flag, artists and cultural critics in 
America and throughout the world have probed deep into the issues of 
cultural divisiveness in order to help guide us through these 
perilous times. They have rallied together, via the Internet, through 
their art, their writing, and their vision, to point out that 
everything is at stake, and that we have everything to lose, in these 
apocalyptic times. In the words of our Deputy Undersecretary Robert 
Atkins, "Being the most complex form of knowledge, art IS the best 
hope for subtle, nuanced communication."

This power of cultural action can go well beyond military aggression, 
and can help us rise above the hopeless notion of "overcoming evil" 
or "rooting out terror."  Yes, we will take action, I want to assure 
you, but we don't seek death and destruction, we seek a victory of 
the human spirit. And I believe that if we're patient and resolved 
and united, that out of these acts of artistic mediation could come 
lasting peace - peace in regions of the world that might appear now 
they cannot be peaceful.

I believe we can achieve peace by listening to the artist. Peace is 
the cornerstone of the artistic sensibility, it's what we aim for. As 
the Iowan artist Ava Su GanWei said so well, "Our society has it 
backwards, art should be freed from the museums and galleries... it 
should be on the streets. But violence and war - they belong in a 
place where they can be studied." There are going to be some tough 
moments achieving this peace. But you need to know that we're going 
to be plenty tough when we need to be tough. And we're going to stay 
focused on fighting homeland insecurity, caused by those who would 
foolishly believe they can root out every trace of evil from human 
existence. That's our call. History has called us into action, and we 
must and we will respond.

But we need to do more than just make the country less insecure. We 
need to make our country and the world a better place. We must be 
more than just a military might. We must show our resolve through 
cultural understanding: for according to John Young, our Under 
Secretary of the Bureau for the Blurring of the Real & the Virtual, 
"As we inhabit the 21st century, do we choose to take up the 
challenge of crafting a new vision of global compassion, or fall back 
upon antiquated notions of diplomacy at gunpoint?"

We have got to recognize that because we're a rich and powerful 
nation, we inspire despair and hopelessness in countries that suffer 
from extreme poverty and political instability. There are too many 
people throughout the world who wonder whether or not America is a 
destructive force. And so part of our struggle in making the country 
and the world less insecure is to mediate these differences in the 
universal language of artistic expression. As David Baime, our 
Assistant Secretary for Legislation & Congressional Affairs  so 
eloquently said, "art alone provides the reflection of reality.  Art 
is as perennial as the grass, and may our good government sow its 
seed, so as to reap its splendor." And the place to start is 
understanding that the world can be changed one word, one note, one 
frame, one pixel at a time.

The artist can't do everything. But the artist can do something to 
help. And their job as social provocateurs, appropriators, 
liberators, and citizens deeply committed to virtualization and the 
suspension of disbelief, is to gather that great compassion for 
critical insight, the spectacle, and distaste for the status quo, to 
change our ineffective paradigms, to change the world. And for those 
who have contributed to the efforts of the US Department of Art & 
Technology, including tonight's World Mediation Summit, they are 
doing a great job of that, and I want to thank them.

My job is to continue to address the spirit of the artist, their role 
in society, to call upon the best, and I will do so. Let this be a 
reminder to those who want to confront the human reality of terror, 
they should turn to the arts and its many forms of expression. 
"Violence is an expression of speechlessness, of lack of 
communication," according to the German media artist Agricola de 
Cologne. The artist recognizes problems when they exist and works to 
solve those problems, to eliminate the hurdles and barriers that lead 
to violence and aggression.

Government must not turn a blind eye to the artist. There must be a 
level playing field available and a role for the artist as a mediator 
and a player on the world stage. We need to remember that in our 
society, artists can move people in ways that government never can.

In order to understand the eternal, existential struggle between good 
and evil, that now paralyzes our government, we must invent, we must 
create, we must virtualize, and we must use our imaginations! As 
Andr=E9 Breton said, "perhaps the imagination is on the verge of 
recovering its rights."

In the gathering momentum of these acts of artistic mediation, which 
reveal what the artist is truly made of, we stand on the first 
promontory of the new centuries. Why should we look back, when what 
we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible!

And so, I now have the great honor of joining my colleagues in 
signing the Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation and 
delivering it to the US Department of State.

Thank you.

US Department of Art & Technology:

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

# 01-102


Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 09:29:25 -0400
From: US Department of Art & Technology <>
Subject: Articles of Artistic Mediation

US Department of Art & Technology
PO Box 32265 Washington, DC
office of the Secretary

Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation

Presented by the US Department of Art & Technology
To the US Department of State

Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes
Washington, DC
June 19, 2002

THE MEDIATING PARTIES, In order to promote international co-operation 
and to achieve international peace and cultural understanding by the 
acceptance of obligations not to resort to war, by the prescription 
of open, informed cultural dialogue between nations, by the 
establishment of the understanding of the aspirations of the artist 
as a model for spiritual and moral conduct among Governments, and by 
the maintenance of the role of the artist as a mediator on the world 
stage, and a scrupulous respect for the following articles of 
artistic mediation in the dealings of organized peoples with one 

Agree to this Covenant of the Articles of Artistic Mediation.

Article 1

Jeff Gates
Deputy Secretary
US Department of Art & Technology

The events of September 11 have caused all Americans to look at the 
world and our lives in new ways. We are beginning to question what it 
means to be an American within the greater world stage. Like Pearl 
Harbor, the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks have once again 
jolted us out of our isolationism.

This presents us with a unique opportunity. Let us reevaluate the 
relationship between our government and its policies and the 
contributions of artists and other cultural workers. We are standing 
at the fork in a road, just as we were soon after December 7, 1941. 
We can redefine our country by building taller, more impenetrable 
walls or we can promote our way of life by looking for new ways to 
solve our problems.

Traditionally, artists have developed creative ways of looking at the 
world. Employ our strengths and the country will be stronger and more 
able to adapt to the changing world around us. Work with us to become 
more inclusive domestically and more responsible internationally.

Article 2

Mark Amerika
Under Secretary for the Department of Freedom of Speech
US Department of Art & Technology

I am deeply offended by recent attempts by high administration 
figures to try and equate vocal dissent against their 
politically-motivated 'war on terrorism' with unpatriotic behavior. I 
would go so far as to say that these blatant acts of psychological 
manipulation and ideological coercion are themselves some of the most 
unpatriotic acts of any administration I have seen in my lifetime.

Article 3

Lynn Hershman
Deputy Under Secretary of the Bureau for the Protection &
Immunization Against Mediation & Alienation
US Department of Art & Technology

Initiate compassion, dignity and enlightenment in all cultural challenges.

Article 4

Pierre Levy
Under Secretary for the Office of Virtualization
US Department of Art & Technology

Each one of us is an autonomous and responsible source of meaning. We 
can enrich our world by integrating others as autonomous 
interpretation centers who are complete worlds in themselves. What is 
to be done with the other's meaning production? Ignore it, tolerate 
it, despise it, beat it, imitate it=8A? this would not be a dialogue. 
Collective intelligence is the reciprocal implication and mutual 
recognition of autonomous world's sources.

Article 5

Douglas Robertson
Director of the Office of Excessive Verbiage & Official Ceremonies
US Department of Art & Technology

Have Barney, that lovable hug-happy purple dinosaur, accompany the 
Secretary of State on all missions, and have Barney speak in the 
language of the host country. Barney will prove to be the perfect yin 
to every Secretary of State's yang. Alternative methodology if the 
Secretary of State does not consider this prudent: Appoint Bahrein as 
an American Ambassador at Large and send him on a world tour.

Article 6

Robert Atkins
Deputy Undersecretary
US Department of Art & Technology

Being the most complex form of knowledge, art IS the best hope for 
subtle, nuanced communication. Power to the palette people!

Article 7

Jack Rasmussen
Minister of Culture
US Department of Art & Technology

Artists interpret the cultures they live in... their "criticisms" 
take the form of invitations to engage us in constructive dialogues. 
Such dialogues seem to be completely lacking in the geo-political 
arena, where they are needed most. Let us use the artist's model to 
resolve international conflicts. Let's get naked!

Article 8

William Gilcher
Envoy Plenipotentiary to the European Union and Latin America
US Department of Art & Technology

US Museums and cultural institutions - under DAT's and UNESCO's 
leadership - should enshroud a major, signature work from their 
collections. Then they should hold fancy fund-raisers to pay for 
recovering (i.e., uncovering) the work. The money raised should be 
used to support the creation and maintenance of a permanent light 
sculpture representing the Bamiyan Buddhas, to be projected in the 
original space in Afghanistan. The team of artists selected to create 
the work should be people of various ethnic and religious origins, 
including at least one Afghan.

Article 9

John Paul Young
Under Secretary of the Bureau for the Blurring of the Real & the Virtual
US Department of Art & Technology

Art reflects the conscience of each generation. As we inhabit the 
21st century, do we choose to take up the challenge of crafting a new 
vision of global compassion, or fall back upon antiquated notions of 
diplomacy at gunpoint? Our children will judge us by our decision. 
Technology in the service of "clean" war is not a solution, it is a 
mere political expediency. Instead of increasingly virtualized 
destruction, the future must embrace radical notions of humane 
intervention. As proud citizens of the world family, let us lead with 
a passion for creatively deploying and delivering life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness where they are most needed.

Article 10

Billy Kl=FCver
Under Secretary of Reality
US Department of Art & Technology

Chaos is the best defense.

Article 11

Margaret Schedel
Under Secretary for Dissertations and Strategic Disinformation
US Department of Art & Technology

Interact with art and with each other. Ferocious interaction in art. 
Tender interactions with each other.

Article 12

Joan Freedman
Deputy Secretary of the Bureau for Archiving Old Media
& Anachronistic Ideologies
US Department of Art & Technology

No Land Mimes! Appoint mimes to call for an international ban on the 
use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of antipersonnel 
landmines, and for increased international resources for humanitarian 
mine clearance and mine victim assistance programs. Send mimes to 
effected regions to demonstrate the effects of land mines on 
unknowing civilian populations.

Article 13

Mark Tribe
Director of the Office of Emerging Technologies & Digital Aesthetics
US Department of Art & Technology

The conflict between Al Quaeda and the U.S. Government may be 
understood in terms of two very different modes of organizing power: 
one horizontally distributed and nomadic, the other hierarchical and 
geographically fixed. In the past, we have tended to assign positive 
value to the rhizomatic in contrast to the hierarchical. This 
conflict helps us realize that there is nothing inherently good about 
rhizomatic organizations of power. But if we think of think of these 
organizations of power as technologies in and of themselves, then it 
quickly becomes clear that rhizomatic technologies - fugitive, 
resilient, designed to operate in tatters - are not only newer but 
also more likely to survive in an evolutionary struggle.

Article 14

Randall Packer
US Department of Art & Technology

Organize a virtual government department, select a staff of the 
finest media artists and technologists you can find, have them 
collectively co-author imaginative acts of artistic mediation, stage 
an "official" event in Washington, DC with department staff and 
cultural officials providing remarks on the role of the artist in 
society, and invite the US State Department.

Article 15

David Baime
Assistant Secretary for Legislation & Congressional Affairs
US Department of Art & Technology

The sentimentalist would deceive himself, the rhetorician others; 
while art alone provides the reflection of reality. Art is as 
perennial as the grass, and may our good government sow its seed, so 
as to reap its splendor.

Article 16

David Crandall
Director of the Office of Strategy and Subversion
US Department of Art & Technology

I would submit that a central problem is the rest of the world's lack 
of understanding of America's unique burden and contribution. 
Inasmuch as our great nation has given the world the best-dressed 
peasant class in history, I would call for the commission of a series 
of grand, heroic paintings of, e.g. noble American yeoman 
stock-traders, bond-swains, cash maidens & personnel-herds, done 
larger than life in a golden glow.

Alternatively, murals could be created in the soviet style extolling 
the virtues of our noble Arts Infrastructure workers - see the sweat 
gleam on the sides of the redoubtable database coordinator and grants 
administrator as they build a better world for all! Their song: "If 
we lose this grant, the terrorists win!"

Article 17

Chris Bowman
Artist-Ambassador from Scotland
Global Virtualization Council


After lots are drawn, two children stand side by side pretending to 
be skyscrapers, while two others charge into them, pretending to be 

The two pretending to be skyscrapers aren't allowed to duck or dodge, 
and the two pretending to be planes get to crash into them as hard as 
they like, at which point the skyscrapers compete to see who can 
topple over the most dramatically.

It's in the interests of the planes not to hit the skyscrapers too 
hard, because in the next and final stage of the game, the 
skyscrapers - who have become a military alliance - get to kick the 
shit out of the planes - who have become foreign terrorists - in any 
and every way they like.

The game is known as PYRRHIC VICTORY.

Article 18

Philip Ryder
Artist-Ambassador from England
Global Virtualization Council

Being pigeon holed with terrorists should not be a frustration or 
insult. We do not kill. We are feared for being artists and all that 
it entails. Let their fear be proof of art's power and an inspiration.

Article 19

Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Artist Ambassador from the US
Global Virtualization Council

Without the negative to negate the positive, the positive would have 
no power. Working together we can avoid the threat that terrorism 
will be a threat to the way we perceive threats. Art is the only way 
to escape the world of what is possible into the world of what can be 
possible. Artists and creative processes will lead us past the 
bureaucratic stranglehold that stifles radical change. Our only hope 
is to rely on individual creative energy to prove the hypothesis that 
new approaches to perception will lead us to salvation.

Article 20

Agricola de Cologne
German media artist

Violence is an expression of speechlessness, of lack of 
communication. The best solution to eliminate violence and 
confrontation is looking for communicating, dialogue and networking, 
starting already in the smallest cel of society family, which lead in 
consequence to openness against the different, tolerance. A good 
example on the way to that represents the net based art project - - Memorial project against the 
=46orgetting and for Humanity.

Article 21

Joseph Franklyn McElroy
Cor[porat]e [Per]form[ance] Art[ist]T

It seems to be a natural tendency on the part of those in power, or 
wanting power, to use tactics of brinkmanship and brutality to 
accomplish incremental gains in their status. While people of extreme 
intelligence might be capable of handling the situations created by 
aggressive behavior, the unfortunate consequence of the success of 
these tactics is that people of less intelligence and experience 
attempt to copy the methods and are unable to control the resulting 
forces. This leads to tragedy and sorrow for many people. We implore 
you to step back from the strategies of the brute, to use new 
techniques of honesty, nonaggression, and inclusivity to establish a 
peaceful world, where equality and equitable distribution of 
resources are the norm.

Article 22

Ava Su GanWei
Iowan Artist

Our society has it backwards, art should be freed from the museums 
and galleries... it should be on the streets. But violence and war - 
they belong in a place where they can be studied.

Article 23

Domiziana Giordano
Italian Artist

As an intellectual and artist, I find the international politics of 
the US not really performing if it has to reach a point of non 
aggression in military and cultural forms. The dialogue between 
cultures has to be more open-minded towards the difference of culture 
and I think intellectuals and artists can pursue the appropriate way 
to mediate between the cultures and make a sort of free land where 
opportunities of understanding with each other would be easily 

Article 24

Lowell Darling
American Conceptual Artist and Presidential Candidate

A National Business Museum in which money schemes can be exhibited 
like art, where business people can play with concepts like the 
recent Enron/Anderson debacle. Business people like Michael Milkin 
should be given a safe venue to play in, like artists. This museum 
would give corporate raiders a platform to perform that would protect 
the rest of us from seeing their visions reach fruition.

In the National Business Museum a corrupt concept could be exhibited, 
reviewed, discussed, and the business person who came up with the 
scam could get the attention they seek. a businessman could take his 
children to the Business Museum, show his kids the idea he had, and 
show them how much money he could have made if he'd done the project 
in real life instead of in the museum, and they could say, "wow, dad. 
You made that? cool!"

The National Business Museum would allow the money manipulators a way 
to vent their greed while giving them their ego boosts. Economic self 
gratification without investors being destroyed. In other words, 
let's treat business like art. Give money grubbers and corporate 
thieves a sheltered venue for their experiments. Let money makers get 
the sort of rewards art makers get: pats on the ass, government 
grants, ego enhancing shows, brief moments of recognition in trade 
magazines, and lots of promises. But the money stays in the people's 
pockets when they leave the museum and go home, glad that they are 
protected from such crazy concepts as those wild business people come 
up with.

* * *

The present Covenant, of which the German, French, Flemish, English, 
Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Spanish texts are equally 
authentic, shall remain deposited in the on-line archives of the US 
Department of Art & Technology. Duly certified digital copies thereof 
shall be transmitted by that Government to its agencies and to other 
States when appropriate.

IN FAITH WHEREOF the representatives of the Department of Art & 
Technology have signed the present charter.

DONE at the city of Washington, DC the 19th day of June two thousand and two

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