A Season in Hell

The Rupture
Secretary-at-Large Randall M. Packer’s first glimpse of the unknown

The invention of the unknown demands new forms

But with the 2004 election, the dream of an artist-driven government was shrouded in the gathering doom of war and disinformation. I fled underground and declared myself the Secretary-at-Large. I heard a voice from the Other side and began chronicling my descent through the treacherous Underworld of America (and beyond).

(A Remix of Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell):

Once, if I remember well, I held Utopian Aspirations for the role of the artist on the world stage, I saw America transformed through revolutionary artistic thought, inspired by the avant-garde, Government revised, through techniques of media and virtualization… my life was a feast in which True Freedom was found through the power of imagination, where all was opened beyond what is, to what can be… I transcended Bureaucracies, I dissolved the distinction between what is real and what is not, I declared myself ein Berliner Kunstler, I created new worlds, and I indulged in collective toasts.

One evening, I found myself crushed by reality. The Bureaucracy I conceived turned against me, it caved in on itself, it gave in to the pressures of Authority… it conjured Ed Ruscha, high on the throne of Beauty, master of the Word, the Everyday: to replace me.

And I found this bitter. I became disillusioned. I plunged into despair and self-pity. I raged. In my darkest hour, the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations left me empty, drained, and I cursed them all.

I then armed myself against justice, and declared, “Where Art can contribute to the Perpetual Fight against Authoritarianism, I shall confront the Powers that be.” I announced I would “see the artistic process through… whatever its outcome.”

I hacked the Website and made it my own. I dissolved all Control. Politicians! Your Deceit, Your Tyranny, Your Hate, to you had the Department been entrusted! You, who glorify those anachronisms that would bring us to the End, to emptiness: as we brace ourselves for the Ceremonial Inauguration of Fear… I bid Adieu… welcome, to A Season in Hell.