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Performance of Karlheinz Stockhuasen’s Originale, May 1990 at Theater Artaud in San Francisco. From the left to right are Michael Orland, piano, Chris Maher, action musician, and Don Baker, percussion. Barney Jones is reading Marx’s Communist Manifesto on the video projection.

Zakros InterArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in San Francisco in 1988 by Randall Packer, dedicated to the creation of artistic forms that dissolve the distinction between disciplines and defy categorization. Zakros is focused on emergent forms of interdisciplinary and networked art and its incorporation of evolving technologies. Since 1999, Zakros InterArts has been based in Washington, DC, where it has focused on the critique of the political and media culture in the Nation’s Capital.

Zakros InterArts began as a performing arts company and an artistic statement, a retreat from the precarious machinations of traditional artistic venues, into a quasi-utopic, “anything is possible” initiative that has evolved in step with the emergence of new technologies.

The initial idea behind Zakros was a concept formulated on the East Coast of Crete, where the tiny Greek village of Zakros is nestled between the Mediterranean and ancient Minoan ruins. It is there is the origins of a mythic culture: rising from the island of Atlantis, inspiring apocalyptic and utopian visions of generations of theorists, seekers, and dreamers. It occurred to us at the time, that when we reached the end of our tolerance for art world posturing, that we would seek out the balmy shores of ancient Crete to rediscover the roots of utopic dreams.

The experience of Zakros, Crete was the catalyst for this quasi-mythic experiment: Zakros InterArts, which has over the years morphed from the production of multimedia theatrical works to a new kind of multimedia concept, – “the gesamtdatenwerk” – a theatre edifice in the third space of the Internet.

This Website has thus evolved into an ever-expanding universe of performance work, installations, music composition, manifestos, writings, mediational histories, and teaching experiments. Please explore, it’s a hypermediated tour through thirty-five+ years of work, and like the ancient Greek labyrinths, it’s easy to lose yourself in the circuitous twists and turns and occasional dead ends of the artistic process.

Among the most prized in our collection here, is the mesostic that John Cage wrote for Zakros InterArts when we organized what would have been his 80th birthday concert in 1992. Although he died just before the event, he left for us what could very well be his last mesostic: a poetic musing on Zakros InterArts. Although this little gem was written many years ago, we are still deciphering its meaning. We have no doubt it bridges the ancient teachings of the Minoans with the virtual space where we now reside in the Network.

We invite you to situate yourself “where each of us is together in the nothing, in between us, the nothing in between…” I’m sure John Cage was a Minoan in some faraway distant life.

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