Teletext Cinema


Teletext Cinema, is an evening with presentations, screenings and live performances centered around
the creative use of Teletext for cinematic purposes.

Teletext, or broadcast teletext, is a videotex standard for displaying text and rudimentary graphics on suitably equipped television sets. Teletext sends data in the broadcast signal, hidden in the invisible vertical blank interrupt area at the top and bottom of the screen.[1] The teletext decoder in the television buffers this information as a series of "pages", each given a number.
It was created in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s by John Adams with the goal to provide rural homes with electronic hardware that could download pages of up-to-date news, reports, facts and figures targeting agriculture.
Teletext formed the basis for World System Teletext, an extended version of the same basic system. This saw widespread use across Europe starting in the 1980s, with almost all televisions including a decoder. The teletext system was also used for a number of experimental systems, notably in the United States, but these were never as popular as their European counterparts and most closed by the early 1990s. Most teletext systems survived in one form or another into the 2000s, when the internet had become ubiquitous.

Teletext was born as a limited bandwidth medium for a certain purpose. What it did took place within strictly defined but logical parameters. The best way to add information was to stack more pages into the system, making the book on-line grow. Art was not raised as one of the potential uses. Perhaps that is exactly one of the reasons that began drawing artists towards it. Contemporary artists have one peculiar quality; they can draw inspiration from anything. The poverty of initial means of expression lead to maximizing the output. Limited ingredients can be exciting, and certainly resonate with the goals of conceptualism and arte povera. Perhaps it should be said that conceptually teletext is not at all limited when it comes to the possibilities of minimalist graphics and its nature as an information channel. The richness of possibilities emerges from stretching the contents of a limited toolkit.

For this event, artist Gt8Sv will show a live performance using teletext, and a half hour selection
of teletext pages made by artists wordwide, submitted after an open call that released the toolkit
for creating teletext pages.

Teletext Cinema was part of the International Teletext Art Festival