Teletext has stuck to its confined format for 40 years now, ruthlessly blocking any signs of change out, turning this medium into a nearly unused, antiquated matter. For this reason, although there has always been a number of talented artists, teletext art has never gained real momentum. The International Teletext Art Festival ITAF 2013 that could be happening now on everybody’s television screen attempts to change this and takes teletext art to the masses by showing viewers the possibilities that this limited medium has to offer.
Last year, in 2012, the Finnish collaborative FixC launched the very first teletext art festival in cooperation with the Finnish television channel YLE and ARD Text in Germany to give videotext artists an adequate platform to present their work. “In a HD-dominated world”, FixC explains, “this [teletext] archaic medium, the reduction to a single pixel, has a very strong visual appeal”. Reduced to 24 rows, 40 columns and six fixed colors in addition to black and white the works of the past and present ITAF are complex structures despite its minimal approach. The outcome shows productions that are at times almost unrecognizably abstract, others appear as clear-cut images. The range of teletext art is fascinating.
This year FixC has once again organized the ITAF so we can have a look at the works of sixteen different video artists. Their work is on display from 15 August to 15 September at ARD Text from page 850, at ORF TELETEXT from page 470 and at SWISS TELETEXT on pages 750-764. Though, whoever has still not found the teletext button can have a look at the entire exhibiton at the ARD Hauptstadtstudio in Berlin and on Sept 6 in Linz during the Ars Electronica Festival 2013.
Different to the previous year a group of expert including Paul B.Davis, Voin de Voin and Rosa Menkman will, in the end, get together to decide on who gets the Teletext Art Prize. Others, outside the group, can also give their vote by sending a postcard. Participators stand the chance to win a print of a teletext artwork signed by the artist.