Block Party: The International Teletext Art Festival

The last ever Bamboozle

The last ever Bamboozle

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 Sports results, latest news and of course the interactive quiz Bamboozle were all available amongst much else at the touch of a button and with a little patience with the page load time. The rise and rise of the internet inevitably lessened the demand for information through your TV, with CNN closing their teletext service in 2006 and the BBC ending Ceefax in 2012.

They say scarcity breeds innovation though and the options for imagery on teletext were certainly limited. These limitations led to the creative use of colour and shape, and a whole new sub-genre of  art and one of the earliest forms of digital design.

 

“The minimal aesthetics and limited technical possibilities make teletext a unique medium and also an interesting challenge for artists: To make teletext pages a specific file format and editor are needed. A teletext page can be perceived as a grid of 24 rows and 40 columns. To change the colours of the graphics, text and background or to add a blink effect, a control character needs to be inserted. Each time a control character is placed it uses up one space in the grid, which then appears black.”

Teletext Art

Museum of Teletext art (MUTA)

Museum of Teletext Art (MUTA)

 

In 2013, a year after the cessation of Ceefax, the International Teletext Art Prize began and this year this will be awarded during the third International Teletext Art Festival. There’s even a Museum of Teletext Art called MUTA.

 

 

Bright & Bold Geometric Art

The festival, in its third year, will be run by Finnish art collective FixC, from 14 August to 14 September 2014. The event hopes to showcase those who have used this minimal yet striking medium as an art form:

Sugar by Juha van Ingen - Teletext Art

Sugar by Juha van Ingen

 

1914 The Teletext Engine by Dan Farrimond

1914 The Teletext Engine by Dan Farrimond

 

9999 percent by Kari Yli Annala

9999 percent by Kari Yli Annala

 

From the series Internet Acronyms by Anne Horel

From the series Internet Acronyms by Anne Horel

 

Spectrum balls by Kim Asendorf

Spectrum balls by Kim Asendorf

 

Thread of Fate by Raquel Meyers

Thread of Fate by Raquel Meyers

 

Untitled by LIA

Untitled by LIA

 

Two is better than one by Nadine Arbeiter

Two is better than one by Nadine Arbeiter

 

Original story posted on the BBC website



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The Chromologist is a colour whisperer. He understands and knows them better than they know themselves, translating their pleas to be used beautifully for humankind. It's unknown from whence he came. Some say the fraction of space between a prism and a spectrum, others say he toiled in the fabled colour mines of Svalbard for years untold, deep underground, speaking only to the reds and blues, cerises and aquas, bronze and golds...


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