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Das Teletext-Kunstfestival, über dessen erste Ausgabe ich letztes Jahr hier gebloggt hatte, läuft bereits seit 2 Wochen in seiner zweiten Ausgabe. Gezeigt werden die Arbeiten im ARD Hauptstadtstudio und natürlich im ARD Text ab Seite 850, ORF TELETEXT ab Seite 470 und im Schweizer TELETEXT Seite 750-764 auf den Sendern SRF 1, RTS 1 und RSI 1. Online kann man sich die Sachen ebenfalls auf der Website zum Festival ansehen, inklusive Infos zu den Künstlern, unter anderem Pixel-Popkultur-Glitchartist Max Capacity, C64-Wizard Goto80 und die alten Helden der Netzkunst-Avantgarde von Ubermorgen.
Considering that teletext has been used by millions of people daily during its 40 years of existence, it has so far remained a relatively unexplored territory for artistic creation. Ever since it was launched by the BBC in 1973, there have been several serious efforts to open up teletext for art but even if teletext has had a steady stream of fans within the artistic community, including some well-known names such as the Jodi artist collective, it has never gained the status it deserves as an art form. Now that High Definition has become established as a standard and the race towards crisp images has slowed down, a growing number of artists have returned to the basic structures of electronic art. This can be seen as the main reason for the revival of teletext in this context.
Other phenomena explaining the sudden interest in teletext art, especially among young artists, is the retro factor. 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. The artworks can be viewed with teletext editors or made into animated images but the true forum for teletext art is of course teletext itself.