Welcome, teletext fanatics! I'll just leave this here...

Friday, 27 April 2007

Teletext projects

Tom Moody - Teletext project
Page at eyebeam

This is another example of an artist using the medium of teletext to create art, this time with a message. Solely text based, the image to the right shows a couple of screenshots from the initial MacPaint mockups prior to conversion into teletext format when it would be broadcast as white text on a dark blue background. On a personal level this is quite pleasing, it's almost as if your television is addressing you directly in the form of instruction. For this reason it is quite humorous but there is a (semi) serious message underneath - it attempts to prompt people to reconsider what they are constantly being spoon fed by the media, of an Orwellian Big Brother society that Teletext itself serves to propagate.

Due to a technical glitch the "WE COMMAND. YOU OBEY..." screen accidentally ran on an African American affairs channel and the station got a lot of angry complaints. What, black people don't want authoritarian messages coming from their TVs? Why on earth? Seriously, I'm sorry that happened but it was a kind of an anti-authoritarian (or a-authoritarian) message.

A noteworthy anecdote that underlines what I have previously stated. The piece also enforces Moody's general ethic when creating artwork:

"I'm amused by the lingering rhetoric of futurism--the Buck Rogers, 'machines-will-change-our-lives' spieling--that continues to surround digital production in our society. The computer is a tool, not magic, and possesses its own tragicomic limitations as well as offering new means of expression and communication." -- from http://www.digitalmediatree.com/tommoody/contents/