Urgent Analog Bulletin

The Britain-based media arts collective, Lektrolab, is best known for teaching how-to workshops on hacking Nintendo cartridges and manipulating outmoded home electronics. So it's no surprise that their new project, Microtel, also involves breathing life into dying living room technology--in this case, the neglected aesthetic of teletext. The system was invented in England, in the 1970s, to stream text and graphics to analog television sets. Its vivid cathode colors and signature clunky graphics became the visual language of up-to-the-minute news bulletins and awkward advertisements before being replaced by newer text displays. Coming to the medium's rescue, Lektrolab recently posted an open call for teletext art on their website. They are compiling the submissions and, beginning January 26th, broadcasting them on Netherlands public television in conjunction with Rotterdam's 35th International Film Festival. The Microtel website has images of the submissions that have come in, thus far, and everything one needs to participate, including the software to make a teletext masterpiece. - Bill Hanley