Teletext Art

Half a decade of the Museum of Teletext Art

The Museum of Teletext Art will turn 5 years old this summer. Since its launch in August 2014, the teletext-based gallery has broadcast artwork by more than 20 multimedia artists on Finland’s YLE Text.

Speaking to ARTE Creative just prior to the launch, MUTA founder and teletext artist Juha van Ingen explained:

“It’s a tiny little museum because it’s just one page on which we show the teletext artist’s work. One artist is exhibited each month, and their work is also archived digitally on our website – for those who do not have access to teletext.”

The Museum of Teletext Art began as a collaboration between public broadcasting company Yleisradio and Helsinki-based artists co-operative FixC. Announced alongside that year’s edition of the International Teletext Art Festival, its purpose was (and remains) to broadcast, document, archive and make teletext art available for studies and research.

“It’s rather complicated these days to document about artists using teletext: if the image is not spread across the web, you can not see the work – except as a GIF, but that’s rare. I think it is important that the works can be viewed in their original version. The museum is an archive, documentation center and exhibition venue at the same time.”

–Juha van Ingen, ARTE Creative, August 2014 (via Google Translate)

MUTA was officially opened at an event featuring the work of participating artist Kathrin Günter at FISH Helsinki on 20 March 2014. Günter’s piece Lindsay Lohan’s Mug Shot Cabinet was previously selected as winner of the 2013 International Teletext Art Prize.

“The ITAF Yle opening event also celebrates the founding of the world’s first and probably last teletext art museum, MUTA (Museum of Teletext Art). The museum will show artworks on a regular basis on a permanent teletext page in Yle Teletext. In addition, the museum will archive the teletext artworks in digital form for the media archeologists of the future, as part of VILKE, the collection of Finnish electronic art.” –ITAF2014 Press release

MUTA outside of YLE Text

Artwork from the MUTA collection has been showcased on ARD Text, appearing throughout 2016 on the German service. A new piece was featured on page 883 each month, beginning with Dragan Espenschied’s Lucky Cat in January and finishing with Ryo Ikeshiro’s Retro Rick Roll in December. The twelve designs shown on ARD can be found here.

MUTA was also the subject of an exhibition at L’Unique in November 2016. Visitors to the gallery in Caen, France were treated to a slideshow featuring the work of 10 teletext artists on a large public window projection.

Teletext art at L’Unique, France.

MUTA in 2019

Those without access to Finnish teletext are still able to ‘visit’ the Museum of Teletext Art via YLE Text’s online viewer here. You can also see past works at this archive of the YLE service. Navigate using the date field in monthly increments to see what was featured on specific dates.

Alternatively, here is a chronological list of every artwork featured by MUTA. YLE are rebroadcasting pieces from the collection on rotation, with Karin Ferrari’s DarkTXT – a tribute to the dark web – currently featured.

Dan Farrimond

Teletext artist and head mad scientist at the UK Teletext Art Research Lab (TARL). | hello [at] teletextart (dot) co *dot* uk | danfarrimond.co.uk

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