Block Party: Teletext Lives @ Networking Area

Short thesis

Analogue teletext is not dying, it is simply evolving - once the sole domain of public broadcasters, it is now available for everyone to experiment with. Using open source software and a bit of imagination, it is perfectly possible to create your own private (or even public) teletext service.

Visitors to this workshop will learn how to design teletext pages - be they entertaining or informative, artistic or formal - and share them with their friends via the internet and physical broadcast teletext.


The minimalist practicality of broadcast teletext has ensured that it continues to co-exist with the supposedly ‘superior’ internet to this day, forty years after its invention. While technologies such as VHS and Betamax have long since been abandoned by commercial distributors, analogue teletext is still a primary information retrieval service in many parts of Europe such as Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia.

Visitors to this workshop will find out how to make a personal teletext service to broadcast to their friends and family. They will use software to create pages with the correct specification to be shown on broadcast teletext, learn how to set up their own stand-alone teletext service with a Raspberry Pi, and share these pages via social media. In addition, German broadcaster ARD has offered to broadcast some of the re:publica teletext artworks live on their teletext service during the conference, reaching a possible audience of up to 4 million visitors per day.

In the low tech spirit of analogue teletext, visitors will also have the opportunity to go ‘back to the 80s’ and create pages in the old fashioned manner with paper-based teletext worksheets, much as they might have done for services such as UK Channel 4’s Frame It.

Block Party I took place at Tate Britain in London, UK on 5 June 2015. Hosted by International Teletext Art Champion Dan Farrimond, it attracted hundreds of visitors, who each created their own teletext pages, shared their teletext experiences and generally interacted with the medium as an artform.

Visitors are advised to bring their laptops and join the Block Party!