Us and/or Them (1983)

I don’t know where this video was shot, or by who, but it was somewhere that had a big old computer (PDP perhaps?) for generating and displaying videotex, with probably a Norpak display terminal/decoder. When I made this work in 1983, it was in the context of the Vista “field trials” sponsored by Bell Canada in Toronto and Montreal. Companies or groups in these trials were essentially testing the Canadian Department of Communications’ new Telidon technology for the creation and dissemination of computer graphics in the form of image and text – providing various kinds of content for testing both the videotex protocol itself and the telecommunication networks to support public access to the databases. In Toronto, a group of people who got access to this technology had, by 1983, incorporated as an artist-run centre called Toronto Community Videotex (these founders were Geoffrey Shea, Paul Petro, Bill Perry and Nina Beveridge – and the current InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre grew out of TCV). Thanks to Bill Perry for formatting help way back then. Nell Tenhaaf


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