Monday, October 30, 1978 (All day)


Artist: Bill Bartlett

Date: October 30 to December 9, 1978

Sat-Tel-Comp (Satellite-Telephone-Computer) was the fourth project in the Open Space Collaboratory series. The emphasis of Collaboratory was on production, collaboration and idea exchange. It acted as a catalyst that linked technology, art and community. The installation and related events were a laboratory for the experimental arts and the use of the computer, telephone, communication satellites and video. A series of displays, inter-active sessions, electronic transmissions and events took place over a six-week period. Participation was open to artists, businesses, technicians, scientists, educators and the general community.

Bill Barlett, Sat-Tel-Comp, 1978

Throughout the six-week installation, there were live video transmissions, point-to-point within the city and across North America. The use of the two-way Slow-Scan Video phoneline process, allowed for video images to be both sent and received. Contact points included Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Kingston, New York City, Memphis, Tennessee and San Diego, California. There was also a communication installation in the Video Access Studio at Open Space, which included a display of reference literature, the studio production centre for video, Slow-Scan phoneline video transmission centre, and various communication technology displays which were available to the public.

During the first week there was a series of public demonstrations of point-to-point video phoneline technology in preparation for future experimental communication workshops. Live, two-way transmissions took place between groups at Open Space and various public places.

Sat-Tel-Comp opened with an "Introduction o Slow-Scan" on October 30th. It consisted of a performance-demonstration of phoneline video technology by Direct Media Association. The following day "Introduction to Slow-Scan" was feature at both Open Space and Camosun. On November 1, Sat-Tel-Comp interacted with the public at Hillside Mall with another "Intoduction to Slow-Scan." Sat-Tel-Comp introduced Slow-Scan technology to another group of communicators at the Times-Colonist Building on November 2nd with a public viewing held at Open Space.

Week 1: "Slow Scan Technology"

Week 2: "Live, two-way Satellite Communications"

Week 3: "Broadcast Applications"

Week 4: "Computer Technology"

Week 5: "Cable TV, Public and Alternative Broadcasting"

Week 6: "Future Space/ Technologies"

 In 2005, Todd Davis, the former Director of Open Space, Doug Jarvis, the Open Space Program Coordninator, and Jeremy Turner the Digital Archivist at Open Space presented three papers at the First International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology at the Banff Centre. Their research examined the historiy of SAT-TEL-Comp at Open Space the innovative practices of media artist, Bill Bartlett in the 1970s and 80s. 

To read a transcript of their presentations see below: