3-4/2022 WiderScreen 26 (3-4)

At the Breaking Point: Introduction

Albion M. Butters | albion.butters [a] utu.fi | Editor | PhD | The John Morton Center for North American Studies | University of Turku

Oscar Winberg | owinberg [a] abo.fi | Editor | PhD, post-doctoral researcher | History Department | Åbo Akademi University

Pekka M. Kolehmainen | pmkole [a] utu.fi | Editor | PhD, post-doctoral researcher | The John Morton Center for North American Studies | University of Turku

This special issue of WiderScreen explores the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election through the lens of media. The effort has been coordinated at the John Morton Center for North American Studies (JMC) at the University of Turku, with a group of researchers who followed the long presidential campaign since before the first candidates announced their run. Many of the contributors writing for this issue previously worked with the JMC on a special journal issue on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election for the European Journal of American Studies (see Heiskanen and Butters 2017). This current issue can be seen as a continuation of that work: to explore the U.S. Presidential Election as comprised of events that encompass a wide strata of signification, involving cultural and social influences as much as political ones.

The election of Donald Trump in 2016 marked all political campaigns, movements, and institutions in the four years that followed (Masket 2020; Lozada 2020; Zelizer 2022; Sides et al. 2022). It loomed over the presidential challenge to come, which then proved to be an exceptional year in its own right. If the election of 2016 was widely understood as “unbelievable” (Tur 2017), that was arguably even more the case for what happened in 2020. Even today, many Republicans continue to deny the validity of the election, while the insurrection at the Capitol in its aftermath continues to shock.

The 2020 election year was extraordinarily rocky from the outset. It began with the impeachment of the President of the United States, when the House of Representatives found that Trump had abused the power of the presidency and obstructed Congress in attempts to solicit foreign interference in the upcoming election. When the Republicans in the Senate voted to acquit, the President celebrated on social media with a video depicting his victory not only in 2020 but also 2024 and beyond, with the message “TRUMP 4EVA” (Morgan et al 2020).

Soon thereafter, however, the COVID-19 pandemic would transform political life—and, indeed, everyday life. Political campaigning moved from the streets, town halls, and stadiums to screens. Health officials became familiar faces, while checking infection rates and death counts became a part of many voters’ daily routines, and government briefings became must-watch TV. The efforts to combat the pandemic turned into an expression of political identity through media debates over everything from mask-wearing to enforced lockdowns. Before long, the virus and the government’s handling of the outbreak became a defining issue of the election.

Politics returned to the streets in late May following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, when Black Lives Matter demonstrations spread across the nation. Continuing for months, these grew into one of the largest protest movements in the history of the United States (Buchanan et al 2020). In response to the civil unrest, the President called up the National Guard, demanded a strong response by law enforcement, and even made an infamous media appearance in Lafayette Square outside the White House, flanked by the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a move of defiance intended to project strength.

Democracy itself came under assault in the election campaign. With the pandemic still raging in the fall of 2020, states around the country expanded or restricted access to polling places. Voting by mail, early voting, and ballot drop boxes provided some voters the opportunity to participate in the democratic process without risking their health; in other cases, the election process was marred by closed voting locations and inordinately long lines. The President charged fraud, reflecting a larger campaign to sow distrust toward the election and thereby contest any defeat. This effort culminated, of course, in the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. And the long election year ended as it began, with Donald Trump facing impeachment in Congress.

For this special issue on the election, the media is broadly understood as encompassing the traditional realms of print, radio, and television as well as new platforms such as social media, message boards, and podcasts. Each contributor approaches a particular event, topic, or theme within the broader context of the interplay between media and the election. The goal is to study the political dynamics formed and informed by the media, and throughout the issue, media has accordingly been approached as a site where politics happens—where meaning is created and contested around political phenomena by different groups of users. Each article contains its own articulation of how politics, media, and user agencies coexist and become mutually entangled.

What defines many of the contributions here is their focus on outliers, sides, and peripheries. The story of the 2020 election told in this issue is one of struggle and conflict, often being waged in marginal spaces by various ideological actors operating on the fringes of political culture. This signals one of the clearest functions that new types of media environments have for contemporary politics, namely, providing avenues of communication and fostering community for groups that in the past would have been too disparate to organize in a meaningful way. The aim is not to give a comprehensive view of the election but instead to provide insight into the developments on the fringes often left out of political overviews. Donald Trump looms larger over the special issue than Joe Biden, as he does in most accounts of the election and did in the minds of the voters.

In his well-known work of intellectual history, Daniel T. Rodgers (2011) dubbed the last quarter of the twentieth century in the United States an “age of fracture”—a time when the U.S. began to lose its sense that there could be a governing consensus of ideas that enjoyed mutual acceptance across the ideological spectrum. Both political and cultural fractures widened over the decades since, driving animosity and resentment. Of course, the history of the United States is a history of division and fractures. The idea of a collective national identity was never a lived reality. Yet, an amplified sense of “us versus them” is driving contemporary political and cultural life (Mason 2018). Media, including the ascendance of social media, has been a particularly important vehicle for this development. What the United States experienced in 2020—and what the country continues to face today—is akin to a breaking point. Within a year, the nation witnessed two impeachment trials of the President, the largest mass demonstration in history, and a violent insurrection against democracy.

The divide is the starting point for the special issue, as Niko Heikkilä examines the use of history in protest and political narratives during the long presidential election. Focusing specifically on the Black Lives Matter protests and the insurrection at the Capitol, he outlines how these were framed by the news media and various commentators as “historic.” In addition, he notes, the discourse came with inherent moral, ideological, and political functions of history. He identifies how the protests themselves represented a story of the times, a moment of contested visions for the U.S., in which identity politics and culture war politics were marshalled to both build communities and divide them. As Heikkilä argues, the debate over history not only concerned historical facts but represented how historical narratives can have very different claims and functions in relation to contemporary struggles.

Albion M. Butters continues the discussion of the dramatic polarization in the 2020 election by investigating the phenomenon of QAnon through the lens of religion, for example, comparing the posts of the mysterious Q to a canon and their amplification—through various media—to evangelism. This approach reveals entanglements between politics and religion: on one hand, QAnon enacted a clear agenda to reelect the President; on the other, while leveraging the Christian worldview of many of its followers, it positioned Trump as a savior figure who promised to bring about “The Great Awakening.” On both of these levels, QAnon can be seen as exploiting the attention given by mainstream media and using alternative media platforms in an epistemological battle over what was real, paralleling the President’s own use of Twitter to drive a rhetoric of fake news. Butters concludes that belief in QAnon defied political or journalistic debate through its oppositional interpretative frame, employing a hermeneutics of faith to contest the conventional hermeneutics of suspicion, which ultimately led the movement’s followers and critics to talk past each other.

Oscar Winberg deepens the analysis on fake news by studying how President Trump turned on Fox News after the election results came in. Drawing on Twitter as his primary source material, Winberg compares and contrasts the assault on Fox News with other examples of media criticism employed by Trump in previous years. Analyzing the President’s criticism of right-wing media and comparing it to assaults on the mainstream media, Winberg demonstrates that the President’s attacks did not represent a divide within the right-wing coalition but was part of a long project by the right to delegitimize the media. Demanding loyalty, not fairness or balance, Trump understood the audience of right-wing media better than many at Fox News. With insults, intimidation, and accusations, Trump made his lies about the election a key part of the identity of right-wing media.

In her essay, Henna-Riikka Pennanen further explores the role of Fox News in not only promoting but forming the policy and politics of the Trump administration. With a focus on the politicization of COVID-19 as a part of conservative attacks on China, Pennanen highlights the exchanges between the Trump administration and Fox News in forming a narrative around the term “China virus.” She traces the term as a meme, with contested meanings and politics, which cycled through both traditional media and online spaces, and shows how a slur can consist of sub-narratives that connect right-wing media, Internet culture, administration policies, and campaign rhetoric on China as a threat.

Pekka M. Kolehmainen also addresses the significance of COVID-19 in the election, but within the domestic context. Specifically, he examines Donald Trump’s own coronavirus infection—looking at the six-day time period from the President’s infection to his return to the White House and its aftermath—as a media performance. The performance played out on right-wing media and online, giving the President the opportunity to negotiate multiple meanings of the illness and ultimately appearing to his audience as a hero who had sacrificed his health for the nation. Tracing the politics of strength, health, and success in relation to the campaign but also wider ideological trajectories in U.S. intellectual history, Kolehmainen argues that Trump was able to simultaneously frame himself as a victim and a victor.

Turning to young voters, Mila Seppälä studies TikTok as a platform for fresh expressions of civic engagement, compared to more traditional ways of electoral mobilization and participation. Analyzing creative political participation on TikTok, Seppälä argues that trolling as protest, performing political identity, and sharing and deliberating on civic information are all forms of actualizing citizenship engagement. A particularly novel aspect of this article is Seppälä’s approach to the data: going beyond mere hashtags, she utilizes TikTok’s sound search function to identify four audio tracks and trace their memetic power. By revealing new facets of collective expression and debate on this emerging popular online platform, Seppälä thus opens a window onto the different political participation styles adopted by Generation Z in the 2020 election.

The election highlighted both the fracturing of the media and the way campaigns and movements could make a difference on the fringes of political media culture. Studying the collaboration between the Biden campaign and musicians, Outi Hakola finds the campaign promoted Biden’s message of unity and rejection of national division under the hashtag #TeamJoeSings on YouTube. Social media could also be used to promote political awareness and mobilization, as Reetta Humalajoki illustrates in her reflection on the political role of Native American activists in the election. Beyond the frame of ”red states” and ”blue states,” Rani-Henrik Andersson illustrates the regional and even local diversity critical to understanding election results. Finally, both Benita Heiskanen and Kimmo Ahonen reconsider the relationship between political campaigns, candidates, and the political media in the age of Donald Trump.

The editors would like to acknowledge the kind support of the JMC and thank its network of scholars who made this special issue possible. In particular, thanks go to all the contributors and the reviewers for their work. The editors also want to thank the team at WiderScreen for this opportunity. It is our hope that this special issue will show the benefit of studying United States political campaigns and institutions from a transdisciplinary perspective (combining history, political science, American studies, religious studies, and media studies) and acknowledge the multiple implications of elections as media events.


All links verified November 20, 2022.

Buchanan, Larry, Quoctrung Bui, and Jugal K. Patel. 2020. “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History.” New York Times, July 3, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/03/us/george-floyd-protests-crowd-size.html.

Heiskanen, Benita, and Albion M. Butters. 2017. “Popularizing Electoral Politics: Change in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Race.” European Journal of American Studies 12(2). https://doi.org/10.4000/ejas.12111.

Lozada, Carlos. 2020. What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Masket, Seth. 2020. Learning from Loss: The Democrats, 2016–2020. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mason, Lilliana. 2018. Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Morgan, David, Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, and Patricia Zengerle. 2020. “Senate Acquits Trump in Historic Vote as Re-Election Campaign Looms.” Reuters, February 5, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-idUSKBN1ZZ19C.

Rodgers, Daniel T. 2011. Age of Fracture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Sides, John, Chris Tausanovitch, and Lynn Vavreck. 2022. The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Tur, Katy. 2017. Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History. New York: Dey Street Books.

Zelizer, Julian E., ed. 2022. The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Front page image: Wikimedia Commons (2020).

2–3/2020 WiderScreen 23 (2–3)

Home‌ ‌Computer‌ ‌Cultures‌ ‌and‌ ‌Society‌ ‌Before‌ ‌the‌ ‌Internet‌ ‌Age‌

Gleb J. Albert | gleb.albert [a] uzh.ch | Editor | PhD | Department of History, University of Zurich

Julia Gül Erdogan | julia-guel.erdogan [a] hi.uni-stuttgart.de | Editor | M.A. | Institute of History, University of Stuttgart

Markku Reunanen | markku.reunanen [a] aalto.fi | Editor | PhD | Department of Media, Aalto University

With this thematic issue (2–3/2020), WiderScreen returns to the topic of computer subcultures and “scenes”. However, while previous issues of this journal had a stronger focus on the artistic output of computer subcultures, the present issue focuses on the social conditions and practices that constituted computer subcultures and alternative user cultures in a particular period – namely the time span between the introduction of home computers as a mass commodity in the late 1970s and the triumphant march of the World Wide Web in the first half of the 1990s.

The microcomputer revolution did not only open up new markets and pave the way for the evolvement of the PC standard towards the 1990s – it also gave birth to diverse computer user cultures. While until the mid-1970s computer usage was confined to large corporations, universities, and the military, the home computer opened up digital technology to completely new user groups. The first home computers were built by hobby enthusiasts, and when the first models entered mass production, they attracted not just those looking for a digital typewriter, but also those who wanted to “tinker” with the machine and put it to creative use. These users were not always dealing with computers in ways foreseen by the manufacturers. Instead of becoming obedient customers of the software industry, they shared programs with each other or even wrote their own software. Instead of using the new technology for educational or professional purposes only, they indulged in playing computer games. Instead of being content with the limited capabilities of the machines, they found ways of pushing these limits. Some home computer user groups developed into distinct subcultures and “scenes”, with their own ethics, values, aesthetic codes and cultural practices. Some of them, such as free software activists, or the digital artists of the “demoscene”, were admired as technical pioneers; some, like software pirates or “phone freaks”, were stigmatised as dangerous and deviant; others, like hackers, oscillated between both poles.

This issue, born out of an international workshop held at the University of Zurich on 24–25 March 2017, deals with such unruly user cultures that sprung up in the age of home computing, their regional manifestations and transnational connections, their practices of communication before the mass availability of the internet, their entanglement with the industry development and the major global events that unfolded at that time. When choosing the papers for the conference and the subsequent publication, we wanted to bring attention to topics of home computing historiography that had not received the necessary attention in previous scholarship – such as alternative user cultures in the geographical “peripheries”, alternative modes of computer-assisted communication, and questions of the diversity of the subcultures’ participants. We wanted to move away from the typical success stories and hagiographies that dominate the public perception of the early history of home computing. Instead, this issue aims at offering a panorama of alternative user cultures that were of broader social and cultural historical relevance than the stories of genius inventors, successful entrepreneurs and heroic activists.

A major focus of this issue is constituted by the communication networks home computer users built “from below”. Before the opening and commercialisation of the internet offered possibilities for digital communication for everyone (who was willing to pay for a subscription), many home computer users resorted to decentralised, bottom-up ways of communication, namely bulletin board systems (BBSs) – file and message exchange servers running on computers in private homes, reachable by other users via modem and landline. The “modem world” (Kevin Driscoll) is largely a tabula rasa in media and computer history, thus we are very happy to feature three crucial contributions on the subject. In his paper on North American BBSs users, Kevin Driscoll addresses the tricky question of how many people actually used this mode of communication during its life period between the late 1970s and the early 1990s. His contribution introduces new statistical sources and discusses important methodological questions when it comes to calculating users of a decentralised and bottom-up platform. Even though the paper focuses on North America, it is surely relevant for other regions: While the BBS principle was invented by tinkerers in the US, BBSs developed into a world-wide phenomenon. The contribution of Petri Saarikoski highlights another region where BBSs were a popular way of communication – Finland. His pioneering study presents a rich and all-encompassing history of Finnish BBSs and their users, employing contemporary sources and oral history materials. The third paper on BBSs is a regional study and a contemporary witness account at the same time. In her essay, Beatrice Tobler reflects her ethnological work which she conducted on BBS usage for her licentiate degree thesis in 1994-95. She presents her findings from her participant-observer research in Swiss and German bulletin board systems, and reflects on her choice of subject which was highly unusual in these days, as hardly any work had been conducted on BBS usage in the German-speaking countries, and her thesis remains the only scholarly work on the Swiss BBS community to date.

While BBSs are only beginning to move from the periphery of research to the mainstream of the history of computing, the geographical peripheries (seen from where computers are invented, produced and marketed) had become a subject of research already for the last couple of years. More and more recent publications highlight the importance to study computerisation of the regions outside the US and Western Europe – not only in order to discover alternative ways of computerisation and computer usage, but also to find out that, from a global perspective, “peripheral” usages of home computers were much more the norm than the “normal”, formalised ways in the centres of computer production and marketing. Several contributions in this issue only shed light on various “peripheries” and explore them through the perspectives of comparison, entanglement and transfer. Julia Gül Erdogan deals with hackers in West and East Germany in a comparative perspective, exploring how a tinkering, playful way of computer (mis)use developed in both German states, what the self-conceptions of these tinkerers were, and whether they could find a common language after the fall of the Wall. Gleb J. Albert also deals with transfer across both the Iron Curtain and the global north-global south divide – namely the transfer of pirated software and the transfer of subcultural aesthetics and values that went along with the former. Already in the mid-1980s, commercial software pirates in the “peripheries” reached out to members of the crackers’ subculture in order to import cracked software into their respective countries. As these copies bore the insignia of the crackers subculture, their so-called crack intros, users in the “peripheries” learned about this subculture and often strove to become part of it, thus allowing the subculture to globalise itself. With the example of Greece, Theodore Lekkas and Aristotle Tympas present in their contribution a different kind of periphery – not across Cold War borders, but within the Western Bloc. With Greece being treated by the international hardware and software industry as a marginal market and not provided with localised products, users had to rely even more on their own initiative – and the computer magazines analysed by the authors served as an important coordination point for such efforts. At the same time, the paper shows how Great Britain as a heartland of European home computing served as a point of reference for users in the “peripheries”.

As many of the contributions show, it is not always helpful to see alternative user cultures in opposition to “the industry”. Often enough, computer subcultures and alternative user groups engaged in commercial activities, cross-fertilised industries, or even gave birth to whole new branches of industry. Ulf Sandqvist deals with the latter in his paper on the demoscene and the birth of the games industry in Sweden. Companies founded by members of the demoscene, a digital coding/arts subculture particularly strong in Scandinavia, were among the first game companies in Sweden. Sandqvist shows how both the technical and the social skills acquired within the subculture could substitute formal education when entering the software business, yet had its limits. A different example of the entanglement between users, subcultures and the computer industry is offered by Patryk Wasiak in his contribution on Polish users of the Commodore Amiga computer during the system transformation period. Polish Amiga users formed a “brand community” around this computer model, embracing the brand and vigorously protecting its reputation against competing computer models and its users – yet, far from being obedient consumers, they formed distinct practices of computing around the Amiga, such as tinkering, DIY merchandise, and piracy. Here, as well, the Polish Amiga demoscene was at the forefront of the “brand community”.

The manifold contributions in this volume will hopefully enlarge and widen our understanding of social bonding and user practices in the age of home computing, the crucial founding era of our digital present. We thank all contributors for their thoroughness and patience, the editors of WiderScreen and the anonymous peer reviewers for their valuable feedback. We thank the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam, the Department of History at the University of Zurich, the DFG-SNF research group ’Medien und Mimesis’, the Collegium Helveticum, Echtzeit e.V. and Digitale Kultur e.V. for funding our workshop which resulted in the contributions of this issue. We dedicate this issue to the memory of Thomas Hengartner (1960–2018), director of the Collegium Helveticum in Zürich, where our workshop was held. In conversations and in his welcoming address, he expressed much enthusiasm about our topics of research, and we wholeheartedly regret that his sudden passing prevents us to discuss them further with him.

Front cover: Main menu of BBS BCG-Box, source: Ville-Matias Heikkilä / Skrolli. Part of Nordisk Dator cover, source: slengpung.com.

1–2/2019 WiderScreen 22 (1–2)

Sexuality and Play – Introduction

Veli-Matti Karhulahti | vmmkar [a] utu.fi | Editor | University of Turku | University of Jyväskylä

Laura Saarenmaa | laura.saarenmaa [a] utu.fi | Editor | University of Turku

Ashley ML Brown | ashley [a] eae.utah.edu | Editor | University of Utah

Welcome, dear reader, to our WiderScreen special issue! We, the editors of this collection, have carefully collated the readings found here in a celebration of intersecting play(fulness) and sex(uality). While this conceptual duo has been frequently referenced at least since Karl Groos’ (1901) study of human play in general and Sidney and Shirley Kaplan’s (1981) work on digital games and sex in particular, research on the explicit relationship between play(fulness) and sex(uality) has remained relatively undeveloped (see Harvinainen et al. 2018).

The call for papers produced a great number of submission, of which we could unfortunately accept only a few. Our review process was long, playful, and rigorous, which resulted in the lowest acceptance rate in the history of the journal. We look much forward to seeing all the texts that did not make it to this special issue soon to be published somewhere else! In total, we are proud to present five full articles (two of which in an interview form), two book reviews, and a conference report. The common thread which strings them all together are play’s capacity to enable experimentation with and embodiment of sex and sexuality.

Our first article is an interview between Jess Marcotte and Kara Stone entitled “Questions on Queer Game Design: An Interview”. The paper is a back and forth between the authors who discuss their own scholarly and design approaches to making games for and building queer communities. Central to the article is the idea that queer game maker spaces are ones with a reduced pressure to make commercially viable titles. This is not to suggest that making commercially viable titles is undesirable or unachievable by non-hegemonic gamemakers, but rather to highlight the freedoms afforded by making games in an indie-dev space. According to Marcotte and Stone, not being beholden to shareholders has thus allowed for freedom, creativity, and playfulness to thrive – producing games about sex and sexuality in an earnest and experimental way, which is difficult in the AAA context.

As the Marcotte and Stone article discusses the playfulness of queer game development space, the next article talks about play happening in queer spaces. In “Gaming with Gender Performativity, Sexuality, and Community”, Michael Anthony DeAnda writes about the playful nature of Drag Bingo in gay bars. For the host Sofanda Booz, Drag Bingo is – in addition to allowing for losing and winning (which is important too) – a chance to give back to the LGBTQ+ community through charity, to play with conceptions of gender and sexuality, and to creatively express herself in an environment where the stakes, like in bingo, are low.

After the two interviews, we present four original research articles. “The Pro Strats of Healsluts: Overwatch, Sexuality, and Perverting the Mechanics of Play” by Kyle Bohunicky and Jordan Youngblood discusses the phenomenon of ‘healslutting’, a term that is given to the rethinking of healing player characters in games like Overwatch as a type of sexual submission. This reimagining of a fairly asexual mechanic like removing player damage so that they may continue to fight in a battle is done with the intent of adding additional interest to the gameplay, or so the Reddit community r/healsluts professes. Bohunicky and Youngblood argue that healslutting provides both an impetus and forum for discussing and playing with sexual identities. This is particularly useful for populations for whom taking a sexually subservient role would be considered wrong or emasculating. As in DeAnda’s interview, Bohunicky and Youngblood demonstrate how play spaces allow for the exploration of identities with lower stakes.

The second research article, “On the Importance of Queer Romances: Role-play as Exploration and Performance of Sexuality” by Tanja Sihvonen and Jaakko Stenros, analyses the appearance of queer identities and content in role-playing games through looking at players’ explorations and performances as well as the content in the games themselves. The article illustrates how games with queer content, such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect, may allow players to play with gender and sexual identities, but in a somewhat limited way. Other role-playing forms like tabletop and LARP foster more player creativity with less boundaries to gendered and sexual expression with regard to content. However, because these forms of role-play are social, they entail collective acknowledgement and participation of queerness, which may again, in turn, be limited by existing hegemonic norms. Hence, the article functions as a companion to the above studies by illustrating the boundaries and limits of games as playful spaces of exploration and queer expression.

In the third article, ”Vakava leikki – Tiedonjakaminen, identiteetti ja leikillisyys suomalaisen seksichatin nimimerkeissä” [Serious play – Information, Identity and Playfulness in Finnish Sexchat Pseudonyms], Lasse Hämäläinen and Ari Haasio shed light on the lingual and textual playfulness through the analysis of Finnish sexchat-pseudonymes. The analysis of the material – 1488 pseudonyms collected from popular Finnish sexchat site herkku.net – combines onomastics and information science research methodology. The authors discuss the findings in terms of identity formation, information sharing and lingual-sexual play, and suggest that in sexchat pseydonyms playfulness is a subsidiary factor to detailed definitions and information on sexual identities and sexual preferences.

In the fourth article, “Synching and Performing: Body (Re)-Presentation in the Short Video App TikTok”, Mona Khattab provides a content analysis of a recently popularized social networking application and its capacity to shape stereotypes in body visibility. By looking at TikTok users’ self-representations in the video format, Khattab probes the notions of beauty and gender as they appear and transform in the app’s social networks. Ultimately, she argues that apps like TikTok provide access to understanding the stereotyped roles better, and eventually, perhaps even change those roles as they are constantly parodied and transformed.

In addition, this special issue contains two book reviews and a conference report. Miguel Sicart reviews Susanna Paasonen’s Many Splendored Things, addressing the book’s strengths in taking new looks at old theories regarding the relationship between power, play, and sexuality. Next, Sabine Harrer reviews the classic Sex in Videogames by Brenda Brathwaite. Harrer approaches the book as a historical account of how sex has been treated in the gaming industry. She observes the lack of reflexivity and insight into who’s pleasure is being exhibited and at whose expense, ending with a post #GamerGate and #MeToo contextualization. Lastly, Valtteri Kauraoja provides a report of the 3rd Sexual Cultures conference that was organized in University of Turku in May this year.

Overall, the collection of articles here represent a variety of insights and positions on the topic of sexuality and play. Together, they illustrate how playful environments can allow for diverse expressions of gender and sexuality in independent game developer cultures (Marcotte and Stone), gay bar bingo nights (DeAnda), and in actual gamer communities (Youngblood and Bohunicky). Although play offers great affordances to this expression, as outlined in the review of Many Splendored Things (Sicart), there are real world and in-game limitations to this expression (Sihvonen and Stenros), which are both a factor of the zeitgeist in which the games are made and by the personalities and dispositions of the people who make them (Harrer). As such, we hope this special issue advances the understanding of how sex, sexuality, play, and playfulness are now connected in academia (Kauraoja) as well as outside of it.


Groos, Karl. [1901] 1912. The Play of Man, trans. E. Baldwin, Appleton and Company.

Harviainen, J. Tuomas, Ashley M. L. Brown, and Jaakko Suominen. 2018. “Three waves of awkwardness: A meta-analysis of sex in game studies.” Games and Culture, 13(6), 605–623.

Kaplan, Sidney, and Shirley Kaplan. 1981. “A Research Note Video Games, Sex, and Sex Differences.” Social Science, 56(4), 208–212.

Front cover: Sofonda Booz by Michael DeAnda.

3/2018 WiderScreen 21 (3)

Inhokki – The Dislikey – Johdannoksi

Pauliina Tuomi
pauliina.tuomi [a] tut.fi
Tutkijatohtori (Post-Doctoral Researcher)
TUT Game Lab
Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto (Tampere University of Technology)

Petri Saarikoski
petsaari [a] utu.fi
Päätoimittaja (Editor in Chief)
Yliopistonlehtori (adjunct professor)
Digitaalinen kulttuuri (Digital Culture)
Turun yliopisto (University of Turku)

See below for an English summary of the editorial WiderScreen 3/2018 sukeltaa nykypäivän mediamaailman hätkähdyttävyyden ja inhottavuuden alkulähteille. Teemanumeron lähtökohtana on, että mediakulttuuri on tulvillaan provokatiivisia ilmiöitä, joiden tarkoituksena on nostaa inhon ja jopa vihan tunteita. Ilmiön kääntöpuolena on, että voimakkaat negatiiviset tunteet herättävät myös vastakaikua ja riittävän laaja yleisö saa niistä kaipaamansa sisältöä harmaan arkipäivän viihdykkeeksi. ”Inhokit” ovat rahanarvoista myyntitavaraa, koska ne nousevat kerta toisensa jälkeen meitä ympäröivästä mediavilinästä piikkeinä, jotka satuttavat ja viihdyttävät samaan aikaan.

”Inhokki” voi siis olla pelkkä satunnainen, hetken mediakuluttajan tunteita herättävä tapaus tai systemaattinen, jatkuvasti negatiivisia tunteita herättävä mediapersoonallisuus tai -ilmiö. Ehkä tärkeimpänä esimerkkinä näistä ovat erilaiset mieliä kuohuttavat somekohut ja -kiehunnat, jotka toisaalta kuvastavat hyvinkin merkittäviä yhteiskunnallisia ongelmia ja vääristymä. Toisaalta ”inhokki” on kuin kulttuurista saippuaa, koska sitä on vaikea määritellä, ja sen parissa hääräävät tutkijat ja opiskelijat tuntevat joskus lievää häpeää omasta kiinnostuksen kohteestaan.

Nyt käsillä oleva erikoisnumero esittelee median provokatiivista luonnetta monipuolisesti, unohtamatta inhottavuuden roolin merkitystä. Numero koostuu seitsemästä vertaisarvioidusta artikkelista sekä yhdestä tutkimuskatsauksesta. Tuttuun tapaan numero on kaksikielinen, ja nyt julkaistuista teksteistä neljä on englanninkielisiä.

Teemanumeron ensimmäisessä vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa Suvi-Sadetta Kaarakainen ja Mari Lehto Turun yliopistosta lähestyvät aihetta tarkastelemalla äitien älylaitteiden käyttöä median välittämässä vanhemmuuden asiantuntijapuheessa. Artikkelissa puretaan lausuntojen taustalla vaikuttavia ideologisia asenteita vanhemmuudesta ja erityisesti äitiydestä, sekä mediateknologiaan liitettyjä kulttuurisia puhetapoja.

Toisessa vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa Salla-Maaria Laaksonen ja Essi Pöyry Helsingin yliopistosta käsittelevät verkostoanalyysin ja lähiluvun keinoin sosiaalisen median kohuja hybridin mediatilan viestinnällisenä muotona, sarkastisena käytänteenä ja huomion uudelleenjakamisen keinona.

Kolmannessa vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa Elina Vaahensalo Turun yliopistosta tarkastelee keskustelufoorumeita mediainhokkeina. Tekstissään hän keskittyy Suomi24-, Vauva- ja Ylilauta-foorumeista tuotettuun julkisuuteen sekä siihen, miten keskustelufoorumeista tuotettu julkisuus on muuttunut vuosien aikana.

Keskustelupalstoista siirrytään sujuvasti bloggaamiseen. Vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissaan bloggaamiseen pimeästä puolesta kirjoittava Riitta Hänninen Jyväskylän yliopistosta esittelee, miten negatiiviset anonyymit käyttäjät kriittisinä kommentteineen vaikuttavat suomalaiseen life-style -bloggaamiseen sekä millaisia strategioita bloggaajat käyttäjät kritiikin käsittelyyn blogosfäärissä.

Mitä tapahtuu, kun eläin kääntää kameran itseensä ja ottaa selfien? Se selviää viidennestä vertaisarvioidusta artikkelista, joka käsittelee ihmisen ja eläimen välisen suhteen asemaa ja representaatioita itseilmaisun näkökulmasta. Artikkelissaan Tiina Salmia Turun yliopistosta käsittelee tunnettua Naruto-apinan tapausta eri näkökulmista.

Kysymys siitä, kuka kuvaa, muuttuu seuraavassa vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa kysymykseksi miksi katsotaan. Pauliina Tuomi Tampereen teknillisestä yliopistosta esittelee provokatiivisen televisiotuotannon näkökulmasta erilaisia true crime – eli tosirikosformaatteja, jotka kuvailevat oikeasti tapahtuneiden henkirikosten groteskeja yksityiskohtia ja ihmiskohtaloita. Artikkelissa avataan ”informatiiviseksi murhapornoksikin” kutsutun tosi-tv -viihteen piirteitä, unohtamatta miten ne ravistelevat televisiokatsojan moraalia. Miksi oikeat henkirikokset jaksavat kiehtoa meitä?

Television hirviöistä otetaan askel elokuvien maailmaan, kun Meniina Wik Vaasan ylipistosta esittelee vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa kaksi kauhuelokuvan hirviötä – Pennywise the Dancing Clown ja Babadook – ja käsittelee näiden välistä romantisoitua fanitoimintaa (shipping). Artikkeli nostaa esille ajatuksen siitä, että kauhufiktion hirviöille on aina mahdollista nauraa ja heidän pelottavuudestaan voi tehdä luovaa, memeettistä leikkiä.

Numeromme tutkimuskatsaus käsittelee nukkepelkoa osana suosituimpia leluja. Kati Heljakka Turun yliopistosta käsittelee katsauksessaan nykyajan aikuisten epämiellyttäviä leluhahmoja kuten nukkeja, toimintahahmoja tai pehmoleluja – sekä syitä tiettyjen hahmojen demonisoitumisen, tuskan ja mahdollisen pelon taustalla.

Syksyn aikana olemme edistäneet myös Ajankohtaista-palstan julkaisutoimintaa. Olemme julkaisseet Pietarin yliopiston Alexandra A. Knyshevan tekstin koskien absurdismin ilmenemistä Fargo-televisiosarjassa. Julkaistujen listalla on myös Heikki Rosenholmin kuolemankulttuuria käsittelevä teksti ja Olli Lehtosen lännenelokuvissa Sabata – salaperäinen ratsastaja ja Nimeni on Trinity – paholaisen oikea käsi esiintyvää wagnerilaista johtoaihetekniikkaa tarkasteleva katsaus. Päätoimittaja Petri Saarikosken raportti avaa Tubecon 2018 -tapahtuman sisältöä ja merkitystä. Lisäksi mukaan on saatu Atte Timosen ja Sonja Luoman kokeellinen konferenssiraportti Tampere kuplii -tapahtumasta sarjakuvamuodossa.

Meille voi jatkossakin tarjota teemanumeroiden ulkopuolelta tutkimusartikkeleja, katsauksia, raportteja tai vaikkapa kirja-arvioita mistä tahansa audiovisuaaliseen tai digitaaliseen kulttuuriin liittyvistä aiheista!

Toimituskunnan puolesta toivotamme pimenevän ja ankean syksyn varjossa antoisia ja sopivan provosoivia lukuhetkiä WiderScreenin vuoden 2018 viimeisen numeron parissa! Haluamme kiittää kaikkia kirjoittajia ja artikkelien vertaisarvioitsijoita ahkeruudesta!

WiderScreen 3/2018 on tehty osana Suomen Akatemian rahoittamaa Citizen Mindscapes: Detecting Social, Emotional and National Dynamics in Social Media -konsortiohanketta (rahoituspäätös: #293460).

Porin yliopistokeskuksessa 12.10.2018

Kannen kuva: Babadook: tattoodo.com, Pennywise: Katriina Heljakka, Naruto-makaki: David Slater / Naruto. Muut kuvat: pixabay.com.

The Dislikey

Today’s media landscape is increasingly appealing to consumer feelings in order to get reactions. Tension seeking through social media updates is nowadays valuable merchandise. As an example, it also seems that today’s television content needs to be somehow shocking (some way disturbing the common values, norms, and even morality) in order to attract viewers. The consumer gets irritated, shocked, furious, hyped, depressed and confused on a daily basis. Different media notions that arouse feelings of disgust, even hatred gather huge attention among their audiences. The dislikey of today’s media culture can be born and disseminated for example through social media. The dislikey can arise when prestigious politician, societal authoritative or any one known in the field of popular culture slips something that can be interpret as low and provoking.

The special issue at hand operates on the provocativeness of the media and its affective processes of dislike. The articles explore the phenomenon from various viewpoints and presents an interesting compilation of different representations of provocativeness and dislike in social media, TV content, movies and print- and online media.

This issue constitutes of seven peer-reviewed articles and one overview. Four of them are in english (Kati Heljakka, Riitta Hänninen, Tiina Salmia and Meniina Wik). The first article written by Suvi-Sadetta Kaarakainen and Mari Lehto from University of Turku deals with discourses of motherhood and technology. The second article concentrates on social media stirs and scandals as a form of contemporary hybrid media environment and it is written by Salla-Mari Laaksonen and Essi Pöyry from University of Helsinki. The third article written by Elina Vaahensalo from University of Turku focuses on Finnish discussion forums as media dislikeys based on their publicity. From discussion forums the issue moves forward to blogging. In the fourth article, Riitta Hänninen from University of Jyväskylä explores the ways negative anonyms influence Finnish lifestyle blogging. In the fifth article, Tiina Salmia from University of Turku presents the selfie-case of Naruto, and non-human animal and human-animal relations in visual culture. In the sixth article, Pauliina Tuomi from Tampere University of Technology introduces television’s true crime-formats that describe real homicides with their grotesque details as a form of entertainment as an example of provocative television production.

From the monsters in television, to the world of movies. The last article written by Meniina Wik from University of Vaasa, introduces the taboo of shipping two fictional movie monsters, and their turning into a celebrated power couple in social media.

The overview, written by Kati Heljakka from University of Turku, deals with contemporary adults’ disliking of character toys – dolls, action figures or soft toys – and investigates the reasons for the demonization, distaste and a possible fear for toys of the present.

We have also published several contemporary texts since the previous issue. Alexandra Knyshova from Saint Petersburg State University wrote about absurdity in form and matter in respect to Fargo series. Heikki Rosenholm’s text operates on the culture of death and Olli Lehtonen’s overview takes the reader to the Wild West. In his text, Petri Saarikoski elaborates on the Tubecon 2018 -event. Finally, Atte Timonen and Sonja Luoma has created an experimental Tampere Kuplii conference report in a form of a cartoon.

Please, feel free to offer us texts, overviews, reports or book reviews that operate on media and audiovisual culture throughout the year and outside the special issue themes!

On behalf of the editorial board, we would like to wish you pleasant and joyful – appropriately provocative – moments with this issue. We would also like to thank the authors and the anonymous reviewers for their hard work!

WiderScreen 3/2018 is part of Citizen Mindscapes: Detecting Social, Emotional and National Dynamics in Social Media -consortium, funded by the Finnish Academy (#293460).

In University Consortium of Pori 12.10.2018

Front cover: Babadook: tattoodo.com, Pennywise: Katriina Heljakka, black macaque Naruto: David Slater / Naruto. Other images: pixabay.com.

1–2/2018 WiderScreen 21 (1–2)

Editorial – City Imaginings and Urban Everyday Life

Johanna Ylipulli
johanna.ylipulli [a] oulu.fi
Postdoctoral Researcher
Center for Ubiquitous Computing
University of Oulu

Seija Ridell
seija.ridell [a] uta.fi
Media Studies, Faculty of Communication Sciences
University of Tampere

Jenni Partanen
jenni.partanen [a] tut.fi
Research Fellow
Tampere University of Technology

WiderScreen 1–2/2018 focuses on the spatially and temporally multidimensional axis that spans between imagining and inhabiting the city. The starting point of the double special issue is the observation that diverse forms of imagining entwine with practices of urban living and governance, and structure how the city appears in different media and genres. The five peer-reviewed articles and three overview articles direct variegated lenses at the issue’s core problematics forming together a fascinating kaleidoscope.

The editors of the special issue come from cultural anthropology and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), media studies and architecture. Despite differing scholarly fields, we have all focused on urban space and media/technologies in our research (e.g. Partanen 2016; Partanen 2018; Ridell 2010; Ridell & Zeller 2013; Ylipulli 2015; Ylipulli et al. 2016). Partially due to the fruitful heterogeneity of the editorial team’s backgrounds, we wanted to compose an interdisciplinary collection of articles. The special issue authors represent fields such as communication studies, political and social history, contemporary art research, art history and design studies, their approaches in the articles providing a rich array of theoretical and methodological perspectives on the imaginaries that underlie and shape urban realities in different parts of the world.

The empirical cases the authors study paint a vivid picture of significant tendencies of and similarities between urban cultures globally. Yet the case studies also illuminate drastic, even shockingly deep, differences between urban forms of life and the ways they are represented. Geographically, the articles offer glimpses of mediated urbanity in different continents from Asia to Europe to Latin America and back to Europe. More precisely, with the articles we can travel discursively from Hong Kong and Macao to India, from Finland to Cuba to Ukraine and, again, to Finland, and from there to Germany.

While many of the phenomena analyzed by the authors are born from site-specific social, political and economic struggles and lived locally, they are far from parochial as the contemporary media efficiently give them global visibility and sometimes even turn them into global issues. One side of the coin is that our conceptions and opinions of cities elsewhere are largely based on fictional and factual media genres. We may never visit Hong Kong or Macao, yet we can have a strong mental image of them, one that draws from seeing these cities as scenes in films or as advertised on online tourist sites and ranked high or low on social media. Partly related to this – often strongly visual – mediation of cities, a theme that cuts through, directly or indirectly, the special issue contributions concerns how representations of present-day cities in the media take part not only in shaping urban futures but in constructing urban public memory as well. A key question is which stories and imaginaries structuring them remain as the legitimate or privileged version of urban history. Is it possible to make visible, politicize and contest the dominant urban histories in the making, through counter-narratives or by other means? On a slightly different note, depiction of future cities in fiction, such as cyberpunk movies, not only comments, often in a deeply dystopian manner, contemporary urban problems and power relations, but also contributes to how imagining future urbanity today will be remembered tomorrow.

There are several possibilities to juxtapose the special issue articles and address their relations; depending on which vantage point one chooses the intersections between the articles appear differently. One option would be to discuss the ways the articles are positioned on a conceptual continuum that spans between the far ends of symbolic representation and tangible materiality. In exploring city imaginings through their respective cases, the authors mobilize notions that can be placed at varied distances from the two poles, closer to either one of them; between these poles, as if on a gradient scale, one finds discourse, narrative, story, spectacle, simulation, presentation and performance that function as analytic lenses at or, to use a less visual metaphor, as probes into the problematic at hand. Many of the articles are strongly inclined towards the representational end of the conceptual continuum, but some of them address the aspect of urban materiality (or even the materiality of (re)presenting a city) by combining it with a focus on representation. Another way to look at the potential resonances and dissonances between the articles would be to direct attention to how they articulate time or temporality with regard to the special issue topic. In this respect, one finds (sometimes internally) varying emphases on the urban future, present and past.

In our view, there are two broad and multiply layered aspects that the discussions in the articles touch in particularly interesting ways, even though the authors themselves address these metalevel questions only indirectly. On the one hand, the articles discuss, with distinct emphases and takes, the city and, more particularly, urban space as (re)presented in the media (film genres, news and other printed materials, posters, online social media, scale models, graffiti and murals). On the other hand, the physical urban space appears as a medium in itself, that is, a public platform of cultural (re)presentation and contestation (graffiti, murals, loitering, performances). In the remainder of the editorial, we use these two aspects to loosely frame and introduce the special issue articles.

Cities imagined in the media

The refereed article by Brian Sze-hang Kwok & Anneke Coppoolse and the overview by Benjamin Hodges approach urbanity as imag(in)ed in the audiovisual media of fiction film; focusing more particularly on popular films that are distributed globally. Such filmic representations of cities have vast audiences all over the world and hence their role in constructing collective urban imageries cannot be overrated. The overview article by Somdatta Bhattacharya and the refereed article by Kai Ylinen, in turn, focus on news media and other mostly printed materials with a more locally oriented take. At the same time, the empirical cases explored by these two authors have wider relevance, as both of them shed light on how public understanding of urban phenomena is (re)produced by constructing stories and narratives. Below, we offer a more detailed introduction to this group of articles.

The article by Brian Sze-hang Kwok and Anneke Coppoolse titled “Hues on a Shell: Cyber-Dystopia and the Hong Kong Façade in the Cinematic City” examines the rearticulation of Hong Kong’s urban space in the American cyberpunk adaptation (Sanders 2017) of Mamoru Oshii’s anime Ghost in the shell (1995). The authors suggest more generally that Asian cities have provided an ample source for imagining future capitalist urbanity cinematically, in particular as concerns the density and verticality of using space in cities and the emphasis on the dark sides of city life. In their article, Kwok and Coppoolse analyze Hong Kong in the recent cyberpunk film both as “an actor and a shell”, framing the city as a mediating and mediated space. The article provides a reading of the cyberpunk city not as a copy of an actual city but as a spectacular simulation of urban future that is both familiar and alienating.

The overview “Kick the Dead Rabbit: Tuxedos, Movies, and Cosmopolitan Urban Imaginaries in Macao” by Benjamin Hodges discusses how urbanity appears in movies and videos that use Macao as their scene, either as a stand-in/replica for some other city or as representing itself. The way Hodges describes Macao in these audiovisual representations resembles the idea of a heterotopia of illusion (Shane 2005) – an island or microcosm that offers escape from the weariness of everyday life to consumerist experiences. The article directs particular attention to the cosmopolitan urbane subject that is constructed in the cinematic images of the city and how this construction resonates with and is reinforced by the luxurious and escapist promises made by the gaming industry.

Compared to Kwok & Coppoolse and Hodges, Somdatta Bhattacharya turns a drastically different lens at the representations of city life in her overview “Constructing the Moral Landscape of a City: The Narrative Exclusion of Delhi’s ‘Floating Populations’”. Using the globally known brutal gang-rape case in New Delhi as her point of reference, Bhattacharya discusses how fear and insecurity structure from within the ethical-politico-legal-cultural discourses that build on capitalistic, middle-class values in India. Through examples picked from a variety of newspaper articles, opinion pieces and interviews, court verdicts and government reports on the Nirbhaya Case, the author explores how ideologically loaded narratives and spatial metaphors are used to construct Delhi as a pristine landscape threatened by floating population as invaders.

Analyzing a similar pool of research materials as Bhattacharya and with a take that resembles hers, Kai Ylinen discusses two different urban planning cases in the Finnish context in his refereed article “The Graffiti Storyline and Urban Planning: Key Narratives in the Planning, Marketing, and News Texts of Santalahti and Hiedanranta”. Ylinen’s focus is on the narratives that structure the planning, marketing and news discourses on the Santalahti and Hiedanranta reconstruction areas in the city of Tampere. The article explores the tones and angles of discussion in presenting the plans and strategies of these areas to the local audience. The author discovers an emerging shift in attitudes towards graffiti art in urban space, one from traditional hierarchical control in urban planning towards a more tolerating approach that embraces actor-based dynamics.

Urban space as a medium

The three refereed articles by Benita Heiskanen, Tetyana Lokot and Simo Laakkonen & Susanna Siro and the overview by Julia Weber, shift the focus from media representations to urban space as a medium in itself. At the same time, media understood in terms of representation remains an important component in these analyses as well.

In her refereed article “Imagi(ni)ng Urban Transformation in Post-Détente Havana” Benita Heiskanen investigates how urban transformations are visually expressed in the context of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States at the end of 2014. Heiskanen depicts differing ways in which various stakeholders, such as local officials, citizens, and street artists utilized “visual statements as tools with which to take a stand on societal developments”. The article evokes questions concerning the importance of studying (urban) visual imageries not only in Cuba but also elsewhere: their analysis can provide radically new understandings of the effects of cultural and political discourses by revealing the multiple tensions and interpretations on the street-level.

In the refereed article by Tetyana Lokot titled “Urban Murals and the Post-Protest Imagery of Networked Publics: The Remediated Aftermath of Ukraine’s Euromaidan on Instagram” the dynamics created by bottom-up actors are likewise seen as pertinent, the discussion resonating strongly with Ylinen’s and Heiskanen’s articles. Lokot examines urban murals that appeared in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital in the post-Euromaidan period (spring 2014 – present day). According to her, this form of street art transformed into a collective effort mirroring the political, social and cultural changes taking place in the country. Moreover, Lokot studies how the murals were remediated on Instagram. She classifies the types of images through which the material street art was represented on this social media platform; the array of visual topics ranging from national identity and war to love and coexistence. Lokot’s article in particular combines in an interesting way the analysis of visual-virtual representations and art as physically present in urban space, bridging in this way the material and immaterial cities.

In their refereed article “Pienoismalli menetetyn kaupunkimaiseman kuvitelmana. Kulttuurinen elinkaarianalyysi Viipurin pienoismallista” (Imagining a lost urban landscape: Cultural lifecycle analysis of the historical Vyborg’s physical scale model), Simo Laakkonen and Susanna Siro discuss a strikingly similar phenomenon to Lokot – the confrontation of two nations – but with a drastically different take. The authors address the relationship between micro and macro levels of urbanity from a historical perspective by analyzing the physical 3-dimensional miniature model that depicts the old city of Vyborg shortly before it was destroyed in 1939. Soviet Union conquered the city of Vyborg from Finland during the Word War II; the miniature built after the war freezes an image of a lost and nostalgically cherished city. At the same time, the model is a material reminder of historical, geo-political and cultural struggles, continuing to generate new meanings for new generations. Introducing what they call “cultural lifecycle analysis” the authors explore the characteristics of a specific type of imaginary city, a “could-have been -world”. They consider the physical miniature as a particular medium that can be examined by combining a diversity of methods from reconstruction to ideological to material-cultural and experimental analysis.

The special issue closes with Julia Weber’s overview “‘Loitering’ in Urban Public Space – Wandering with a Street Poet in Berlin”, which addresses human experience and appearance to others in the physical urban space. With an ethnographic take, Weber explores a ‘poet loiterer’s’ daily walks around the city of Berlin as both public performances and a particular way of urban living. The partly theoretical, partly poetic discourse of the author has resonances with the article of Ylinen in considering the importance of bottom-up tactics in urban everyday life in contrast to cities as strategically planned and governed top-down objects.

As guest editors of this double special issue, we would like to warmly thank all the authors and referees for their hard work! We hope readers will enjoy this versatile compilation of excellent articles and overviews. We also wish to express our congratulations to the WiderScreen journal: Issue 1–2/2018 is at the same time the journal’s 20th anniversary issue. WiderScreen has been online since 1998, which makes it one of the oldest continuously published scientific online journals in Finland. In our rapidly changing times, this is no small achievement.


Partanen, Jenni. 2016. Liquid planning, wiki-design—Learning from the Case Pispala. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 43(6): 997–1018.

Partanen, Jenni. 2018. ‘Don’t Fix It if It Ain’t Broke’: Encounters with Planning for Complex Self-Organizing Cities. Tampere University of Technology, Publication 1514.

Ridell, Seija. 2010. The cybercity as a medium: Public living and agency in the digitally shaped urban space. IRIE: International Review of Information Ethics 12(3): 14–20.

Ridell, Seija, and Frauke Zeller. 2013. Mediated Urbanism: Navigating an Interdisciplinary Terrain. The International Communication Gazette 75(5–6): 437–451.

Shane, David Grahame 2005: Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design, and City Theory. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Ylipulli, Johanna. 2015. A smart and ubiquitous urban future? Contrasting large-scale agendas and street-level dreams. Observatorio (OBS*) Journal, Media City – Spectacular, Ordinary and Contested Spaces: 85–110.

Ylipulli, Johanna, Jenny Kangasvuo, Toni Alatalo, and Timo Ojala. 2016. Chasing Digital Shadows: Exploring future hybrid cities through anthropological design fiction. Proceedings of NordiCHI ’16: Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Gothenburg, Sweden 23-27 Oct 2016. ACM Press: Article No. 78.

Cover image edited from Geo Leros’ photo. Original photograph: http://kyivmural.com/en/mural/113.

3/2017 WiderScreen 20 (3)

Elokuva ja kulttuuriperintö – Johdannoksi

Petri Saarikoski
petsaari [a] utu.fi
Päätoimittaja (Editor in Chief)
Yliopistonlehtori (adjunct professor)
Digitaalinen kulttuuri (Digital Culture)
Turun yliopisto (University of Turku)

Anna Sivula
ansivu [a] utu.fi
Vieraileva toimittaja (Editor)
Professori (professor)
Kulttuuriperinnön tutkimus (Cultural Heritage Studies)
Turun yliopisto (University of Turku)

See below for an English summary of the editorial

Nettivideossa VHS-kasetti napsahtaa pesään, kuvaruutu värisee ja selvästi kulunut nauha alkaa pyöriä. Hieman koomisen tuntuinen, karvalakkinen herrasmies seisoo metsän keskellä ja pitää mikrofonia edessään. Mies on Hannu Karpo ja hänellä on meille asiaa. Hän alkaa kertoa vakaalla äänellä tarinaa eräästä yhteiskunnallisesta epäkohdasta, joka on nostettava kaiken kansan tietoisuuteen. Kuva vaihtuu toiseen videoon, jossa pitkäkyntinen menninkäinen vaeltelee vanhan, keskiaikaiselta vaikuttavan kaupungin varjoissa. Värit ja kuvakulmat ovat vääristyneitä ja tehostavat vahvasti hiljalleen kasvavaa pelon ilmapiiriä. Seuraavassa videossa tutkijan kädet syöttävät huonossa kunnossa olevaa filmiä koneeseen. Kuvaruudulla näkyy hitaasti liikkuva, kellertävä ihmishahmo, jonka ympärillä tanssivat naarmut ja ajan syövyttävät tahrat.

Nämä välähdykset elokuvista ovat tallenteita, joilla on oma esteettinen arvonsa, mutta ne ovat samaan aikaan myös lähteitä menneisyydestä ja kulttuuriperintöprosessin rakentajia. Millaista kulttuuriperintöä ne tarjoavat katsojalle? Kulttuuriperinnön maailmassa elokuvalla on kaksoisrooli. Elokuvat ovat yhtäältä suojelun, säilyttämisen, museoinnin ja arvottamisen kohteita. Toisaalta elokuvat ovat myös kulttuuriperintökentän aktiivisia toimijoita, jotka tuottavat, ylläpitävät, muuttavat ja asettavat kyseenalaisiksi sekä aineetonta että aineellista kulttuuriperintöä. WiderScreenin teemanumero Elokuva ja kulttuuriperintö pyrkii osaltaan käsittelemään näitä aiheita, ja tarjoamaan näkökulmia elävän kuvan monitulkintaiseen historiaan. Numeroon kirjoittaneet tutkijat, jatko-opiskelijat ja opettajat ovat samalla osoitus kulttuuriperinnön toimijoiden moniulotteisesta kentästä.

Teemanumeron ensimmäisessä vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa tutkija Lauri Leikas tarkastelee miten Roberto Rossellinin neorealistinen klassikko Rooma – avoin kaupunki (Roma città aperta, 1945) ja Wolfgang Staudten raunioelokuva Murhaaja keskuudessamme (Die Mörder sind unter uns, 1946) toimivat yhteisöllisen kulttuuriperintöprosessin rakentajina heti toisen maailmansodan jälkeen. Toisessa vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa tutkija Janne Salminen tarkastelee pitkän historiallisen perspektiivin kautta Teräsmies-elokuvasarjan suhdetta oman aikansa poliittiseen ideologiaan. Teemanumeron toisen kantavan osuuden muodostavat viisi tapaustutkimuksina toimivaa katsausta. Näistä kärkeen nousee kulttuuriperinnön tutkimuksen jatko-opiskelija Heikki Rosenholmin laaja selvitys kuoleman pelon ilmestymisestä F.W. Murnau ohjaamassa ekspressionistisessa kauhuelokuvassa Nosferatu (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, 1922). Folkloristista näkökulmaa teemanumerossa nostaa esille Liisa Granbom-Herranen tutkimuskatsauksessa, jossa tarkastelun keskiöön nousevat Pekka Puupää -elokuvien sananlaskut suomalaisen perhe-elokuvan esittämässä arjessa 1950-luvulla. Kansatieteen oppiainetta edustaa Timo Virtanen Matti Kassilan dokumenttielokuvaa Kolmen kaupungin kasvot (1963) analysoivassa esseistisessä katsauksessa. Kahdessa viimeisessä kirjoituksessa nousee vahvasti esille elokuvatutkimuksen käytännön työ Kansallisessa audiovisuaalisessa instituutissa (KAVI). Noora Kallioniemi ja Sami Hantula analysoivat koosteessaan historiakulttuurin rakentumista ja television kulttuurisen muistin säilyttämistä Hannu Karpon tv-reportaaseista koostetussa kompilaatioelokuvassa Tosikertomuksia havumetsien maasta – Hannu Karpon Suomi 1963–2011 (2017). Viimeisenä nähdään Miia Väinämön selvitys kuinka elokuvien arkistointi- ja pelastustyötä on Suomessa harjoitettu 1950-luvulta alkaen. Teemanumeron kanteen valittu still-kuva näyttää kuinka jo lopullisesti kadonneeksi luultua, Teuvo Tulion ohjaamaa Nuorena nukkunut -elokuvaa (1937) pelastetaan jälkipolvien katsottavaksi – luonnollisesti digitalisoidussa muodossa.

Toimituskunnan puolesta toivotamme antoisia lukuhetkiä WiderScreenin vuoden 2017 viimeisen numeron parissa! Haluamme kiittää myös kaikkia kirjoittajia ja artikkelien vertaisarvioitsijoita ahkeruudesta!

Syksyn aikana olemme edistäneet myös Ajankohtaista-palstan julkaisutoimintaa. Meillä oli ilo saada julkaistua viestintätieteiden tutkija Minna Saarikedon tutkimusartikkeli Googlen älylasien esidomestikaatiosta. Lisäksi mukana on Atte Timosen kirjoittama konferenssiraportti Helsingin messukeskuksessa elokuussa järjestetystä Worldcon 75 -scifitapahtumasta. Meille voi jatkossakin tarjota teemanumeroiden ulkopuolelta tutkimusartikkeleja, katsauksia, raportteja tai vaikkapa kirja-arvioita mistä tahansa audiovisuaaliseen tai digitaaliseen kulttuuriin liittyvistä aiheista!

Vuoden 2018 ensimmäisen teemanumeron aihe on ”Kaupunkikuvitelmat ja urbaani arki / City imaginings and urban everyday life”. Vastaavina toimittajana ovat Johanna Ylipulli (Oulun yliopisto, Jokapaikan tietotekniikan tutkimuskeskus), Seija Ridell (Tampereen yliopisto, mediatutkimus) sekä Jenni Partanen (Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto, arkkitehtuuri).

Vuosi 2018 on samalla WiderScreenin juhlavuosi, koska lehtemme täyttää 20 vuotta. Ensimmäinen numero ilmestyi linjoille maaliskuussa 1998, ja olimme silloin ensimmäisten joukossa akateemisen verkkojulkaisemisen kentällä.

Porin yliopistokeskuksessa 10.11.2017

Pääkuva: KAVI (2017)

English summary of the editorial

The theme issue of WiderScreen 3/2017 is film and cultural heritage. On the scene of cultural heritage, the cinema is a double agent. It is an object of renovation, restoration, preservation and conservation. On the other hand, the films are involved in the production, maintaining, changing and questioning the meanings and values of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

We have two articles and one overview published in English. First article is written by doctoral student Janne Salminen (Area and Culture Studies / North American Studies, University of Helsinki). He examines the political ideology of the Superman films. Through close reading and contextualization, he finds elements that represent issues and ideals present that were part contemporary political discourses during the time each film was released. Second article is written by independent researcher Lauri Leikas. He focuses on the ways in which Roberto Rossellini’s Italian neorealist film Rome, Open City and Wolfgang Staudte’s German rubble film Murderers Among Us can participate in the cultural heritage process and thereby affect the unity of the nation as a cultural heritage community.

The overview is written by doctoral student Heikki Rosenholm (Cultural Heritage Studies, University of Turku). He examines the Expressionist German silent film, Nosferatu – Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922), directed by F.W. Murnau. The aim of his examination is to take an in-depth look at certain scenes in the film and to analyse elements regarding the theme of death, or to be more specific, the fear of death. This theme is approached by delving into the teachings of German film theorist Siegfried Kracauer, and by analysing the Expressionist Film Movement and its relation to German Society in the 1920s.

Front page: National Audiovisual Institute (2017). The digitization of Nuorena Nukkunut (a film by Teuvo Tulio, 1937).

1–2/2017 WiderScreen 20 (1–2)

Tekstitaide – Text Art

Tero Heikkinen
tero.heikkinen [a] uniarts.fi

Markku Reunanen
markku.reunanen [a] iki.fi
Aalto-yliopiston taiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulu

Petri Saarikoski
Päätoimittaja (Editor in Chief)
petsaari [a] utu.fi
Digitaalinen kulttuuri
Turun yliopisto

See below for an English version of the editorial.

Lähestymme tässä teemanumerossa tekstitaidetta sekä tutkimuksen kohteena että taiteellisena tekemisenä. Numeroon valikoitunut sisältö edustaa laajaa aihettaan monipuolisesti: esimerkkeinä nähtäviä töitä on tehty niin kirjoituskoneella, käsin kirjoittamalla kuin vanhoilla tietokoneillakin. Tämä kirjo ilmentää tekstitaiteen monitahoisuutta – yhtäältä mukana on nostalgiaa sekä vanhan, tunnistettavan tekniikan viehätystä, mutta samaan aikaan tekstitaide on myös vakavasti otettava ilmaisumuoto, joka kyseenalaistaa tämän päivän itsestäänselvyyksinä otetut mediat käytäntöineen.

Teemanumeron ainoassa vertaisarvioidussa artikkelissa Kirjoituskonesommitelma: Steve McCafferyn konkreettinen runous ja (uus)materiaalinen kieli Juha-Pekka Kilpiö tarkastelee Steve McCafferyn kirjoituskonerunoutta, etsien yhtymäkohtia language-runouden ja nykyisen uusmaterialistisen teorian välillä. McCafferyllä kirjoituskone ei ole ollut ainoastaan väline kirjainten ja sanojen asetteluun, vaan hän on käyttänyt sitä hahmojen tuottamiseen monilla kirjoituskoneen perustoimintoja uhmaavilla tavoilla. Artikkeli käsittelee paitsi language-runoutta, myös kirjoituskoneen laajempaa roolia mediahistoriassa.

Anders Carlssonin Beyond Encoding: A Critical Look at the Terminology of Text Graphics on tervetullut yleisesitys digitaalisen tekstitaiteen sanastosta sekä sen lukuisista omaleimaisista alalajeista. Katsaus luo aihepiiriä tuntemattomalle lukijalle perustan, jonka pohjalta on helpompi ymmärtää muiden kirjoittajien teksteissä vastaan tulevia käsitteitä.

Sekä Daniel Botz että Gleb J. Albert lähestyvät tekstitaidetta alakulttuurisesta suunnasta. Botzin “If You Can Read This…” – The Evolution of the Scroll Text Message Within the Demoscene keskittyy syvällisesti skrollerien – ruudulla vierivien tekstien – historiaan, jonka kuluessa yksinkertaiset liikkuvat tekstirivit ovat kehittyneet teknisesti ja visuaalisesti yhä vaikuttavammiksi esityksiksi. Albertin katsaus From Currency in the Warez Economy to Self-Sufficient Art Form: Text Mode Graphics and the “Scene” puolestaan pureutuu monipuolisesti niihin merkityksiin sekä käyttötapoihin, joita tekstitaiteella on demoharrastajien ja pelipiraattien keskuudessa ollut.

Michael Szpakowski sisällyttää kuvatiedostoihin, videoihin ja maalauksiinsa tekstiä eri tavoin, usein vastoin levityskanavien ja työvälineiden oletettuja käyttötarkoituksia. Szpakowskin essee Courting confusions—visual art and text kyseenalaistaa voimakkaasti ajatuksen taideteoksesta merkitysten säiliönä, muistuttaen taiteen perusvoiman olevan esteettinen. Tekstin tuominen kuvan sisällöksi kuitenkin hämmentää tätä asetelmaa puhuttelevilla tavoilla.

Myös Raquel Meyersin katsaus on varsin omakohtainen taiteellisen tekemisen reflektio. Tekstitaidetta monissa eri muodoissa tehnyt Meyers esittelee lukijoille oman kriittisen lähestymistapansa, jota hän kutsuu nimellä KYBDslöjd. Keys of Fury – Type in Beyond the Scrolling Horizon on lähes hengästyttävä läpileikkaus taiteilijan kyltymättömään uteliaisuuteen, jota leimaavat sekä musta huumori että pessimismi tämän päivän vieraannuttavan teknologian suhteen.

Kotimaista väriä teemanumeroon tuo Tero Heikkisen ja Markku Reunasen Rock, joka tiesi liikaa. Katsauksessa käsitellään samannimistä, Reima Mäkisen ja Riitta Uusitalon vuonna 1983 Sarjariin VIC-20:llä luomaa vuohiaiheista sarjakuvaa, joka lienee Suomen ensimmäinen tietokoneella tehty julkaistu sarjakuva. Commodoren historian ja tekijähaastattelujen lisäksi kirjoittajat ovat hakeneet tutkimukseensa lisää näkökulmia ”palauttamalla Rockin kotiin” eli tekemällä sarjakuvasta vuonna 2016 jälleen VIC-20:llä toimivan version.

Naz Shahrokh yhdistelee teossarjassa J’Arrive käsinkirjoitettua tekstiä valokuviin. Teoksista tulevat unenomaisesti mieleen päiväkirjat, henkilökohtaiset kokemukset, paikat, kartat, maisemakuvaukset ja matkustaminen. Samalla kuvat tuntuvat olevan riisuttuja minkäänlaisista viittauksista tunnistettaviin paikkoihin tai tapahtumiin, sekä tekstissä että kuvatuissa ympäristöissä. Jäljelle jää viivan tekemisen tapahtuma, kirjoittamisen ja piirtämisen prosessi, kuvaus paikan kohtaamisen henkilökohtaisuudesta.

Ascii Pron Art Remix on Dom Barran teoskokoelma, jossa hän on hyödyntänyt lähdemateriaalina varhaisimpia eroottisia digitaalisia kuvia, BBS-järjestelmissä ja RTTY-kaukokirjoittimilla levitettyjä pin-upeja. ”Glitchaamalla” tekstikuvat nykyaikaisilla kuvankäsittelyohjelmilla Barra tuo tekstimuotoiset teokset niille vieraaseen ympäristöön. Kuvat lakkaavat olemasta suoranaisesti pornoa, mutta säilyttävät silti jotakin alkuperäisestä luonteestaan. Barran työ kytkeytyy samalla laajemmin pornografian levittämisen käytäntöihin, glitch-taiteeseen ja internet-taiteeseen.

Sarjassa Joe Is Not Here Joseph Reyes on piirtänyt yksityiskohtaisia kuvia eläimistä ja eliöistä. Tarkemmin katsottuna osa kuvien viivoista muodostuu kirjoitetusta tekstistä, jossa muistellaan kadonneita paikkoja ja aikoja. Kuvien yksityiskohtaisuus ja kääntyilevä, hartaasti kirjoitettu teksti välittävät teoksien kiemuroihin uppoavalle katsojalle teosten tekemisen meditatiivista luonnetta.

Dan Farrimondin kokoelma Search of Tele-Textual Intelligence luo vaikutelman kokonaisesta teksti-TV-palvelusta, jossa tyypilliseen tapaan esitellään värikkäin kuvin matkustuspalveluja, käytettyjä autoja, urheilutuloksia ja puhelinseksiä. Sivuilla mainittu kultainen VHS-nauha viittaa äänilevyihin, joita lähetettiin avaruuteen Voyager-luotainten matkassa. Avaruusajan optimismia ja teksti-TV-nostalgiaa yhdistelevä kokoelma esittää humoristisesti teksti-TV:n mahdollisena ihmiskulttuurin kuvana ulkoisille tarkastelijoille, avaruuden muukalaisroduille.

Sarjakuvataiteilijana tunnettu Tommi Musturi on myös pitkän linjan aktiivinen Commodore 64 -harrastaja, joka purjehtii sujuvasti eri työvälineiden välillä. Unplanned Blocky Puzzles – Creating PETSCII for the Commodore 64 on galleria hänen PETSCII-merkistöllä tekemistä töistään. Musturi pohjustaa töitään lukijalle kertomalla lyhyesti PETSCII-grafiikan historiasta sekä omista työtavoistaan.

Tämän numeron muuta sisältöä ovat Petri Saarikosken arvio Teletext in Europe -antologiasta sekä saman kirjoittajan raportti Sveitsissä pidetystä Home Computer Subcultures and Society Before the Internet Age -tutkijatapaamisesta. Molemmat ovat samalla esimerkkejä siitä, kuinka aiemmin marginaalisina pidetyt aiheet – kuten tekstitaide – ovat alkaneet sittemmin herättää kiinnostusta tutkijoiden parissa, minkä myötä historiankirjoitus ei ole enää pelkkien harrastajien vastuulla.

Tämän numeron toimittaminen oli äärimmäisen kiinnostava, mutta myös haastava sukellus tekstitaiteen eri ilmenemiin. Toivomme, että tämä runsas paketti erilaisia kirjoituksia ja luovia töitä olisi numeron lukijoille yhtä mielenkiintoinen vyyhti kuin se on ollut meille toimittajille. WiderScreenin seuraava numero ilmestyy syksyllä 2017. Näillä näppäimillä kiitämme kirjoittajia, taiteilijoita sekä vertaisarvioijia heidän merkittävästä työpanoksestaan ja toivotamme lukijoillemme hyvää kesää!

Helsingissä ja Porissa 15.6.2017, vierailevat toimittajat Markku Reunanen ja Tero Heikkinen, sekä päätoimittaja Petri Saarikoski

Kansikuva: Tommi Musturi

Text Art

In this thematic issue of WiderScreen, we approach text art as both an object of study and artistic work. The contents represent the plurality of the topic: some of the works have been created using a typewriter, while others are hand-written or created on old computers. This spectrum highlights how multifaceted text art is as a topic – on the one hand there is surely nostalgia and attraction to old, recognizable technology, yet at the same time text art can be a highly reflective artistic practice, which questions today’s media and the practices that we take for granted.

In the only peer-reviewed article of this issue, Composition on a Typewriter: The Concrete Poetry and (new) Material Language of Steve McCaffery, Juha-Pekka Kilpiö examines Steve McCaffery’s typewriter poetry, searching for connections between language poetry and current theories of new materialism. For McCaffery, the typewriter is not only a device for placing words and letters, as he has used it to produce shapes in numerous ways that defy the its basic functionality. The article addresses language poetry, but also the role of the typewriter in media history.

Beyond Encoding: A Critical Look at the Terminology of Text Graphics by Anders Carlsson is a welcome overview of the terminology and subgenres of digital text art. The article serves as an introduction for the uninitiated reader and provides him/her a foundation for understanding the concepts that pop up in other texts of this issue.

Both Daniel Botz and Gleb Albert approach text art from a subcultural angle. Botz’s “If You Can Read This…” – The Evolution of the Scroll Text Message Within the Demoscene discusses the history of scrollers – text moving across the screen. During their existence simple scrolling lines of text have developed both technically and visually into increasingly impressive effects. Albert’s article, From Currency in the Warez Economy to Self-Sufficient Art Form: Text Mode Graphics and the “Scene”, digs deep into the meanings and uses that text art has had in the context of demo enthusiasts and software pirates.

Michael Szpakowski uses text in images, videos and paintings in different ways, often against the grain of the tools, media and distribution channels. His essay, Courting confusions—visual art and text, questions the notion of an artwork as a container for meanings, reminding us that the fundamental force of the artwork is an esthetic one. However, using text as the content of an image confuses this assertion in thought-provoking ways.

Raquel Meyers’ article, too, is a very personal account and reflection on artistic practice. Meyers, who has been creating text art in a number of different ways, presents us her own critical approach, which she calls KYBDslöjd. Keys of Fury – Type in Beyond the Scrolling Horizon is a breathtaking cross-section of an artist’s unquenchable curiosity, colored by dark humor and pessimism in the face of today’s estranging technology.

Tero Heikkinen and Markku Reunanen bring some local color to the issue with Rock, joka tiesi liikaa. (“Rock, who knew too much”) In this review the authors examine a comic strip created on a Commodore VIC-20 and published in the Sarjari magazine in 1983. The one-page story about a goat named Rock may well be the first Finnish published comic strip created on a computer. In addition to opening up a piece of Commodore history and artist interviews, the authors have expanded the scope of their research by “bringing Rock back home”, creating an interactive VIC-20 version of the strip in 2016.

Naz Shahrokh has combined hand-written text into photographs in the series J’Arrive. The works bring to mind diaries, personal experiences, locations, maps, scenery descriptions and travelling in a dreamlike fashion. At the same time the images appear to be devoid of any references to recognizable places or events, both in the hand-written text and in the depicted environments. What remains is the act of making the line, the process of writing and drawing as a depiction of the personal nature of experiencing a place.

In the collection Ascii Pron Art Remix, Dom Barra has utilized the earliest known digital erotic imagery, the text-based pin-ups distributed through Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and Radio Teletype (RTTY). By “glitching” the images with current image processing software, Barra brings the works into an unfamiliar environment. The images cease to be pornography, but still retain something of their original nature. Barra’s work is closely tied to the themes of pornography distribution, glitch art and internet art.

In the series Joe Is Not Here Joseph Reyes has drawn detailed pictures of animals and other creatures. When taking a closer look, part of the lines in the images are revealed to be written text, in which reminiscences of lost places and times can be found. The intricate detail of the drawings together with the twisting, laboriously written text deliver something about the meditative quality of creating these works to the viewer.

Dan Farrimond’s collection Search of Tele-Textual Intelligence gives an impression of an entire teletext service, complete with colorful pages depicting the usual travel services, used car sales, sports results and phone sex. The golden VHS tape mentioned on the pages refers to the audio recordings sent along the Voyager space probes. The collection is humorously depicted as a snapshot of human culture on Earth to outside alien observers, peppered with space-age optimism and teletext nostalgia.

Comic book artist Tommi Musturi is also a long term Commodore 64 hobbyist, who jumps between different media with ease. Unplanned Blocky Puzzles – Creating PETSCII for the Commodore 64 is a gallery of his PETSCII works. Musturi’s foreword provides readers with an overview of the history of PETSCII graphics and his own working methods.

In addition, the issue features Petri Saarikoski’s review of the anthology Teletext in Europe and a report from the Home Computer Subcultures and Society Before the Internet Age symposium held in Switzerland, also by the same author. Both are examples of how topics previously considered marginal – such as text art – have recently attracted more attention from researchers. As a result, history writing on these topics is no longer purely a hobbyist effort.

On behalf of the editorial board, we would like to wish the readers a pleasant and illuminating journey with this issue. We would also like to thank the authors and the anonymous reviewers for their hard work. The next issue of WiderScreen will be published in autumn 2017. Thank you all and have a pleasant summer!

In Helsinki and Pori, June 15 2017, visiting editors Markku Reunanen and Tero Heikkinen, and editor in chief Petri Saarikoski

Cover image by Tommi Musturi