A digital ark of animals from UTV

The CryptArk is an interactive web-player made by artist Jarkko Räsänen and curated by Mirjami Schuppert. It uses clips filmed by Ulster Television during the 1960s. Visit the CryptArk to play with the artwork and watch the full versions of the original clips in this collection. 

“The UTV collection contains a variety of material, bringing us back in time to revisit significant historical moment or re-watch our favourite TV-shows. TV once entered people's homes and brought in the outside world to inform, entertain and educate the viewers. Although the broadcasted material was mediated, motivated and at times biased, it also preserves more mundane aspects of everyday life that might seem quite insignificant. One of these arbitrarily recorded, catalogued and preserved phenomena are the presence of animals in the collection. 

The clips in this collection have been selected by Jarkko Räsänen, a Finnish artist working and living in Berlin, Germany. In his practice, he examines archival footage with the help of technology, stepping away from the content-focused approach that historians mostly use when researching archives. Every clip in this collection contains the presence - even if very fleeting - of an animal. In essence, the collection is like a zoo or Noah’s Ark, bringing together a menagerie of animals. The sections with animals are exported into CryptArk, an audiovisual composition, through which the audience is given an opportunity to try different algorithms on the animals "saved" from the past.

CryptArk allows the user to select animals into the digital ark: these animals found from UTV's archives will be crypted with one of the four algorithms the artist has created. Algorithms are based on processes of slicing the image file into thin strips and reorganising them according to simple mathematical rules. CryptArk is an interactive audiovisual composition with the artist's own ambient music that turns black & white videos (originally in 16mm film) into a metaphysical journey through video files' structures.”

Text by Mirjami Schuppert, visit http://cryptark.net


CryptArk is the first part of a research and exhibition project by Jarkko Räsänen into the UTV archive. The second part will be Tilt [at windmills] exhibition, taking place at CCA Derry~Londonderry in 2nd October- 18th December 2021. Both projects are curated by Mirjami Schuppert.

Jarkko Räsänen is an artist working with photography, moving image, and sound art. His work is computer-based, using algorithms that create new visuals from already existing images and moving images.

Mirjami Schuppert is an independent curator and director of Titanik Gallery in Turku, Finland. Her practice mostly consists of new commissions and working alongside artists. 

The films in this collection were digitised by Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI, supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Archiving Scheme 2 and the Department for Communities NI.


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