WGBH Openvault

New Television Workshop; Storm and Stress

Part of New Television Workshop.

The work presents images of extreme weather conditions and scientific attempts to monitor them, in a collage format. The inclusion of testing footage from research laboratories gives "Storm and Stress" the suggestion of a documentary. As the succession of images unfolds, the viewer is exposed to violent rainstorms, with much thunder and lightning; tornadoes; a raging fire; and stormy conditions at sea. Each of these weather conditions is set off by images showing human interaction with them. Scientists attempt to recreate and measure thunder and lightning inside a sterile building; a group of individuals driving in a car follow a nearby tornado and measure its force; firefighters attempt to stop a blaze; and men in a boat measure waves. Some of this imagery is shot in a handheld, point-of-view style, as in the case of the tornado chasers and the men on the boat. The sound score consists almost solely of the natural sounds of the footage -- the discussion of the persons depicted and the sounds of the weather itself. At one point, Giuseppe Verdi's "Requiem" mass serves as accompaniment. Approximate date: 1986

License Clip
New Television Workshop
Program Number



Storm and Stress

Series Description

The New Television Workshop originated at WGBH in 1974 to support the creation and development of experimental video art. This experimental programming included dance, drama, music, performance and visual arts on video and film. As early as 1968, WGBH was committed to the development of video art through residency programs, with artists such as Nam June Paik. Many of these early works (pre-1974) were broadcast both locally and nationally. Fred Barzyk, a WGBH producer and director, was the Workshop's Executive Director from 1974 to 1982. Susan Dowling was Executive Director from 1982 to 1993. In 1993 the Workshop ceased production at WGBH. Major broadcast series created by the Workshop included "Artist's Showcase," "Frames of Reference," "Dance for Camera," "Poetry Breaks," and "New Television." Individual works were created for "Visions," a series produced by WNET (New York), and "Alive From Off Center," a series produced by KTCA (St. Paul - Minneapolis). The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was co-founded by the Workshop and Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in the 1980's, to commission works by video artists. Series release date: 1974

Asset Type


Media Type


Hall, Doug
Forest fires
Nature works
Film and Television
Dowling, Susan (Series Producer)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “New Television Workshop; Storm and Stress,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed February 18, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1E0B687C88B84711AB12102D5E98A6CB.
MLA: “New Television Workshop; Storm and Stress.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. February 18, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1E0B687C88B84711AB12102D5E98A6CB>.
APA: New Television Workshop; Storm and Stress. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_1E0B687C88B84711AB12102D5E98A6CB
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