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New Television Workshop; Video Variations

Part of New Television Workshop.

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New Television Workshop
Video Variations
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

Program Description

Host Russell Connor introduces these works by video artists, set to music performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

Tsai Wen-Ying: A piece exploring pattern and color saturation.

Constantine Manos: Includes still portrait photographs of individuals in what appears to be a European agricultural community.

Stan Vanderbeek: Using a videosynthesizer, Vanderbeek layers images of interpretive dancers.

Douglas David: This is a work about numbers. Children are pictured painting numbers in the WGBH parking lot ; adults perform equations on blackboards, and numbers on street signs are shown. The effect is a steady stream of numbers.

Jackie Cassen: In this work dazzling colors break away to reveal children, American flags, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and anticommunist political banners.

Russell Connor: This work features a topless dancing girl, bright colors, and sheet music.

James Seawright: Dancers bathed in color and light seem to swim across the space. The piece was created with Mimi Garrad.

Nam June Paik: This piece features rays of light, the shape of the monitor, faces, a bust of Beethoven, shaking and twittering, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and finally, a toy piano that burns and collapses at the completion of the work. This last piece is also known as “Electronic Opera No. 2.”

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Video art
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Film and Television
Barzyk, Fred (Producer)
Dowling, Susan (Series Producer)
Seawright, James ()
Connor, Russell ()
Manos, Constantine ()
Vanderbeek, Stan ()
Garrad, Mimi ()
Jouhet, Irene ()
Tappan, Olivia ()
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006 ()
Wen-Ying, Tsai ()
David, Douglas ()
Chicago: “New Television Workshop; Video Variations,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 22, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_600FBA33F38B445ABBA49C07C9871943.
MLA: “New Television Workshop; Video Variations.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 22, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_600FBA33F38B445ABBA49C07C9871943>.
APA: New Television Workshop; Video Variations. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_600FBA33F38B445ABBA49C07C9871943
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