GBH Openvault

New Television; Strange Space

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1993

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New Television
Strange Space
Series Description

"New Television" began as a local pilot production of WNET (New York) in 1986. In 1987, WGBH signed on as co-producer, and the shows were aired in Boston and New York. In 1988 and 1989, KCET (Los Angeles) and WETA (D.C.) became producers in association. In 1991, PBS picked up "New Television," and it was broadcast nationally. The following year, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, replaced WNET, WETA, and KCET as co-producer with WGBH. In 1993, WGBH ceased to be a co-producer for the series, and the "home base" moved to Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) in Hartford, CT.

"New Television" commissioned, produced, and acquired programming. In its early years, "New Television" broadcast works commissioned by The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Increasingly, experimental films as well as video works were broadcast as a part of this series. Many of the later episodes of "New Television" contain works that play with and deconstruct the documentary genre. Series release date: 1986

Program Description

In this short work by Leslie Thornton and Ron Vawter, fragments of a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (read by Vawter) are juxtaposed with footage from and commentary on a sonogram. The screen is broken up into a gridlike map at times, and footage from space missions is incorporated. The work is approximately three and one-half minutes in length.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Ultrasonic imaging
Rilke, Rainer Maria, 1875-1926
Film and Television
Thornton, Leslie ()
Vawter, Ron ()
Chicago: “New Television; Strange Space,” GBH Archives, accessed April 20, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; Strange Space.” GBH Archives. Web. April 20, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; Strange Space. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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