GBH Openvault

New Television; Quickening

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1987

License Clip

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New Television
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 the opening moments of this piece, a bird grasped by an outstretched hand flaps its wings in an attempt to fly away. In the ensuing montage that follows, images are repeated and reshuffled, taking on new meanings. A pregnant woman's body appears. A woman plays hide-and-seek with an infant. A man strokes a woman's shoulders and she opens her fist to reveal an animal's tooth. Clothes are hung on a line to dry. A hawk trapped indoors flaps wildly at a window. A child's hand is thrust into a tank containing a sea anemone, the tentacles of which curl around her fingers. A man cuts a child's fingernails, which begin to bleed. A loose relationship is suggested between the children and animals depicted. The work is approximately 14 minutes long.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Film and Television
Ferran, Nicole ()
Matorin, Donna ()
Nance, Salandra M. ()
Wrinkle, Dana Maria ()
Pederson, Eric James ()
Chicago: “New Television; Quickening,” GBH Archives, accessed April 17, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; Quickening.” GBH Archives. Web. April 17, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; Quickening. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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