GBH Openvault

Frames of Reference; Images Diffused by Time

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1975

License Clip

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Frames of Reference
Images Diffused by Time
Series Description

“Frames of Reference” was a series that began circa 1978. Half-hour shows were produced to showcase commissioned and already created works. It was around this time that the focus of the Workshop shifted, to concentrate more heavily on creating works for broadcast. During its time, “Frames of Reference” was the focus of the Workshop’s national arts programming effort. In an attempt to raise funds and foster collaboration, Workshop personnel approached and visited several public television stations nationwide. The major collaborative relationship was with WGBH’s “sister station,” WGBY (Springfield, Mass.). Among the featured artists were Meredith Monk, Remy Charlip, Trisha Brown, and Peter Campus. In 1981, “Frames of Reference” was packaged and offered to PBS, during what is known as “flex time” and was broadcast by WGBH, WNET (New York), and WGBY (Springfield, Mass.). “Frames of Reference” ended as a series ca. 1983, because of a lack of funding. Series release date: 1978

Program Description

In "Images Diffused by Time," still photographs and choreographed movements comprise the body of this work by Martha Gray. In this moody work, filmed at Fort Strong on Long Island in Boston Harbor, three dancers (a man and two women) move through the rocky landscape. Against the backdrop of the ruins of the fort, the reaching and curving gestures are lyrical in tone. Susan Dowling works her way down a misty path at the work's completion. Unidentified classical music accompanies the work.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Modern dance
Natural areas
Film and Television
Streep, Harry, III ()
Dowling, Susan ()
Gray, Martha ()
Wheeler, Ruth ()
Chicago: “Frames of Reference; Images Diffused by Time,” GBH Archives, accessed April 20, 2024,
MLA: “Frames of Reference; Images Diffused by Time.” GBH Archives. Web. April 20, 2024. <>.
APA: Frames of Reference; Images Diffused by Time. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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