GBH Openvault

New Television; Way Downtown

Part of New Television Workshop.

Approximate date: 1984

License Clip

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New Television
Way Downtown
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

"Way Downtown" combines animated and electronically enhanced still images with scenes of public life from an Asian culture. In the opening sequence a still image is slowly animated to show frantically ticking clocks. Images from advertising and mass media are juxtaposed against scenes of window washers and street crowds. Driving rock music, "Guitar Trio," by Rhys Catham accompanies the work. The piece is approximately eight minutes long.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Mass media
Film and Television
Chicago: “New Television; Way Downtown,” GBH Archives, accessed April 20, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; Way Downtown.” GBH Archives. Web. April 20, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; Way Downtown. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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