GBH Openvault

New Television; New Television, Episode 512; Volcano Saga

Part of New Television Workshop.

Based on a thirteenth-century Icelandic myth, "Volcano Saga" recounts the tales of a young woman (portrayed by Tilda Swinton) whose dreams foretell the future. Approximate date: 1989

License Clip
New Television
New Television, Episode 512
Program Number



Volcano Saga

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

Features Joan Jonas’ “Volcano Saga.”

Asset Type


Media Type


Wurmfield, Charles
Vawter, Ron
St. Ignadottir, Ragna
Wurmfield, Esther
Jonas, Joan, 1936-
Swinton, Tilda
Dream interpretation
Karason, Bardi
Film and Television
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “New Television; New Television, Episode 512; Volcano Saga,” GBH Archives, accessed February 22, 2024,
MLA: “New Television; New Television, Episode 512; Volcano Saga.” GBH Archives. Web. February 22, 2024. <>.
APA: New Television; New Television, Episode 512; Volcano Saga. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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