New Television Workshop Collection, 1967 - 1999 (1968 - 1993)
ca. 1,800 videos
20 linear feet (16 boxes)
Organization and Arrangement:
Organized into four series: I. Subject Files; II. Program Materials; III. Oral Histories; IV. Reference Tapes.
Program master tapes were sent to the WGBH Archives after their original broadcast dates. The majority of the remaining production files and tapes were acquired by the WGBH Archives at production shut-down. In May 1999 a large quantity of documentation was donated to the WGBH Archives by Susan Dowling, New Television Workshop Executive Director from 1982 to1993. "Poetry Breaks" materials were donated and/or loaned for reformatting by Leita Luchetti in 1999. New Television Workshop directors and producers -- Fred Barzyk, Olivia Tappan, and David Atwood -- loaned materials from their personal collections. These have been photocopied and incorporated into the New Television Workshop Collection at WGBH.
The New Television Workshop originated at WGBH, a public broadcasting station in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1974 to support the creation and development of experimental video art. This experimental programming included dance, drama, music, performance and visual arts on video and film. As early as 1968, WGBH was committed to the development of video art through residency programs, with artists such as Nam June Paik. Many of these early works (pre-1974) were broadcast both locally and nationally.
Fred Barzyk, a WGBH producer and director, was the Workshop's Executive Director from 1974 to 1982. Susan Dowling was Executive Director from 1982 to 1993. In 1993 the Workshop ceased production at WGBH. Major broadcast series created by the Workshop included "Artist's Showcase," "Frames of Reference," "Dance for Camera," "Poetry Breaks," and "New Television." Individual works were created for "Visions," a series produced by WNET (New York), and "Alive From Off Center," a series produced by KTCA (St. Paul - Minneapolis). The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was co-founded by the Workshop and Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in the 1980's, to commission works by video artists.
For a more detailed history of the Workshop, see Appendix A.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of moving image materials. Additionally, paper-based documentation and photographs exist, which detail both specific productions and the Workshop as a whole. The following archival series have been identified by the Project Archivist:
The Subject Files contain documentation and photographs that relate to the administration of the Workshop and its overall activities.
The Program Materials are the heart of the collection. Primarily moving image materials of video art works produced and/or broadcast in affiliation with the New Television Workshop, they also include documentation and photographs that relate to specific productions.
The Oral Histories contain videotaped oral histories conducted with notable artists and designers by Workshop participants as part of various granting initiatives. This series includes interviews conducted in 1999 with artists, producers, and critics involved with the New Television Workshop.
The Reference Tapes consist solely of videotapes, mainly screening copies. These include sample reels and works submitted to and/or reviewed by the Workshop (but not broadcast).
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