Associate Professor Alan Powell served as artist-in-residence at two locations during the summer: the Mountain Lake Biological Station at the University of Virginia in Pembroke, Va., and at Signal Culture in Owego, N.Y.
Since the early 1970’s I have worked in electronic arts, which has included single channel video tapes, installations, artist books, and electronically generated flat art work. I was educated in wet room photography at R.I. School of Design. My undergraduate education was based on modernist practice. My aesthetic and cultural art practice is based in post-modernism and cultural studies. I have been involved in artist collectives (Electron Movers 1973-1978) (Termite TV 1993 – 2016.) I am a strong believer in collaboration and art being connected to the social. The practice of photography has always been part of my artistic practice. With the development of digital photography and new media in general, my video practice and photographic practice have integrated into a similar practice.
I do not see in a monolithic Renaissance eye. I scan, pan and sample my environment using the electronic tools related to video, sound, photography, and 3d imaging. I rarely create an image based on one object/ one moment of time, but arrange images and sounds in a montage or collage like process. In the past year my involvement with photography has expanded to an investigation of experiencing environments beyond the monolithic photo frame. My photographs have become composites of multiple images through a variety of photographic devices. Using DSLR’s, Ipads, and Giga Pan devices, I have constructed photographic images that either knit the environment into a holistic map of itself or show conceptual relationships between objects, places or people. In video I mainly did this via multi channel video installations, now I am achieving these relationships through diptychs, triptychs, and collaged photographs. These investigations started out in video during artist residencies at Art Pak, Lewiston NY, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Blacksburg VA. and at the Catskill Nature Center. It was through these first panoramic photographs that I decided that these images represent a truer idea of how I was experiencing these environments. I have since expanded this panoramic investigation to many places where the visual experience goes beyond a single image.
Since the 2016 presidential election, I have been documenting the decay and despair in the communities that supported Donald Trump. The sense of loss and economic desperation is real, as nearly half our country turns to Fascistic leadership and policies similar to Germany in the 1930’s. I have been traveling around the communities of rural Pennsylvania and upstate New York photographing places and people has their environments visually expose their despair and hopelessness. As a member of Termite-Tv artist collective, we make art that eats away at Culture. During 2016- 2017 I have been making media works about the 2016 election and the Trump Presidency. The most recent work is an installation at Arcadia University called the “Waste Show – Political waste”