Alan Powell entered Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the Fall of 1970. He had an interest in environmental art and the performance-based “Happenings.” That fall he experienced photography in a serious way with his friend and future collaborator, Dennis Hlynsky. By the end of spring 1971 he began using video in his English class with Robert Jungels and attending performances by Rain Dance Corporation, Bread & Puppet Theater, and the Living Theater. He also became close with Laurie McDonald, who was making conceptual films using light and sound. During the summer of 1971, Steve Abrams introduced Alan Powell to Timothy Young, a video editor at Global Village working on the Irish tapes. Tim would introduce Alan Powell to the Vasulkas, Nam June Paik and David Loxton of the WNET TV Lab. Powell, McDonald, and Hlynsky had their first video art shows at the Kitchen in 1973. The RISD video program was established by Robert Jungels in 1971. Over the next few years Robert Jungels brought his wife, Dorothy Jungels, into the program to develop intermedia and video dance concepts. Dorothy went on to create Everett Dance Theater. The program became the first video art program and curriculum in the United States with a partnership with the National Center for Experiments in Television under the direction of Brice Howard.

Videotapes on display

Feedback II
produced at RISD 1972

Music: Iannis Xenakis

produced at RISD 1974

produced at RISD 1972

Living Together in our Apartment
produced by Dennis Hlynsky and Alan Powell
produced at the National Center for Experiments in Television 1974
Hlynsky: Templeton Videomixer, Powell: Buchula AudioSynthesizer