Under the Influence: John Powers, assistant professor of sculpture, has many irons in the fire. “I am currently in the design phases for several large kinetic pieces while working simultaneously on a number of small cast and carved objects that explore the melding of Japanese Buddhist iconography with first-generation Nintendo video game characters,” he says. “I am also working on an ongoing series of abstract drawing and video projections.”
Working in so many different media “means I have a variety of tools around to accommodate different processes,” Powers says. “These range from a computer and video camera to power equipment and hand tools.”
Field Work: Powers has created several kinetic sculptures that impress as both artistic statements and as mechanical marvels. “Field of Reeds” (above - click here for video) sways hypnotically, emitting a plaintive sound reminiscent of whale calls. “The allure of the unattainable and the passage of time have become central to my work, encouraging the inclusion of sound and motion as compositional elements,” Powers says.