“Deep Travel.” I finally have a name for something that has been with me for as long as I can remember. 

For me, Deep Travel is the activity and the state of mind that feeds my creative work. For example, it quite literally initiated a new body of artwork six years ago, when I was commuting between California, Boston and New York. I had just given up a huge studio in an old mill building, where I had been working with dancers, making very physical, large-scale installations and photography. But now, with all this flying back and forth, where was I to work?

As I sat around in airports, I spent a lot of time watching people. I had just bought a new cell phone, which happened to have a camera with a rotating lens. I soon realized that it was like a periscope, and I could shoot without anyone knowing it. And this is when Deep Travel set in. I became obsessed with shooting little cell phone movies, choreographies of people in public places. This work started in airports, but soon grew to include people on street corners and in cafes and shops and parks. Two years after I started shooting, I was exhibiting the finished work — “Public Privacy: Wendy Richmond’s Surreptitious Cellphone”— in museums and galleries.  

The state of Deep Travel morphs for me constantly, and though it can be fleeting, I trust that it will always come back. I don’t know what I would do without it.