A new exhibition by visual artist, author, and educator Wendy Richmond ’75 opened at The Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design on May 25. “Wendy Richmond: Navigating the Personal Bubble” will be up through Nov. 4.
Richmond documents and explores the ways in which digital technology creates “personal bubbles”—or mobile privacy zones, which transform the social experience of sharing public space.
Museum director John Smith calls her work “surprisingly revealing of the ways in which we interact and communicate in this digital age,” and adds that the video installation, “Alone in Public (2012),” was created especially for the museum’s Spalter New Media Gallery.
“Alone in Public” is Richmond’s compilation of video portraits of people she knows, who are working on their laptops in public areas. They submitted footage taken by their computer’s built-in camera, which Richmond then combined and edited the segments into three projections. Building on this work, and drawing on her dance background, “Gestures” (2012) is a component piece, a listing of “personal bubble” behaviors and movements.
As an undergraduate, Richmond studied dance, fine art, and graphic design. She has been a contributing editor for Communication Arts magazine; her column “Design Culture” has appeared regularly since 1984.
She earned her master’s degree in art from New York University and is the recipient of a number of awards and grants, including a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Her books include Design & Technology: Erasing the Boundaries (1990), Overneath (2002), and Art Without Compromise* (2009).
Read more about Richmond in Susan Hodara’s article, “The Watchers,” in Wesleyan, 2008 issue iii, online here.