Headshot of Chelsea Thompto,
          she is smiling and theimage is
          dithered with a purple hue.


Chelsea Thompto (she/her) is a transdisciplinary artist and educator working at the intersections of art, trans studies, and technology. She lives and works in the Bay Area where she is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Art at CADRE in the Department of Art and Art History at San José State University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New Media Caucus and the Editorial Board of the Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus. She received an MFA and MA in 4D Art and an MA in Gender and Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison and has shown her work nationally and internationally. Her research based studio practice spans a variety of media which often include code, video, sound, writing, and sculpture.

Curriculum Vitae

Artist Statement

My practice is strongly rooted in my experience as a transwoman and more specifically, the trans body as a site of contemporary productions of the inhuman, and of violence (physical, emotional, institutional, and otherwise) committed in the ongoing effort to reify gender as a binary system. These explorations are centered around a critical engagement with current and historical systems of codification and control, to draw the viewer into an affective exploration of what it means to inhabit a fluid body subjected to colonial logics of visualization meant to fix, delineate, and stabilize. The imagery generated by and surrounding these systems is co opted and enfolded into the work itself as a method of interrogating the types of knowledge they produce.

The prefix trans- is also a tactic and gesture, enacted by moving ideas between and across materials, and modes of working in order to explore form and concept. Within this transdisciplinary approach, intricate systems are employed to create visual form, articulate data, and allude to our habitual ordering of peoples and behaviors. These tactics and gestures are also used to explore how the concept of trans might be leveraged in service of imagining a more livable future for trans people.

Engaging with a variety of media including: video, code, archival materials, digitally fabricated objects, writing, traditional sculptural processes, printmaking, and bookbinding, my practice leverages the inherent qualities (which are always contested and culturally situated) of specific materials to build the pacing, narratives, and metaphors within finished works and installations.

About This Site

This site was designed and coded by Chelsea with the following things in mind. First, the site does not track or collect user data in any way, this is a good article about why this is important by the LA Times, it covers cookies and data privacy. Second, the site is designed to run as efficiently as possible and to only serve high quality images and videos when you arrive at pages related to specific projects as a method of reducing the overall environmental impact of the site. This is why you will see dithered images on many pages (including this one) in place of standard images. This effort is guided by the ideas laid out in the Sustainable Web Manifesto and the accompanying resource https://sustainablewebdesign.org/.

This site uses the Red Hat Text font by MCKL. Dithering was done using the online tool Dither Me This.