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CHCI welcomes new faculty member Chelsea Thompto

February 12, 2024

Chelsea Thompto
Chelsea Thompto

Chelsea Thompto is a new Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts’s Creative Technologies program. She is a transdisciplinary artist and educator working at the intersections of art, trans studies, and technology. Her research-based studio practice spans a variety of media, which often include code, video, sound, writing, and sculpture, and her work has been shown nationally and internationally. She received an MFA in 4D Art and an MA in Gender and Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Thompto completed a digital art commission for the San José Museum of Art titled The Fog.

Thompto's art is deeply influenced by her curiosity and research, leading to thought-provoking creations that challenge conventional perceptions. Her work raises intriguing questions about identity, technology, and the nature of existence, particularly through the lens of her experiences as a transwoman in the United States. Focused on themes like the politics of visibility and the trans body as a site of ongoing political contestations, Thompto employs both traditional and digital mediums, including interactive browser-based experiences, to explore these complex issues.

Regarding her connection with HCI, Thompto stated, “I am interested in the formal and conceptual potential of the viewer’s mode of interaction with a work of art. Whether it's through a handmade book, a browser-based experience, or a multimedia installation, I always try to consider the human interface/experience of the work as an integral part of how the work is perceived and understood. As my work has taken a more technological turn over the past five years, this has meant focusing more on how people respond to computer interfaces and how that response may be manipulated or composed towards artistic ends.”