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Chelsea Thompto

Assistant Professor, Creative Technologies
  • she/her

Chelsea Thompto a transdisciplinary artist 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, books, and sculpture, and is focused on political, bureaucratic, and technological systems used to visualize and categorize (trans) bodies and the violences they produce and reproduce. Born and raised in Iowa, she received a B.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Iowa, and M.F.A. in 4D Art and M.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies both from the University of Wisconsin Madison. A recent transplant to Virginia, she has spent most of her life between the Midwest and California. Currently, her work is interested in the politics of visibility/respectability, fog, trans futures, and horror.

Art and Technology, Creative Coding, Trans Studies, Text and Image, Artist Books/Websites.

ART 1214: Principles of 3D Art & Design
ART 2434 / 3114 / 5714: Intro to Creative Code
ART 4804: New Media Art Theory
ART 4894: Senior Studio
ART 5534: Grad Critique

Selected Exhibitions/Screenings:

Net art died but is doing well, The Wrong Biennale 2023/24, Online. 2023. (Group Exhibition)

NEW INC Art & Code Showcase, Dunkunsthalle, New York, NY. 2023. (Group Exhibition)

Performing Media Festival, Langlab South Bend, South Bend, IN. 2022. (Group Screening)

Over Again, Padnos Gallery, Allendale, MI. 2021. (Group Exhibition)

Productive Bodies, The Neon Heater Gallery, Findlay, OH. 2020. (Solo Exhibition)

Ossuary, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI. 2020. (Group Exhibition)

Water Shapes, Spark Lab at The Fed Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI. 2019. (Group Exhibition)

Plain Sight, Pilchuck Seattle Exhibition Space, Seattle WA. 2019. (Group Exhibition)

Radical Networks, Spektrum, Berlin, Germany. 2018 (Group Exhibition)

Code/Switch, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL. 2016 (Group Exhibition)

SIGNAL, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY. 2016 (Group Exhibition)


The Fog, Interactive website, hand-coded in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. San José Museum of Art, San José, CA and Online. 2023

Trans Effigy 2016, 60 hand-bound, laser cut, and letterpress printed artist books, CSART Madison, Arts + Literature Laboratory, Madison, WI. 2017


“Trans (In)Visibility in Art,” Transgender Studies Quarterly, 2022

“Building a More Sustainable and Accessible Internet: Lightweight Web Design with HTML and CSS,” SJSU ScholarWorks, 2022.

“Alternatives to Facebook: Taking the 'Big' out of 'Big Tech'.”(Co-Authored with Étienne Brown) Newsweek. March 7, 2022.


NEW INC Incubator Member, Art and Code Track Year 9, New York, NY. 2022.

Public Voices Fellowship, SJSU OpEd Project, San José, CA. 2021.

Laboratory Residency, Winter 2021 Digital Residency, Spokane, WA. 2021.

Signal Culture, Toolmaker In Residence Summer/Fall 2019, Oswego, NY. 2019.

Grants and Awards:

Artistic Excellence Programming Grant San José State University, San José, CA. 2022.

Sustainable Futures Curriculum Community Initiative Award San José State University, San José CA. 2021.

LGBT FSA Research Grant, Grand Valley State University, Allendale MI. 2019.

Emerging Artist Grant, GameTime Grants, Grand Rapids MI. 2019.


2019 MFA, 4D Art, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI

2019 MA, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI

2018 MA, 4D Art, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI

2016 MA, Sculpture, Sacramento State University, CA

2012 BFA, Sculpture, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

2012 K-12 Art Education Licensure Program, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA