Creative Minds: Chelsea Thompto and Analia Saban

two headshots of women artists with one blonde trans woman wearing glasses and one posed with dark hair

Left: Chelsea Thompto. Right: Analia Saban, photo by Art Streiber.

7pm • Wendel Education Center
Free admission starting at 6pm; registration is encouraged.

Join us for an insightful conversation between LA-based artist Analia Saban and trans artist and former SJSU professor Chelsea Thompto. Led by assistant curator Juan Omar Rodriguez, the artists will discuss the use of technology in their work and how they are navigating memory and mixed realities in the digital era.

Visitors are also invited to experience Thompto’s interactive performance Transcode Gallery throughout the evening in the Museum’s galleries from 6:15–6:45pm and 8:15–8:45pm.

Both artists are currently featured at SJMA. Thompto's digital project The Fog was launched on SJMA's website in 2023, and Saban is a featured artist in the exhibition Encode/Store/Retrieve, currently on view in SJMA's galleries.

Register to attend the talk

Transcode Gallery

This is the pilot presentation of Chelsea Thompto's Transcode Gallery, a traveling Augmented Reality (AR) exhibition of trans art that is hosted on Thompto's body in the form of an AR-linked tattoo. Audience members can access the exhibit using the camera on their smartphone or tablet devices. After scanning the tattoo, they can view this one-of-a-kind AR exhibition through the device's screen.

Creative Minds—SJMA’s premier Artist Talk series—allows audiences a chance to experience creatives in action by hearing directly from artists about their process and practice.

This program is made possible with support from the Knight Foundation.


Chelsea Thompto (she/her) 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. Born and raised in Iowa, she has spent most of her life between the Midwest and California. She was previously Assistant Professor at San Jose State University and is an incoming Assistant Professor of Creative Technologies at Virginia Tech. She is currently a member of the Year 9 NEW INC cohort in the Art & Code track, and serves on the editorial board of the Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus. She received an MFA in 4D Art and an MA in Gender and Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Analia Saban dissects and reconfigures traditional notions of painting, often using the medium of paint as the subject itself. Blurring the lines between painting and sculpture, imagery and objecthood, her work frequently includes plays on art historical references and traditions. Paintings expand to sculptural forms and sculptures are presented in two dimensions, using the process of trial and error with new techniques and technology. Her unconventional methods such as unweaving paintings, laser-burning wood and canvas, molding forms in acrylic paint, weaving paint through linen thread, remain central to her practice as she continues to explore art-making processes and materials in relation to her daily experience. Dealing with issues of fragility, balance, technique and experimentation, Saban's connection with everyday objects is at the forefront of her investigation of tangible materials and the metaphysical properties of artworks.

Born in 1980 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Saban currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a BFA in Visual Arts from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2001, followed by an MFA in New Genres at the University of California in Los Angeles in 2005.  Saban’s works are represented in the collections of the Hammer Museum at UCLA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Getty Research Institute, in Los Angeles; Blaffer Art Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio; Mead Art Museum in Amherst; Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College in New York; Norton Museum of Art in Florida; The Israel Museum in Jerusalem; National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne; Centre Pompidou in Paris; among many others.

Related Programming

Chelsea Thompto: The Fog

What can we learn from fog? Chelsea Thompto: The Fog, a digital project commissioned by SJMA, explores the logistical, literary, and liberatory dimensions of fog as it relates to military projects, horror narratives, and trans embodiment. Thompto’s interactive web experience explores how fog can transform our understanding of seeing, knowing, and being.


Through Sunday, April 21, 2024

The landscape of memory has shifted dramatically over the course of the Digital Age, marked by the ease and speed at which we can record, store, and share information. Encode/Store/Retrieve draws together artworks from SJMA’s collection to explore low-tech forms of memory production and provide strategies to grapple with the emerging issues of our growing digital archive.