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P. Seth Thompson

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

On the morning of January 28, 1986, I sat with my first grade teacher and fellow classmates, watching on live television the launch and subsequent disaster of the Challenger Shuttle. Before this moment the moving image had no bearing on my everyday reality: monsters, superheroes, cartoons, and the news were not real. Beaming from the same source, the realization that six astronauts and one teacher were dead sunk into my awareness. Images became real and reality seemed an illusion.

With the manipulation of original and appropriated digital imagery, and influences ranging from quantum physics, to cinema, to mythology, I discuss the image’s role in the creation of selfhood within the collective imagination. Through this process, my work highlights the slowly elusive boundary between the cinematic world and the “real” world, resulting in an identity that is formed, mediated, and constantly compromised by a Mcluhanesque barrage of media imagery.

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