The Art of P. Seth Thompson
appropriation artist


On the morning of January 28, 1986, I sat with my first-grade teacher and fellow classmates in our school cafeteria, watching on live television the launch and subsequent disaster of the Challenger Shuttle. Before this moment, mass media did not directly influence my perception of reality: monsters, superheroes, and cartoons, 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.

The Internet’s visual catalog introduced a new form of photo-based art; one that releases it from the confines of real world documentation. Following in the footsteps of previous appropriation artists, my practice involves remixing found imagery through digital technologies. This method of production gives rise to a paradigm in which the artist is situated in the liminal space between a consumer and a producer of the work. The meta-modernistic approach allows for an amalgamation of both the modernist tendency for experimentation and the postmodernist view of reality. Thus, my work underscores and recalibrates the concepts of originality where the author is reborn into the immaterial world of the abstract.

As our culture continues to transform into a representation of things, we become prisoners of our own perceived world. To reconcile this perceived reality, we must look at the past and deconstruct the narrative in which it was built upon. By dissecting film, television, news, and advertising, I take my personal, mediated experience and translate into a universal one. Doing this allows for an innovative and neutral awareness that considers our need to be heard and our desire to be right.