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Tamiko Thiel
Tamiko Thiel.jpg
Nationality American
Education Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Academy of Fine Arts Munich
Known for Public Art, New Media, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Awards MacDowell Colony, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Japan Foundation
Patron(s) Digital Synesthesia Group, Archive of Digital Art, FACT

Tamiko Thiel (born June 15, 1957, daughter of Midori Kono Thiel[1]) is an internationally active American media artist who specializes in "exploring the interplay of place, space, the body and cultural identity".[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Tamiko Thiel attended Stanford University and graduated with a B.S. in Product Design Engineering with an emphasis on human factors design in 1979. She later went on to receive her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1983 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, she studied human-machine design at the school's Biomechanics Lab and computer graphics at the precursors to the Media Lab. In 1991, Thiel received her Diploma in Applied Graphics, specializing in video installation art, from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany.[2]

Design & art career[edit]

Thiel's first career was in product design, working at Hewlett-Packard Data Terminals Division. She later worked at Thinking Machines Corporation with Danny Hillis, Richard Feynman and Brewster Kahle, heading the design team that created the boolean n-cube hypercube chassis that defined the Connection Machine CM-1 and CM-2 supercomputers' appearance.[3]

From November 1994 to February 1996 she worked for Starbright World as the creative director and producer of the initial system for the Starbright World project, working closely with Steven Spielberg, to create an online interactive 3D virtual world for seriously ill children. Since then, Thiel has had many other exhibits, some of the most notable being her shows "Beyond Manzanar" (a piece about a World War II-era Japanese-American internment camp in California), "The Travels of Mariko Horo", and "Shades of Absence". She is also one of the founding members of Manifest.AR, a group of artists focused on augmented reality, with which she staged spontaneous interventions at Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2013, Tate Modern in 2012, the Venice Biennial in 2011, and Museum of Modern Art (New York City) in 2010,[4]

Thiel's artwork for the last 15 years has focused on "site specific virtual reality installations".[5] Her art has been displayed in international venues including the International Center of Photography (New York City), DUMBO, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Art Gwanju, Fondazione Querini Stampalia/Venice, Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH and ISEA.[6] To completely describe the venues in which Thiel's artwork is on display one must take into consideration that her chosen platform is augmented reality. With the use of Layar, an augmented reality viewer,[7] Thiel's works can be layered over locations such as the New York Stock Exchange, the Tate Modern Museum in London,[8] New York's Museum of Modern Art,[9][10] the Berlin Wall,[5] Piazza San Marco Venice, Istanbul, and many other locations.[11]

Awards and grants[citation needed][edit]

  • Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund Award - 2012
  • IBM Innovation Award for artistic creation in art and technology - 2009
  • World Technology Award in the category Art (nominated) - 2009
  • Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin Capital City Cultural Fund) Award - 2007
  • City of Munich Prize for Junge Kunst/Neue Mediem (Young Art/New Media) - 2006
  • Wired Magazine and the Asian American Arts Foundation: Grant Award - 1998
  • Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC): Artist Equipment Access Award - 1996
  • Global Information Infrastructure Awards: Winner of Next Generation Award - 1996
  • Asahi Shimbun: Digital Entertainment Award - 1996
  • Cyberedge: Virtual Reality product of the Year Award - 1995

Publications, Solo authorship[edit]

  • "Cyber-Animism and Augmented Dreams," Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA), Istanbul, April 2011.
  • "The Design of the Connection Machine," The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments. Richard Buchanan, Dennis Doordan and Victor Margolin, Ed. Berg, New York, pp. 155–166.
  • "Where Stones Can Speak: Dramatic Encounters in Interactive 3D Virtual Reality," chapter in the book Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives, ed. Pat Harrigan & Noah Wadrup-Fruin, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.
  • "Life at the Interface of Art and Technology," ON SCREEN, 911 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA., USA. Winter 2007, Vol. 18 No.1, pp. 32–34.
  • "Beyond Manzanar: Creating Dramatic Structure in Ergodic Narratives," Published in the conference proceedings for Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE, now subsumed into the ICIDS conference), Darmstadt, Germany, June 24–26, 2004, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.
  • "Veiled Fantasies," Site Street Online Journal, Fall 2002
  • "Dramatic structure in interactive virtual reality," Aedo-ba, Villa Tosca Design Management Center, Milan, Nr. 03/04, Fall 2001 pp. 40–45.
  • "Beyond Manzanar: Constructing Meaning in Interactive Virtual Reality," COSIGN 2001 Conference Proceedings, Amsterdam, Holland.
  • "Machine Sapiens," Ylem Newsletter, Vol. 15, No. 6, Nov./Dec. 1995. pp. 5–6.
  • "The Design of the Connection Machine," (Japanese text) InterCommunication Magazine, InterCommunication Center of the NTT, Tokyo, Japan, No. 8, Spring 1994. pp. 128–135.
  • "The Design of the Connection Machine," DesignIssues, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 1994. pp. 5–18.
  • "Vijfenzestigduizend Processoren in Twaalf Dimensies," (in Dutch) Computable, Netherlands, 26E Jaargang, Week 22, 4 June 1993, pp. 25, 27.
  • "Machina Cogitans," (text in English and German) Genetic Art - Artificial Life, ARS ELECTRONICA, Linz, Austria. pp. 186–194
  • "The Connection Machine," AXIS Design Magazine, Number 45, Tokyo, Japan, 1992

Publications, Collaborative authorship[edit]

  • With Houshmand, Zara. "Beyond Manzanar", [Two] Factorial, !Factorial Press, San Diego, CA, 2003
  • With Houshmand, Zara. "Beyond Manzanar," on front Page of NW Nikkei / North American Post, Vol. 18 No.17, April 21, 2001, pp. 1,5.
  • With Houshmand, Zara. "Beyond Manzanar," SIGGRAPH 2001 Electronic Art and Animation Catalog and CD-ROM, ACM SIGGRAPH, New York, page 125.

Further reading[edit]



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